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Innovating the Education Experience with BYOD

When I was a student in elementary school, we had desks, teachers, and blackboards (not even whiteboards!). My interaction with technology in the classroom was limited to an exciting experience playing Oregon Trail, a software game that my teachers leveraged as a hands-on experience for students to see what kinds of challenges pioneers faced going west in the 1800’s.  When I think about how deeply entrenched technology is in education today, I realize my teachers were quite ahead of the curve!

Anyone who has witnessed a child play with a smartphone can attest to the fact that technology comes easily to kids. Educators today are well aware of this situation and have been creating innovative ways to engage the interest in technology with school curriculum. Kids now “know” technology as a part of education starting as early as kindergarten.   Whether it’s a laptop carts, tablets in the classroom, smart boards, or leveraging the internet as a pure teaching tool, the availability of technological resources places no limits on how education can be delivered and innovated.

A Pew Research survey on 2,462 teachers indicates that 73% of their students use mobile devices to complete assignments, 45% use e-readers, and 43% use tablets. Technology in the classroom is not a future trend, it is already here.

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Securing Your Company’s Data in a Mobile World

Mobile workers accessing corporate applications and data from a range of personal and corporate devices is fast becoming the new normal. Month by month every survey confirms the inevitable—mixing personal and business data, devices, and apps. Companies are scrambling amidst a sea of new technologies to regain control of their IT infrastructure, and those thinking ahead are planning for more than just tolerance of personal data and scaling mobile access; they’re building the next evolution of application access, which is based on consistent policies for application and data across any access method or device. These architectures demand an integrated system that spans device, network, and application layers, and they demand policies for employee access based on much more than user name and password. Read More »

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Client Adoption for 802.11ac Wireless Technology

When it comes to the adoption of new technology such as 802.11ac, the industry becomes a farmer’s almanac of predictions when it comes to when and what devices and products will announce 802.11ac support.  Aside from Cisco, who boldly announced support for 802.11ac on the 3600 Access Point for the enterprise, there have been a number of consumer devices such as home routers, bridges, a selection of USB clients and a single gaming oriented laptop that are offering support for the new 802.11ac specification.

With HTC’s announcement of 802.11ac support for their HTC One smartphone, we would expect others to follow suit in the near future, setting the stage for the first series of devices to bring integrated 802.11ac to market sometime in CY13. As these device become available you can expect them to be connecting to your corporate networks as BYOD devices for corporate use. With the devices come the expectations where your end-users are going to be looking for that extra bump in network performance promised by the 802.11ac standard.

Next up, Tablet and notebook devices.

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Live from HIMSS: On Context-Aware Healthcare

This year at the annual HIMSS conference I had the pleasure of helping to coordinate the Context Aware Healthcare demo located in the Cisco booth.  The Context Aware solution brings together location services (RTLS) tracking for equipment and people as well as environmental monitoring, WIPS for security, and our brand new functionality of Connected Mobile Experiences with our partner Meridian.

In our solution materials we noted that the Connected Mobile Experiences provides “an unprecedented way to engage with patients on their smart phones or tablets” but this was my first opportunity to really show many customers the power of indoor GPS and location based notifications and the response was fantastic.  Every customer that saw the demo was impressed and in the demos that I was in I would estimate that over 50% wanted their AMs to get them more information on the solution.  I also had one customer and also an integration partner come to our booth solely to see this solution.

Cisco also held an internal sales summit prior to the show starting and the feedback that we received after that from our AMs and SEs was the Context Aware Healthcare solution was one of the top 2-3 sessions that was held.  It’s clear that the excitement for context-aware, location-based services is building and customers can see the vision of having an solid Cisco wireless network foundation providing not only traditional data and voice services, but also powering vertical solutions such as Context Aware Healthcare.

For more on Connected Mobile Experiences, visit the solution page.

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ACE Network: How Cisco Jabber for iPad Enables our Tech-Savvy Sales Force to Stay in Touch

As a sales team manager, I need to be available by phone or instant messaging (IM) in multiple places every day. So it’s no surprise to find me using the new Cisco Jabber for iPad client while I’m traveling because it provides the IM, voice calling, presence, messaging, and video calling capabilities that are exactly what I need to stay connected with my team, customers, partners, and colleagues.

When I’m in the office, working from my Cisco laptop, my Cisco 9971 desk phone, and Cisco TelePresence EX 90 desktop video endpoint – I have full-featured communications and application access. But when I’m out of the office, I can use the Single Number Reach (SNR) feature to move transparently to the Jabber client, which means people can dial a single number to reach me on both endpoints simultaneously while also making it easy for me to receive calls and messages wherever I go.

T.J. Hyne, one of my consulting system engineers, shares how he used the Cisco Jabber for iPad client to connect remote participants into a video call during a customer meeting, over the customer’s wireless network. The ease of the video call was an unexpected surprise for the customer, and it helped to illustrate the value of video for meaningful communication in real-time.

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