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Mobile Devices Will Transform Your Business IT

There’s no question that more people around the world are connecting to wireless networks at home, work and play via mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets. This rise in mobile device usage begs the question: How soon will it be (if not already) before these mobile devices dominate the mobile network, especially in the workplace?

Chris Spain - with header FINALJust recently, I read an article in Forbes, by Louis Columbus, that addresses the issue of increased mobile devices and unprepared network infrastructures. The article examines a study by IDC that predicts that 87% of sales for connected devices will be tablets and smartphones in next four years. As many employees prefer working from their own mobile devices, corporate networks, as they’re currently designed, will not be capable of successfully managing such a large volume of mobile data traffic generated by these mobile devices. With such expansive growth expected, the majority of businesses will either need to adapt an existing strategy to support this increase in mobile devices or adopt a new strategy.

Currently, there is a clear need for enterprises to better prepare and invest in their IT infrastructure. As more employees use their own devices at work for business and personal use, it’s imperative that business organizations require a secure mobile device and BYOD strategy to accommodate their business needs and employee preferences. However, the decision to adopt BYOD comes with a set of challenges for IT organizations.

Many of the benefits of BYOD, such as having the choice of device and anywhere, anytime access, are somewhat adverse to traditional IT requirements for security and support. In the past, IT pre-determined a list of approved workplace devices, typically a prescribed desktop, laptop, and perhaps even a small, standardized set of mobile phones and smartphones. Employees could choose among these devices, but generally were not permitted to stray from the approved devices list. With BYOD, IT has to approach the problem differently. Read More »

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Beyond Today’s Productivity and Efficiency: Enterprise Mobility Enables Long-Term Growth

One of the basic tenants of enterprise mobility is its direct influence on “now”.

When organizations implement mobile policies like BYOD and virtualized desktops, day-to-day operations can immediately improve. In most cases, the rate of return on seeing change is direct. However, the impact of enterprise mobility is not short-lived.sixsteps

Recently, we counted down the “Six Essential Steps for Unleashing the Power of Enterprise Mobility.”  Throughout the series, we provided a guide for enterprises to follow to implement broader mobility. We discussed how businesses could benefit now by untethering their global workforce and increasing productivity. The series highlighted a tactical approach to mobility, yet we would be amiss not to discuss the long-term transformational impact mobility can have on businesses. How can mobility be a catalyst for organizational growth and innovation?

Last week, I read an IT Web article by Johannesburg-based Lebo Mashiloane that discussed how BYOD and mobility are fueling enterprise growth. The article brought up a concept that is always important to keep top-of-mind: How today’s technology solutions are changing the landscape of tomorrow. Read More »

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Small Cells are Big Things in the Middle East

stuarttaylorI recently had the honor to speak at the Small Cells Forum in Dubai. One thing is certain: Wi-Fi and small cells are certainly important throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa.  Operators from throughout the region came together to learn how they could deploy small cells to meet their growing customer demands and improve their own bottom-line in the process.

I took away six key messages from the conference on the future of mobility in the Middle East:

  1. Small Cells Are the Next Big Thing: Operators from large countries like Saudi Arabia to smaller countries like Qatar all wanted to learn how they could use small cells to help them cope with the huge traffic that they are experiencing on their mobile networks and to  improve mobile coverage, especially indoors and in heavily congested areas.
  2. Small Cells Are Not an Add-On: SPs realize that future of mobile networks lies in a heterogeneous network (“HetNet”) world where licensed and unlicensed mobile networks coexist and complement each other.  With their unique strengths, Wi-Fi and licensed small cells are quickly becoming important components of an integrated access portfolio complementing the macro mobile access network.
  3. A New Read More »

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Mobility: No Longer a Risky Business?

Risk. It’s not just a strategic board game; in business it’s the analysis that determines the potential for loss.CiscoSecurity

In today’s organization, the consumerization of IT has led to groundbreaking developments in the mobility space. The broad deployment of BYOD, coupled with the availability of corporate data and applications, have challenged how we define security. And with recent news reports citing the rise of mobile hacking and network threats, the security of mobile technology and the data it carries seems to be at risk.

Fortunately, all is not lost.

Mobility gives employees and providers options for the workplace and creating a mobile experience that is efficient and innovative. It is also helping businesses save and make money. Today, employees in any place on any device can access any application across any network in any cloud. As a result, there are challenges associated with implementing a comprehensive BYOD policy that encompasses a proliferation of devices connecting to a network.

Even though mobility can cut costs and increase productivity, 60 percent of IT professionals recently surveyed believe mobile devices in 2013 present more of a risk to their organization than they did in 2012. And even with the growing concerns over mobile security, it still appears that only 60 percent of organizations require security technology for mobility plans. Why isn’t that number higher? After all Android Malware grew 2,577 percent in 2012 alone.

Read More »

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Advanced Wireless Functionality for a Fraction of the Price

Since launching Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) – Cisco’s innovative solution that turns the network into a platform for delivering location-aware, in-venue services – customers have been intrigued. However, CMX could not exist without the Cisco Mobility Services Engine (MSE), a location-aware network appliance to provide location-aware capabilities as well as deep wireless security.

Before I get into the new pricing details, here’s a quick recap of what the MSE can do:

The MSE is a network appliance that takes your wireless network and turns into a platform for delivering cool and innovative location-based services that provide unique business value through online, onsite and social analytics. For example, you can now leverage your wireless network to see how many customers are visiting your store? Are they new or repeat customers? Are long wait times at checkout hurting my business? With the MSE, organizations can even communicate directly with visitors in their venue through their mobile devices. You can now provide wayfinding (indoor GPS) and push relevant content such as offers or coupons directly to your visitors, which in turn can drive revenue gains for the venue.

The MSE does more than location based services – it also has a rich set of network security tools (known collectively as wIPS – wireless intrusion prevention system) that help protect the network from all kinds of attacks.  The MSE can not only tell you that there is an attack taking place, but it will tell you which type of attack (“honeypot”), where the attack is coming from, and will also enable the network fight back against the attack (“flood the attacking device with traffic making it impossible for him to do anything”).

We wanted to make this great functionality more accessible and affordable for our customers, so I am happy to announce that we are offering a new pricing promotion for MSE licenses starting now until April 2014.

Here are the basics of the promotion: Read More »

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