Europe’s leading home improvement retailer, Kingfisher, was looking for a way to streamline its supply chain and enhance their direct sourcing. As a company that makes do-it-yourself projects easier and more affordable, Kingfisher was facing increasingly difficult logistical challenges with key partners and offices spread out across the globe.
Employees from multiple locations had to travel frequently to meet with buyers and quality control teams in operating companies, resulting in huge travel costs and significant wasted time . Kingfisher found that these issues impeded design processes and the company’s attempts to adopt more agile ways of working.
The number of mobile-connected devices has broken the 1 billion mark. That’s not too surprising, given that as we grow more reliant on our devices and mobility, we also become more reliant on the Internet to get things done, take care of customers, and expand our businesses. In fact, we see a future that is defined by what we call the Internet of Everything (IoE), bringing together people, processes, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. Yet Cisco estimates that about 99.4 percent of what could be connected by the Internet is currently unconnected. That’s pretty staggering. Imagine how even a fraction of that could affect your business—by connecting employees when they’re mobile and connecting customers and partners to keep business processes and sales in progress.
Cisco’s latest offerings are designed to capitalize on connectivity, helping to fuel small business success and pave the way for future growth.
Lief Keopsel recently discussed how the growing mobile population calls for a new approach. Cisco’s expanding small business portfolio helps customers find the right technology to meet their evolving needs—such as increasing overall productivity, bolstering responsiveness, and beating the competition. But we haven’t stopped there. We’ve recently added additional routers and wireless access points.
Ultimately, we’re developing a portfolio that helps small businesses perform to their maximum potential through offerings that span security, connectivity, and collaboration.
Security Is a Competitive Advantage Through all this, whether you’re increasing productivity or enabling collaboration, you really have to keep security at the forefront. It’s what gives you the edge. If you missed the recent blog post featuring David Lawrence from Smart Technology Enablers talking about the Cisco ISA500 Series, please listen in. David describes how the Cisco ISA500 Series helps customers safeguard against outside threats while allowing employees to securely access information remotely.
Connectivity Is Key to Productivity Check out how our newly launched products deliver greater capabilities with built-in intelligence to provide more options for getting things done and creating a more customer-centric business model, regardless of location.
Collaboration Improves Business Effectiveness Bringing together people is a key part of our value proposition. We’re helping small businesses respond to customers more quickly and cultivate stronger customer engagement and loyalty. All while lowering the cost of doing business.
We understand that making the right technology decision is critical. And to that point, we’re proud of the recognition we’ve received from Miercom. Linda Beaton’s post on February 8 highlights a recent study by Miercom. This report favorably compared the Cisco SF500, SG500, and SG500X switches with similar products offered by HP, D-Link, and Netgear.
To learn more about the Cisco Small Business products referenced here, please visit our website. Or to learn more about our Cisco Services, click here. If you’re a Cisco partner, check out our Partner Launch page to help seize new market opportunities and add value to your customers.
How are these changes affecting you? And, how can we help to strengthen our partnership?
It’s a router. No, it’s a firewall. No, it’s unified threat management. It’s … the new Cisco ISA500.
We hear a lot lately about how many mobile devices are connecting to the internet. And, with today’s BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend, more employees are wanting to use their preferred devices. They’re also wanting flexibility with where they work. We’re in a new work world, where mobility is the name of the game, and security is the game controller that determines who will have the advantage. Enter: The new Cisco ISA500.
As a recent infographic from research and industry analyst firm Techaisle shows, 61 percent of SMBs in North America allow BYOD; and 53 percent expect productivity improvement. But for those two things to happen together successfully, there needs to be strong security in place. This becomes especially important given that we’re seeing an uptick in the number of SMBs targeted for cyberattacks and the number of employees engaging in risky behavior when accessing the web.
So when Cisco looks at these challenges, we focus on three key things: safeguarding outside threats that can bring down the network, the ability for employees to securely access information, and a simple way to manage it all. The Cisco ISA500 helps customers do exactly that, by acting as a highly sophisticated router, firewall, and unified threat management in one device. Not only did it win “Outstanding Hardware Solution” at IT Nation, it’s also getting a lot of praise from our partners.
We sat down with David Lawrence, president of Smart Technology Enablers, who talked about his views of this offering. Take a look at what he had to say.
If you’d like to learn more about Cisco small business products, please visit www.cisco.com/go/smb. And to learn more about responsive, proactive support options that Cisco Services offers to help keep your small business network running smoothly, click here.
A key trait of innovative small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) is agility– making decisions quickly, shifting direction with a customer, and swiftly working out the details with colleagues. But at the end of the day, what it all comes down to is having the right technology—to enable responsiveness, increase overall productivity, and keep SMBs competitive.
And that becomes especially important when you look at statistics around mobility. The mobile worker population is expected to reach 1.3 billion by 2015, and 71 percent of SMBs now functioning as work-from-anywhere businesses (according to IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2011–2015 Forecast. At the same time, this move to mobile has refocused SMBs’ attention on security.
On-the-go SMB workforces need to be able to work and collaborate securely, whether onsite or mobile. And, since SMBs generally don’t have dedicated IT departments, they need technologies that are easy to use and manage, all while fitting within a tight budget. This kind of enablement is what allows small businesses to be agile.
In response to these challenges, Cisco has introduced a host of new small business technologies designed to support the requirements of nimble SMBs that are looking to get an edge. These offerings deliver new capabilities around security, collaboration, and mobility.
Cisco SPA500DS Expansion Module: A digital attendant console that attaches to the SPA500 Series IP Phones, further enhancing Cisco’s collaboration products.
Cisco RV215W Wireless-N VPN Router with 3G/4G: Easy-to-use wireless router packs in security features and enables seamless mobile connectivity with a wide variety of options including 3G and 4G via a USB data card. This allows connectivity when wired access isn’t available.
To learn more about our latest small business products, visit our website. And, watch for additional blogs in the coming days that will zero in on related topics to provide more context around how you can help maximize productivity in a secure environment, however you define your workspace.
We’d also love to hear from you about your SMB challenges. What are you hoping to tackle this year from an IT perspective?
I use my desk phone only about once a day, but most callers still reach me on their first try. How is this possible? With Cisco Unified Mobility: Single Number Reach (SNR), a feature that allows me to control how incoming calls are sent to my desk, mobile, or soft phones.
Although this SNR feature has been supported on Cisco Unified Communications Manager for many years, recent versions that we’ve been testing on the Cisco ACE network extend it to all of the phones and video endpoints I use in my work.
Most ACE network users are salespeople, so SNR is a great tool for helping them stay in touch, especially when traveling, working away from the office or during the holidays. With this in mind, we conducted a study that showed that Cisco could potentially gain the value of more than US $130 million per year from improved productivity by adopting SNR — and that is only taking salespeople into account!