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It’s Not Enough to Be Connected

I attended Enterprise Connect for the ninth time this year, but it was the first time I delivered a keynote address. With the advances in technology today I could have delivered my keynote via TelePresence from Oslo, my home town in Norway. But I chose to attend in person because in this case face-to-face was the best way to tell my story.

I spoke to how “It is not enough to be connected.” This may sound strange coming from me, especially since I represent “the” networking company, but Cisco has evolved, as technology, businesses, and customer needs have evolved. Just being connected is not enough to drive the next levels of productivity. So, we need to think beyond connectivity. Read More »

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The New Virtual Workspace lands in Singapore!

I just returned from presenting at the Cisco Asia Pac 2012 Collaboration Summit in Singapore and I must say the Merlion was an excellent host.   Not only was Singapore beautiful and their people welcoming but the event itself was incredible.  I had the opportunity to share our Next Generation Virtual Workspace strategy to over 110 customers and analysts from across the Asia Pacific region.

Presenting the New Virtual Workspace Solution

In Singapore, I shared the newest addition to the Virtualized Collaboration Endpoint portfolio: Cisco’s Virtualization Experience Client (VXC) 6215, that brings voice and video to virtual desktops through one thin client solution.   Rich media has been a challenge in virtual desktop environments, and Cisco’s new Virtual Workspace solution has the “secret sauce” to finally make this work.

In the past, voice (and particularly video) worked in virtual desktops in a “good enough” manner. However, this isn’t good enough for wide scale enterprise deployments.  Leveraging years of experience and expertise in Unified Communications and Data Center, Cisco uses the Cisco Unified Communications architecture to separate the virtual desktop traffic from rich media in a way that provides a greater user experience at the virtual desktop.   High quality voice and video are now possible with our VXC endpoints and UC Infrastructure working in conjunction with our technology partners Citrix and VMware.

Read More »

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A better understanding of BYOD without Compromise

As anyone who attended Cisco’s recent “BYOD without Compromise” Webinar noticed, the BYOD phenomenon is changing company priorities, and is bringing up a lot of questions about the solutions available to scale, secure and operate a successful  network. Replay the Webinar

Join us for our upcoming #ciscowifi TweetChat during which you’ll be able to engage in a real time BYOD discussion on Twitter with Cisco Technical Experts. What is a TweetChat?

April 17, 10-11am PST: TweetChat Topic: BYOD and Cisco ISE – use #ciscowifi.

First, I’ve put together just a few details based on the most popular questions posed during the recent webinar about Cisco’s approach to BYOD. And at the end of this post, I’ve also listed upcoming events for even more in depth technical discussions on a variety of BYOD topics.

Enhanced Identity Services Engine (ISE):

Cisco ISE is a context-aware, identity-based platform that gathers real-time information from the network, users, and devices. This enables IT to offer mobile business freedom with policy for when, where and how users may access the network..

ISE integrates with Prime Network Control System and supports BYOD with any 11n Wireless Access Point (even if you’re running your network in FlexConnect -- aka HREAP- mode)

In addition to managing on-boarding, Cisco ISE has full guest lifecycle management.  It also allows IT to deny access to devices for a variety of reasons; such as who you are, what device it is, if you are running the latest OS or anti-malware or how you are accessing  the network..

Posture -- Posture is the component of ISE platform responsible for enforcement of corporate security policies governing access to its enterprise network.  For example, for non-corp owned devices, you can decide what is the minimal requirements based on the device type/OS etc. Setting this up ahead of time will avoid security issues with non-supported devices

ISE also provides real-time endpoint scans based on policy to gain more relevant insight. These automated features result in a better user experience and more secure devices.  Cisco ISE uniquely leverages the network. It is essentially the brains for secure access and provides the policy to the network infrastructure (it is woven into the switches, routers, etc.)

New Prime Infrastructure:

Prime is a single package that provides complete infrastructure – wired and wireless, and mobility lifecycle management– configuration, monitoring, troubleshooting, remediation, and reporting.  This solution includes:  Prime Network Control System (NCS) for converged wired/wireless monitoring and troubleshooting, plus wireless lifecycle management, with new branch network management functionality; and Prime LAN Management Solution, for wired lifecycle management and Borderless Network services management.

Mobile Device Management (MDM):

To protect data on mobile devices and ensure compliance, Cisco is integrating with multiple Mobile Device Management vendors.  This gives IT greater visibility into the endpoint as well control over endpoint access based on the compliance of these devices to company policy (such as requiring pin lock or disallowing jailbroken devices), and the ability to do remote data wipes on lost or stolen mobile devices. If you don’t have a supported vendor, we will not be able to get as rich detail about the status of that device, however, you still get the full wired/wireless policy.

