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It’s All About Simplicity: Join Cisco at Wireless Field Day on October 1

We are excited to announce that Cisco will be WFD8participating in Wireless Field Day 8 this year! Cisco is bringing together independent bloggers, speakers, and podcasters to share best practices and opinions in a two-hour interactive discussion format. All presentations will be live streamed from the Tech Field Day website October 1, 2015 beginning at 9:30 am PT.

Cisco is focusing on operational simplicity, and will cover the following topics at #WFD8:

802.11ac Wave 2 and Mobility Express: We will be discussing how 802.11ac Wave 2 provides customers new capabilities found in the Cisco Aironet 1830 and 1850 Access Points such as Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) and their advantages. We will also demonstrate how Mobility Express can be deployed in less than 10 minutes, ideal for smaller businesses who want an uncompromised enterprise-class solution without the big IT staff to manage it. Learn more about 802.11ac and Cisco Mobility Express. Read More »

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“Go Digital” Education Mandates Simplified with Cisco Mobility Express

As digital textbooks, laptops and tablets becomes the new normal of classroom tools – but education budgets for resources and personnel decline – Cisco’s Mobility Express Solution provides educators with consistent, secure and easy-to-manage network access that promotes connective and collaborative learning.

Lessons going digital? Mobility Express Solution can help meet emerging online learning mandates seamlessly.

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Save your sanity (and your hair) with reliable, secure and consistent connections. Read More »

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3 Steps For Wifi Success

Wireless is surpassing the number of wired connections. There are discussions about having all wireless offices to save on costs of running wires. We perform more work on laptops, tablets, and smartphones. While wireless is more prevalent and preferred by almost everyone, we must shift our mindset in deploying a wireless infrastructure that is as robust as our wired.

How do we accomplish a deployment of wireless signals in which our end users cannot see? I recommend taking a general three step approach. The first step being the most important, gather requirements from the end users. Second, analyze the wireless spectrum and perform a site survey. Lastly, verify your deployment and optimize.

Gather Requirements

The first step is listening to end user. Get in early on the planning committee if there are plans on building a new office or new office space. Get an approximation of how many devices will be using wireless. The kind of wireless devices will give you an idea of what kind of radios will be utilized.

You could be working with a classroom where iPads are used during instruction or tests. It’s possible that every student gets a Chromebook. Or maybe it’s a distribution center utilizing hand scanners for inventory and shipping. Read More »

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Cisco and Illinois School District Make Learning Fun

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Morris (IL) Elementary School District 54 had a problem. The district had recently purchased and outfitted their students with 450 Chromebooks but only five of the computers would connect to a single WiFi coverage area. This spotty connection was frustrating students and teachers alike.

“We learned very quickly that we couldn’t have an effective one-to-one rollout without the infrastructure to support the number of devices we have,” says Dr. Teri Shaw, superintendent, Morris Elementary School District 54. “We needed to change gears and recover quickly before our one-to-one initiative turned into an epic failure.”

Shaw and the rest of the district turned to Cisco.

Thanks to Cisco and delivery partner Unified Concepts, Morris Elementary School District 54 was outfitted with a state-of-the-art wireless mobility solution. The solution was made up of the following Cisco products:

  • Cisco Aironet 3700 Series Access Point with integrated 802.11ac
  • Cisco 5508 Wireless Controller
  • Routing and Switching
  • Cisco Catalyst 3750-X Series Switches

Read More »

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Passpoint™ Wi-Fi and CMX Connect – Seamless and Secure

Throughout the next couple of months, I’ve decided to blog about the great technology Passpoint™ Wi-Fi and how CMX Connect can help. Since this is a series of blogs I’d like to focus this first installment primarily on what Passpoint Wi-Fi is. First thing to understand about Passpoint is that it is an industry standard that allows devices to connect to hotspots effortlessly and securely. Because of this, it’s a technology that businesses (and its customers) have long been waiting for.

The following charts depict top barriers for wider adoption, implementation and usage of Guest Wi-Fi. As you can see the seamless authentication is the top barrier.


I’m personally excited about Passpoint because of the seamless authentication and security it provides. For example, today’s mobile banking apps have become so easy to use that desktop versions seem difficult to use in comparison. My bank’s app even allows me to take a photo of a check and directly deposit the funds to my account within a matter of seconds. However, I’m only comfortable with mobile banking when using my home or office Wi-Fi because I know they’re WPA2 encrypted. Accessing private financial information is definitely not something I’m comfortable with within a public venue, using an unknown Wi-Fi portal.

So while the idea of providing guests with Wi-Fi is a generous one, using it can actually put personal information and devices at risk. Guest Wi-Fi is almost always open and rarely secured at Layer 2 due to the fact that deployment and operation is difficult when username/password or certificates are required. Furthermore, if a business uses username/password to secure their guest Wi-Fi they’re left with the challenge of knowing how to smoothly create and distribute user credentials without losing the guests’ attention.

The process of accessing Guest Wi-Fi for me, and many out there, is less than appealing because of these security issues and the lengthy process they require before allowing access the Internet. To combat this, businesses need to provide guests with a no-hassle way to maintain and distribute credentials to the guests using Layer 2 secured Guest Wi-Fi. This is where Passpoint comes into play.

According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint will transform the way users connect to Wi-Fi hotspot networks by making the process of finding and getting access to the right network seamless…when you are in a Passpoint-enabled hotspot, you’ll discover a newly smooth connectivity experience.” Read More »

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