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Secure Networking for (Really) Small Businesses

Today, Cisco came out with a new wireless VPN firewall specifically designed for the smallest of small businesses. In fact, the router is built for offices with one to five people that need remote access on a secure connection. The new router has what we call “business class” performance without the complexity often found in larger-scale products. Since the Cisco RV110W is designed with the “do-it-yourselfer” in mind, it’s very easy to use, and at $99 it’s affordable, even for extremely small companies.

It’s easy to set up, and requires no IT resources. You just plug it into the network. Partners can put it in place quickly so that you can stay focused on your business and not lose any time. The four-port switch that is integrated into the product lets you connect securely to computers, printers, IP phones, cameras, and other devices.  It works on both Windows and Mac OS-X for remote access to data anytime, anywhere. Also, the high-speed, wireless-N access points give you a faster file transfer time, which increases performance and the coverage area, helping employees to stay productive even if they are not at their desks.

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Cisco Grows Leadership Position in Service Provider Networking

Cisco gained market share in service provider routing and switching in the first quarter of 2011, according to two key analyst reports issued this week.

In an ACG Research blog post issued today, the firm said, “Cisco continues to hold the number one position (in worldwide carrier routing and switching) with 50.3% of total market share…ACG is cautiously optimistic about the future outlook of the market. We see service providers spending on cloud computing and video services and managed services will help drive growth in the remainder of 2011.”

In a press release summarizing Synergy’s recent carrier routing and switching report, it said, “(We) find it notable that Cisco’s market share remains dominant and growing in the face of formidable competition and the ever-changing requirements of network infrastructure. Although there is ample opportunity for other vendors to participate in this market, Cisco still today holds the dominant #1 market share position with nearly 2.5 times greater market share than its closest #2 competitor and over 3 times the amount of market share than its more distant #3 competitor.”  Synergy is forecasting the Service Provider router and switch market to approach 20% growth in 2011.

With Internet and mobile traffic growth, the transition to IPv6 technologies, and new cloud and social computing market opportunities, innovation in service provider networking has never been more important.

Backed by Cisco’s flagship core and edge routing platforms – the CRS-3 and ASR families – we look forward to working with our service provider partners to build out the next-generation Internet and help drive exciting new services in the years ahead.

During Cisco’s Q3FY11 earnings announcement last week, Cisco stated that year-over-year product revenue for the ASR 9000, Cisco’s flagship edge router, had grown at approximately 140%.  Last month, we announced that just one year after it was introduced, the industry-leading Cisco® CRS-3 Carrier Routing System is being adopted faster than the original CRS-1 platform, with 80 customers in more than 30 countries.

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Keeping Your Cards Close to the Vest?

While there is a world of difference between a deck of 52 and a deck of credit cards, it is still wise to hold those payment cards close to the vest. A solid part of protecting those cards from prying eyes is ensuring your insurance firm is compliant with the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard.

Is PCI compliance important to insurers?  Every carrier CTO and CIO I have asked has said , “Yes, it is…and we are working on it now.” I’d venture to say, as with all compliance and risk management it is not a one-and-done effort, as regular reviews are required.

Today, April 14, 2011, Cisco announced its newest work in the area of helping companies across all industries comply with the PCI DSS 2.0 guidelines. And since the PCI DSS guidelines apply to all companies—including insurance—that transmit, process or store credit card transactions and cardholder information, I’ve recorded a video in which I discuss the PCI DSS standard and its applicability to insurance.

Cisco is at the table with its customers when it comes to enabling PCI compliance and is an active member of the Payment Card Industry Securities Standard Council’s Board of Advisors. We completed a new Cisco Design and Implementation Guide that includes 30+ Cisco and technology partner products that have been examined by an auditor.

Technologies involved in the assessment include core routing, switching and wireless, plus collaboration and physical security technologies.

Partners involved with this solution include VCE, HyTrust, RSA, EMC and Verizon Business who is the auditor.

Make sure you don’t show your cards….your credit cards…..at all times.

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On The Edge: Transforming the Branch Experience with Video

“The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.”  -- Abraham Lincoln

Given its technical complexities, it’s understandable that some people have been skeptical about business video adoption over the past few years. But video is now much more than just a technology. Like printing and voice were not so long ago, it’s an irresistible force that is fundamentally changing the way all generations create and experience culture, business, and much of our everyday existence. For example:

  • Video and computer game time for kids 8-18 has doubled in the past 10 years, and only 4-6% of their time is spent on print media (source: Arstechnica).
  • In a recent enterprise survey, 57% of respondents are planning or have already implemented some desktop video conferencing, and 44% are planning or have already implemented some IP video for training, demos, and other purposes (source: Forrester Research).
  • By the end of 2010, almost half of all mobile data traffic was already video, and it’s expected to grow 26 fold from 2010 to 2015 (source: Cisco Visual Networking Index).

Forward-thinking organizations embracing these trends have already come up with some wonderfully innovative new business models built on delivering video everywhere. For instance, the Khan Academy delivers free education via YouTube to millions of people worldwide, and Marriott Marquis hotels are delivering unique new guest experiences for discriminating travelers via Cisco technology.

Here’s a dramatization of delivering video anywhere to enhance education:

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