Current MDM third party vendors: Zenprise, Good, Airwatch, MobileIron

Device Operating Systems:

Wondering about which OS is preferred on your mobile device?

Cisco offers broad mobile device OS support in Cisco AnyConnect VPN software, including IOS, Android, and Windows Mobile.

Virtualization:

When it comes to virtualization, Cisco has created the Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI), an end-to-end systems approach that delivers the next generation virtual workspace by unifying virtual desktops, voice, and video. Check out the link for more information on VXI, VXI with Citrix, VXI with VMware, Virtualization Services and validated Design Guides http://www.cisco.com/web/solutions/trends/virtualization/index.html

This is just a drop in the bucket. To get even more information on taking your organization beyond BYOD, don’t miss our upcoming technical deep dive webinars and in person events that speak directly to managing your growing network while you’re doing your best with limited resources.  You can also check out Cisco’s BYOD solution, Prime and ISE:

Upcoming Events

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Extending Mobile Learning Beyond BYOD

Mobile devices are an absolute necessity for the current generation of students.  The 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report found that two-thirds of students (66%)  cite a mobile device (laptop, smartphone, tablet) as “the most important technology in their lives.”  At the same time, educators at schools, colleges and universities are embracing mobile learning and “Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiatives to provide engaging and collaborative 21st century instruction and learning. These emerging trends are creating new demands on school and university networks to accommodate this unprecedented influx of users, devices and applications.

To help education leaders respond to these challenges and opportunities, Cisco recently announced Beyond BYOD, a next-generation solution which allows schools, colleges and universities to implement multiple device strategies without compromises.

Read More »

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Cisco Enables Beyond Bring Your Own Device for the Healthcare Industry

Beyond BYOD

Cisco Systems is announcing a next-generation solution to address an increasingly complex and common challenge in healthcare settings: the need to assure high security and patient privacy, while enabling fast, role-appropriate clinical data access for providers, with seamless connectivity across a diverse array of (mobile?) devices – all at once.

The new Cisco offering is dubbed Beyond BYOD – “BYOD” standing for “Bring Your Own Device.” It enables a healthcare organization to set up and administer secure, unified, any-device access across its entire network – including wireless, wireless LAN, cellular and VPN elements.

Healthcare information infrastructure has been challenged in recent years by an increasingly distributed healthcare delivery model, the rise of electronic patient records and privacy concerns, and the explosion of mobile devices entering hospital networks. Physicians and healthcare staff are driving demand for immediate provisioning of their personal devices from smartphones, to tablets, and notebooks for use in the workplace and integration into the clinical workflow. Indeed, there are over 4000 applications specifically dedicated to the healthcare industry and a Forrester study found 41 percent of personal devices are used to access business applications.  Doctors, administrators, patients and their families all have rationales for accessing an information system – and each is likely to bring a unique device profile. Preference for their own personalized hardware over standardized, workplace-issued devices combined with the inherent need by  medical professionals for anytime, anywhere connectivity – challenges network solution providers to keep up by offering true borderless networks: secure systems that are easy to use and accept all kinds of connection-ready hardware.

Beyond BYOD from Cisco answers the call by delivering healthcare providers, patients and visitors access from any device in any healthcare space, a unified policy across the network, an uncompromised user experience, and simplified IT operations.

The BYOD challenge has confronted IT managers in the healthcare sector for some time, but Beyond BYOD goes beyond simple device acceptance. Cisco has taken a new, holistic approach to managing borderless networks. The result is a top-down, comprehensive approach that can deliver a high-quality experience while allowing management of complexity and scale for healthcare organizations of all sizes – not just the large-scale enterprise.

Beyond BYOD features:

  • A new “Identity Services Engine” (ISE) that helps users introduce personal devices to a workplace network and configure an appropriate access level without hands-on assistance from IT.
  • A new, scalable approach to WLAN infrastructure that supports rich media sharing. It’s IPv6-optimized for seamless roaming without drops and enhanced security. IPv6 compatibility is critical to next-generation BYOD strategy: Cisco VNI predicts 71 percent of smartphones and tablets – 1.6 billion in total – will be IPv6-capable by 2016.
  • Simplified IT operations through a new Cisco management platform, Prime Assurance Manager 1.1, which affords thorough real-time, network-wide views of application performance. A companion management tool, Prime Infrastructure 1.1, aids planning and deployment of Cisco infrastructure.

Beyond BYOD represents a new, more strategic approach to healthcare information network management – one that acknowledges and enables user preferences while anticipating future demands and developments.      

To learn more, click here:  http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/wireless/ps6302/ps9798/ps11716/at_a_glance_c45-703759.pdf

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