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The Rush Hour That Wasn’t So Rushed

Every morning, many of us have the same routine: the alarm goes off, we (reluctantly) get up and maybe hit the gym before showering and getting dressed. We gulp down a cup of coffee or bowl of cereal as we rush out the door to try and beat the traffic to work.

What if there was a better way? What if rush hour wasn’t so rushed? Picture leaving for work in your car one morning while it’s raining. As you begin your normal commute, a car half a mile ahead is involved in a fender bender due to the slick roads. Before the accident can snarl rush hour for everyone in the area, the connected network jumps into action. Safety systems on board the car involved in the accident automatically send alerts about airbag deployment so the network can pinpoint the reason for the delay and make an evaluation of the time it will take to clear the accident based on road assistance availability. Video surveillance allows 911 operators to quickly evaluate the seriousness of the situation – a two-car fender bender versus a multi-car pileup – and dispatch first responders or tow trucks accordingly.

As roadside help is on its way, the intelligent network synchronizes the traffic lights around the congested area to keep you and everyone else moving. Based on your new estimated time of arrival to the office, your calendar automatically updates, changing your first in-person meeting to a conference call via WebEx, instead, that you take from your cell phone in your car.

At the same time that you are rerouted around the accident scene, the transit authority automatically sends notifications through smartphone apps to riders citywide of delayed buses, offering alternate routes. But there is no rushing here – the transit authority talks to the alarm clocks, too, updating them to ring five minutes earlier. What if, on top of all those transit updates, your connected coffee machine updates, too, so that it makes you that cup of Joe as soon as the alarm goes off at the new time? That’s something I’d certainly appreciate!

The Internet of Everything is making these things possible. It is changing every aspect of our lives today – even the little things that we might not think about. Notifying commuters of traffic delays and offering alternate options can improve customer experiences and increase ridership. That can, in turn, reduce the number of cars stuck in traffic, improving the quality of the environment and even people’s health. People, process, data and things work together thanks to a unified framework approach, creating value for individuals and businesses alike.

Explore the interactive image above to learn more about the changes that IoE is making possible. And share your thoughts! Send me a tweet: @JimGrubb.

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The Sixth Step to Enterprise Mobility: Power to Your People

This is the sixth post in a blog series featuring Vine-format videos focusing on the “Six Essential Steps for Unleashing the Power of Enterprise Mobility”. The first blog post discussing how to build a mobile structure can be found here. The second blog post highlighting the benefits going virtual can be found here. The third blog post focused on preparing enterprises for the division of devices can be found here. The fourth blog post focused on creating an app checkpoint can be found here. The fifth blog post focused on defending data can be found here.

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Watch video at http://youtu.be/3kD5EpXypFc

Over the course of this series, we’ve discussed how enterprises can better enable people to work in their own way, regardless of where they are and what device they are using. We started by making smart plans at an architecture level and then implementing secure policies along the way. The final step enterprises need to take may be the hardest one of all but can yield the greatest results. To increase productivity, business agility, and customer satisfaction, enterprises must actively embrace mobility in the workplace. Here’s a short checklist to help organizations with this last step:

1. Go Beyond Provisioning Mobility for Sales: Think “All-Company” Mobility.

The definition of mobility is expanding to include not just “road warriors” but also “corridor warriors,” as well as guest and home workers.

Make sure your mobility architecture is designed to accommodate them all. Then create a phased implementation plan. Determine which users and business processes you want to prioritize first and move forward at a pace that makes sense for your enterprise.

An all-hands-on-deck approach will also help drive future implementation of mobile solutions. Read More »

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Get Your Network Ready For iOS7

September 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm PST

In their highly anticipated announcement this week, Apple introduced two new phones, the iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, and confirmed that iOS 7 would be released on September 18th. Techies like myself took note that iOS 7 will include quite a number of new features. We at Cisco want to help you understand what iOS 7 means for your network, so here’s a quick blog to sum it up:

How does iOS 7 impact your wireless networks?

Soon your employees and guests will be upgrading to IOS 7. Did you know up to 20% of traffic to mobile devices is software upgrades, application updates and synchronizing your devices via the cloud? Cisco’s Application Visibility and Control technology can help you identify and tame these applications and is available on the routers, Wireless LAN and visible via Prime Infrastructure. In addition, Cisco’s ISR can cache these updates to reserve valuable and expensive WAN bandwidth. More details about protecting the WAN is available in another blog.

If you leverage a Captive Portal, you will experience a change in behavior. Apple has enhanced the Captive Network Assistant (CNA) functionality iOS 7 making it more robust. Cisco has proactively developed and tested a new version of wireless LAN controller code to interoperate with Apple’s new implementation while ensuring a seamless experience for all other clients.

Finally iOS 7 also has significant security and manageability enhancements to improve productivity for the enterprise.

What do you need to do in order to optimize for iOS 7? Read More »

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IoE: Dead or Alive on Wireless

September 12, 2013 at 2:51 am PST

When we examine the average wireless client on a network today, we see a few options. There is the smartphone, the tablet, or the laptop. Even the Apple TV and Roku are often based off of similar technology and chipsets. All of these devices connect to a wide range of services, often consuming large amounts of bandwidth: we stream music while we browse; we video chat with friends, family, and coworkers across the globe; catch up on our favorite shows or sports teams. Occasionally, we do all of these things at the same time.

Our current wireless networks are built to handle this type of traffic. With 802.11AC, it is clear that we will be ready for anything that our standard client will encounter in the near future.  But what happens when the standard client model is broken?  The increasing shift to an Internet of Everything (IoE) forces us to face this question about the future of wireless clients.

There are lots IoE devices already on the market, and the next couple of years will see developments not that dissimilar from those during the “internet revolution” of the late 90′s. Finally, the average user will have the access and the ability to afford the smart homes we have been dreaming of for the past thirty-plus years. Read More »

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The Fifth Step to Enterprise Mobility: Defending Your Data

This is the fifth post in a blog series featuring Vine-format videos focusing on the “Six Essential Steps for Unleashing the Power of Enterprise Mobility”. The first blog post discussing how to build a mobile structure can be found here. The second blog post highlighting the benefits going virtual can be found here. The third blog post focused on preparing enterprises for the division of devices can be found here. The fourth blog post focused on creating an app checkpoint can be found here

In a 2012 survey of IT executives and CEOs, nearly half of the companies that permit mobility and BYOD reported experiencing a data or security breach as a result of an employee-owned device accessing the corporate network. In addition, security concerns continue to remain a key issue for decision makers looking to deploy additional mobile solutions such as enterprise mobile apps, according to a recent article from IT Pro.

Careful planning can help enterprises manage security concerns and harness the power of mobility. Here’s a brief checklist to help organizations secure devices, data and the network:

Watch the video: http://youtu.be/k8ytncvjE7M

Watch the video: http://youtu.be/k8ytncvjE7M

1. IT Pushing of Capability Down to End Devices

 IT needs to be able to push capabilities down to end devices and access control for both on-premises and off-premises apps, while providing pull capabilities for users, so they can self-provision apps.

IT must have the ability to apply situational control policies (for example, for disabling cameras on mobile devices in order to protect on-premises company assets when employees and guests are on corporate premises or in restricted areas). Another must have? The ability to remotely locate, lock, and wipe devices should there be a theft or if an employee leaves the company. It is also essential to be able to automate geo-specific policies to control roaming costs when workers are out of country. Read More »

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