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Midsize Auctioneer’s Network is Fast and Fortified as Hundreds of Clients Bid Billions

Forget the best of both worlds. Ritchie Bros Auctioneers have found the best of three worlds with their network. This midsize company enables fast, secure bidding for customers, provides hassle-free mobile access for employees, and detailed network reports with no effort for IT.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers is the world’s largest auctioneer of heavy equipment and trucks. They sell billions of dollars of unused and used equipment at hundreds of unreserved public auctions each year. What’s even more impressive is that they are able to do this with only 1300 employees worldwide.

Auctions are very time sensitive and require a synchronized effort. This leaves little room for errors and interruptions.  Read More »

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5 Reasons for Midsize Businesses to Use Video Collaboration

I’ve been talking for a while now about how effective video collaboration is and how video technology can enhance and improve the way businesses collaborate. Many of you may still think that videoconferencing is only for the larger companies with multiple locations and large budgets to cover a video technology investment, but I disagree.

Here are five reasons that that I think midsize businesses should consider using video collaboration.

  • Video Collaboration products are easy to use: At Cisco we design our video technology products to be intuitive and easy to use. This means the user interface in the smallest video endpoints works the same as the controls in the largest, so anyone can make a video call anytime they need to.
  • Video is becoming the norm: Many organizations are realizing the benefits and ROI of using video collaboration to extend their business boundaries. Meeting with partners and customers around the world – just like they are around the corner – have enabled organizations to do business in ways they never thought possible before.
  • Utilizing video can increase productivity and profits: Read More »

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You’d be amazed at what you can get for $10K

As an SMB, you thought there are solutions/options completely out of your range – 10 Gigabit, Virtualization, Stacking, 16TB Storage, POE+, Layer 3, etc.

If I told you you can get all of the following (an entire future-proofed feature-rich SMB network with Storage) for under $10K, what would you say?

Network Infrastructure:

PLUS:

Storage (NAS):

  • Virtualization
  • 16 TB Storage
  • File Sharing and Backup
  • Video Editing
  • Storage costs -- $3793 (pricing for part numbers below at CDW.com on 3/12/2014)

Amazing, isn’t it? Here’s the list of equipment that will get you there:

1x SG500X-24P – 24p Gigabit POE Stackable Switch

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“Wow, I had no idea Cisco had these products”

As the product owner, one comment I get most of all is “Wow, I had no idea Cisco had these products“. This is the case even though we ship well over 20 million switch ports delivering hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue per year in this portfolio – to customers in all geographies, markets, verticals, and customer types.

Which products are we talking about? It’s the Cisco SMB portfolio.

See what independent testing agency, Miercom, found when they compared Cisco 300 Series Switches (SG300) to other switches in the market from competitors -- Miercom lab test report.

Cisco was top performer in the test in Performance, Energy Efficiency, Usability, Capacity/Scale, Feature/functionality, and was the most Economical. For further dialog around this report, see the following link for more details: Competitive dialog on the Miercom test report.

Almost identical results were found when comparing the Cisco 500 Series Switches (SG500) to other Stackable switches in the market from competitors – Results from Stackable Switch Lab Test Report.

 “We were impressed with the comprehensive set of features, performance, overall power efficiency, and ease-of-use of the Cisco switches”

– Rob Smithers, CEO, Miercom (Miercom report: DR120119C)

Over this last year, here’s a small sampling of additional features Cisco has added to the 300 Series portfolio in addition to what has been tested in the Miercom lab (a free software download for customers, I might add):

  • Web-based Authentication - Provides network admission control through a web browser to any host devices and operating systems
  • IPv6 First Hop Security – Protection against man-in-the-middle attack, malicious or rogue devices, and IP address theft
    • RA Guard
    • ND Inspection
    • DHCPv6 Guard
    • Neighbor Binding Integrity
  • UDLD - detect unidirectional links caused by incorrect wiring or cable/port faults to prevent forwarding loops and black-holing of traffic in switched networks.
  • Time-based POE - time-based shutdown of ports or POE for operational cost savings

Here’s a list 100+ intelligent features many/most of which are not present in the corresponding competitive products. Read it and decide for yourself: Detailed feature differentiators post.

 So more features means it costs more, right? Nope. These Cisco switches are actually just as affordable—and in many/most cases, even more affordable — than Competitive switches. See for yourself. Here’s a few examples of comparable products you can look up:

  • Cisco SG300-28 versus HP 2530-24G (J9776A) -- $513 versus $724
  • Cisco SG300-52 versus HP 2530-48G (J9775A) -- $910 versus $1,129
  • Cisco SG300-28PP versus HP 2530-24G-POE+ (J9773A) - $876 versus $1,218
  • Cisco SG300-52P versus HP 2530-48G-POE+ (J9772A)- $1,232 versus $2,324

(Prices collected on CDW Website on 2/20/2014) 

300 Series Family MR

 

But don’t stop there. Have a look at the features and pricing for rest of the Cisco Small Business portfolio. You will see very similar results in other parts of the portfolio as well (For example, compare Cisco SF500 switches against HP 2620 series). By the way, these Cisco switches come with a Limited Lifetime Warranty, which includes next business day (NBD) advanced replacement as part of the product – no need to purchase a separate Service contract to get this. We can only do this since we truly stand behind these products.

“Cisco has raised the bar for this product category”

Kevin Tolly, founder, The Tolly Group (See Link)

Bet you didn’t know many of these things as well. Awareness is the biggest problem for this portfolio. So, let’s change this to “Did you know Cisco had these products?”.

 

 

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Summary: TelePresence for SMBs: It isn’t just for the big guys anymore

If you’re in an SMB company you might think of telepresence as a tool built for enterprise, something that would be nice to have for your small business but just out of reach. You’d be wrong.

Video conferencing solutions like Telepresence and even web-based technologies like WebEx are more affordable than ever, making them a viable option for SMBs.

Read my full article for a closer look!

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