I just arrived home from a couple of days visiting customers in Asia and I was a little surprised by all the attention around Cisco’s increased competitive posture. It seems some people are surprised Cisco is calling out its smaller networking competitor by name, although I’ve heard few mentions of their Wall Street Journal cartoon advertisements ridiculing Cisco a while back. I guess that didn’t count.
What matters most to customers is whether their networking partner is ready right now to help them adapt to, and benefit from, the massive network-centric changes that are transforming their businesses and their customers’ businesses.
My recent trip to Asia provided some great examples of exactly what I’m talking about:
First, Mobility is red hot. Tablet growth is exploding as the shift from the PC to new consumer based devices accelerates. With our service provider customers, the new Mobile Packet Core is THE number one conversation. The Cisco ASR 5000, combined with our CRS-1 and CRS-3, is the most innovative technology available to handle this explosion of mobile data and develop new services to help service providers monetize mobile content.
Twenty of the world’s top twenty five mobile operators are already deploying the Cisco ASR 5000 and this number is only going to increase. We also hear growing interest in Asia for SP Wi-Fi as an alternate method to address the escalating requirements for mobile bandwidth and data services. For sure, there’s a lot of competition for the mobile packet core and SP Wi-Fi, but our smaller competitor from Sunnyvale just doesn’t seem to be relevant in these conversations.
Moving your network from IPv4 to IPv6 can be risky if you don’t close security holes
In February 2011, the last blocks of IPv4 Internet addresses were allocated, highlighting the need for organizations everywhere to plan their transition to IPv6, the next generation Internet protocol. Because the move to IPv6 is happening gradually, applications will support both Internet protocols for some time—and so must your network. During the transition from IPv4 to IPv6 your network could become vulnerable to new security risks, so it’s critical that you phase in the new protocol as securely as possible.
There’s been a lot of buzz on the Internet about the way Continental Tire of the Americas has vastly improved its manufacturing process. They adopted an innovative solution based on a Cisco architectural networking approach provided by Cisco Partner Applied Group combined with AeroScout’s asset tracking solution and a inventory management system from Global Data Sciences enabling their manufacturing facility achieve a 20 percent reduction in component tire losses. Now that’s significant!
Chet Namboodri interviews Peter Granger about the benefits Continental Tire is achieving from the Cisco Unified Wireless based manufacturing/wip solution
It was a real pleasure for me to take part in the Customer case study event organized by Cisco, AeroScout and Global Data Sciences for me to speak about the Cisco contribution. The video gives a short summary as Chet Namboodri, Cisco Industry Blogger-in-Chief and Global Managing Director of Cisco’s Manufacturing Industry Marketing interviews me about what was said, and the benefits Continental expects.
That event is where I met up with folks from Continental, AeroScout and Global Sciences to hear from the customer first hand how the solution is increasing production and efficiency in its North America manufacturing plant. That plant is located in Mount Vernon, Illinois, and it produces more than 1,000 different tire SKU’s in its 60-acre (2.6 million square-foot) facility.
The implemented solution leverages Continental Tire’s Cisco Unified Wireless Network to add a Real-Time Location System (RTLS) and automated Work-in-Process (WIP) tracking without having to install a proprietary network of readers and sensors. That’s key. Cisco provides standards-based solutions that work well with a customers backhaul, which, for most customers is also Cisco. Cisco’s Architectural approach means networking elements and processes work well together with ‘compatibility’ tested solutions such as those from AeroScout.
Building a network from scratch for your small business? These resources can help
There’s a lot involved in starting a small business—from setting up financial accounts and determining your legal structure to finding a location and hiring employees. There’s also the issue of your technology infrastructure; set it up right and it can make your business. Set it up wrong and it could hamper your ability to support employees and customers, inhibit your growth, and create security risks.
Building a network is no small task, especially if you’re not technically inclined. In that case, you might want to consider enlisting the help of a local reseller. Whether you do it yourself or hire outside help, you still need to know what to do, what not to do, and what to consider before putting together your network.
Built-in switch features can not only save time but also help eliminate errors
Your network is vital to your small business. It connects the devices critical to running your business as well as connecting employees to the resources they need, such as servers, printers, and storage. Managing your network, though, can cost you in both time and resources. There can be a lot to manage when it comes to a small business network—from configuring employee PCs and troubleshooting wireless connectivity to managing unified communications if you’re running voice and data on the same network. Most small businesses can’t justify a full-time in-house IT person. Oftentimes, the job of managing the network becomes an added responsibility of someone in the company.