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Right-Sizing Network Solutions for Small Businesses

This is a guest blog post from Cisco Product Manager Marc Nagao. Marc has spent close to two decades in high tech, with a mix of storage, managed services and of course networking. He is currently managing the Small Business RV Series Routers.

Network connectivity is a pretty big concern for any business, let alone a small, growing business. How many small business owners do you know that have turned to IT-savvy Cousin Jimmy for help, or called a “computer expert” they found on Yelp, or tried to find the right network solutions doing only a few quick Google searches? Picking the right network solution can be a daunting task.

But that’s where right sizing a small business’ networking solution comes into play – it saves money now and saves more money in the future. Small businesses have the benefit of being nimble; a successful, single-person business can very quickly transform into a multiple-person small business, with an office and a warehouse and a dozen or even a few dozen folks. But that business’ network connectivity solution doesn’t seem to move as quickly. A consumer wireless router could probably do the job for a single person home office adequately. But for a business looking to use its network for more than just accessing the Internet, the choice is not so obvious.

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Cisco’s New Small Business Portfolio—Helping Partners Unleash the Possibilities of the Network

January 24, 2013 at 8:19 am PST

Our partners know that in today’s environment small and medium-sized businesses need to reduce costs, focus on new markets, and improve sales effectiveness. They can accomplish this by increasing their productivity. And we can help by introducing our partners to Cisco’s new small business portfolio, which helps small business customers tap into the value of the network, while maximizing their investment.

These new products and services allow workers to collaborate securely—whether onsite or mobile. This is especially important as the mobile worker population is expected to reach 1.3 billion by 2015, and 71 percent of small businesses now function as work-from-anywhere businesses (according to IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Worker Population 2011–2015 Forecast).

In addition to security, technologies that are easy to use and manage are critical in this market, where dedicated IT departments typically don’t exist. Implementing technologies that fit within tight budgets are also a must.

In response to these challenges, Cisco introduced a new family of small business technologies, which support the requirements of small businesses looking to gain a competitive advantage—including new security, collaboration, and mobility capabilities. Read More »

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Cisco Introduces Sleek, Secure Wireless Access Points for Small Businesses

Extend the reach and speed of your wireless network

A small business makes big demands on its wireless network. It must be fast, so users never have to wait to connect to the local network or the Internet. The wireless network also needs to be able to run the demanding new communications applications that small businesses now rely on. It must even provide a blanket of reliable Wi-Fi coverage within the building premises so that users don’t have to be tied to their desks. And for a small business, high performance isn’t enough—because many smaller companies don’t have on-site IT staff, wireless access points (WAPs) must not only be easy to use and set up, but should also secure their network. The only way to meet these demands is with modern Wireless-N access points that are designed for the small business.

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WAPs: More than Simple Wireless Network Access

An advanced wireless access point can bolster wireless security and improve network access

Most people have come to expect wireless network access almost everywhere they go, especially when they are at work or elsewhere. After all, if they can check their email on their smartphones from Starbucks, why shouldn’t they be able to do the same in a conference room at the office? Luckily, adding wireless access to your existing network isn’t difficult—but you must make some choices. You can opt for a basic wireless access point (WAP) for wireless network connectivity. Or, you can choose a more advanced small-business wireless router or WAP that adds sophisticated capabilities to your wireless network.

At their most basic, WAPs simply connect wireless devices to your local network through a standard wireless signal such as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. A WAP connects to your router, which connects users’ devices (including smartphones, tablets, and laptops) to the network and the Internet. But WAPs can also bolster your network security, provide users with better network access throughout your building, and give you additional installation flexibility.

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