Over the past several years, a lot of vendors have established a variety of designations aimed at giving channel partners a demonstrable seal-of-approval for specific technologies or market expertise. In a world where channel partners need to differentiate against their competitors on something more than price, these “specializations” or “specialties” go a long way towards helping customers weed through the various IT offerings based on training, experience, and oftentimes customer satisfaction. Typically, all three of those qualities are necessary in order to “get badged,” as the partners often call it.
But how important should those badges be to you, as the IT decision-maker in a small business? The truth is, it depends.
If you are using advanced applications, and require high levels of security, run complex databases and are heavily dependent on things like CRM tools, unified communications capabilities and such, then I would say that the case for using a specialized partner is a strong one.
Two reports issued by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in the past few months reveal that concerted efforts of both governments and service providers are combining to make broadband more accessible and affordable, at least for developing countries.
Let’s look at the most recent report first.
According to the 2010 ICT Price Basket report, broadband costs around the world have dropped approximately 52 percent between 2008 and 2010 — compared to a 22 percent drop in prices for mobile cellular services.
The public Internet is pervasive. It’s an essential ingredient to the way many of us choose to live, work, play and learn. When this amazing resource is viewed through the perspective of mainstream users, the path that led us here may seem unimaginable.
It’s an example of open innovation and creative collaboration, with a common cause that was shared by determined pioneers. The Internet Society has published a brief history that starts with the following story introduction:
“The Internet has revolutionized the computer and communications world like nothing before. The invention of the telegraph, telephone, radio, and computer set the stage for this unprecedented integration of capabilities. The Internet is at once a world-wide broadcasting capability, a mechanism for information dissemination, and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for geographic location.”
When Cisco conducted an industry survey a few months back, the research revealed that 61% of employees believe they don’t need to be in an office to be productive – and two-thirds of employees place a higher value on workplace flexibility than salary. Attitudes toward working remotely have certainly shifted over recent years, as working from home is no longer seen as a privilege – it’s expected.
But for just about any employee who has ever needed to work from home, getting a home office wireless network up and running can be time consuming, even if you already have an existing home network. By the time you change network profiles, start VPN clients, and deal with security concerns, not to mention time spent on the phone with the corporate IT helpdesk, you can easily spend a good chunk of your day setting up and configuring your wireless network.
But once again, Cisco can help.
Cisco announced today new OfficeExtend wireless solutions designed toward making the whole teleworking process painless for both the remote worker and the IT manager back at the corporate office. With the new OfficeExtend wireless solutions from Cisco, not only can you have home network profiles for personal use, but as an additional feature, the very same corporate WLAN profiles and security that you using at the office can now be replicated at home. And better yet, the new wireless solutions require no intervention from end users by allowing IT departments to remotely manage home access points alongside the rest of their corporate infrastructure. Read More »