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On a Quest for an Alternative Desktop

Sales teams everywhere are embracing recent advancements in technology—think smart devices, mobility, and wireless. But expectations and requirements of implementing a mobile management strategy can put a high demand on IT departments to ensure network accessibility, security, and scalability.

While business and IT are meshing more and more, it’s important to understand that they’re still not the same thing. Your company needs to be able to focus on your core competency, whatever it may be. To keep focus in your area of expertise, have you considered outsourcing? Finding a trusted managed services provider means that you don’t have to sacrifice the advantages of innovative technology to business—you can still gain the benefits, without the time, expenses, and headaches.

Unleashing IT has a new, special edition coming soon that highlights Cisco Powered™ Cloud and Managed Services. Our experts team up with other industry leaders to find you a solution that fits your business objectives. Outsourcing your desktops or infrastructure to the cloud allows your data to be readily available and accessible yet secure, and removes burden of IT management.

Featured customer JMAC Lending, a wholesale mortgage lending company in California, began tossing around the idea of outsourcing their IT and moving desktops to the cloud. Sensitive customer data was a big concern—JMAC needed to have access to information on the go while ensuring it was not accessible to just anyone. To eliminate risk, JMAC wanted to allow company desktops to be available to its sales team from anywhere—in a secure environment—without having the data stored on personal devices, or even viewable by the service provider.

They found a suitable solution from Cisco Powered service provider Quest Technology Management, and their desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) vision came to life. Read the full article on UnleashingIT.com. And pre-order your own copy of Unleashing IT: Cisco Powered Special Edition to read similar experiences with managed services from Cisco.

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Empower Your Employees with a #MobileWorkspace

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[Webinar] Mobilize Your Employees with Cisco Solutions for a Mobile Workspace

We discussed the considerations behind the Cisco-Citrix Mobile Workspace solution to set the stage for the CVD (design guide available now!) earlier this month, and now we’ve planned a great technical deep-dive for customers and partners interested in finding out more about the Mobile Workspace Solution. It’s going to be at 10am PST Wednesday June 4, 2014 (Click to Register).

 Organizations are moving from just dealing with bring your own device (BYOD) and the influx of mobile devices to proactively developing solutions that use the full power of mobility. Because of the complexities and fluid technology horizon, this is often simpler said than done. Now you can simplify and accelerate your mobility projects by deploying a comprehensive mobility solution that has been tested and validated end to end.  Read More »

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Enterprise Mobility and the Award-Winning Cisco Prime Service Catalog

We are proud to announce that the Cisco IT internal implementation of Cisco Prime Service Catalog, dubbed the Cisco IT “eStore”, was honored (and ranked #25) in the InformationWeek Elite 100 awards this week – as one of the most innovative uses of business technology in 2014. You can read more about the awards here.

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(If you haven’t heard about Cisco IT’s eStore, be sure to check out my recent write-up about eStore. You can also read the case study here, and read more from Adel du Toit who blogged about Cisco IT’s initiative here last June.)

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The Cisco IT eStore was also nominated as a finalist for a Consumerization of IT in the Enterprise (CITE) award. Stay tuned as the award winners will be announced at the CITE conference at the end of this month.

We are thrilled to see Cisco IT being recognized for it’s internal Cisco Prime Service Catalog deployment.  It’s a great testament to the innovative partnership between our product engineering teams and our internal IT organization.

That’s not all … This week at Interop Las Vegas, adjacent to the InformationWeek Elite 100 awards ceremony, was the announcement of the new Cisco Mobile Workplace Solution – where Cisco Prime Service Catalog serves as the unified IT storefront for mobility services (you can read a great overview of the new solution from Jonathan’s blog post here). We showcased a live demo of the award-winning Cisco IT internal implementation of the Cisco Prime Service Catalog: the Cisco IT eStore.

As enterprise IT organizations adopt and implement their mobility strategies, they are learning just how much their end users expect and need in today’s increasingly mobile environment. For example, they need a simple, easy-to-use, and automated solution for ordering all of the mobility and other workplace services an IT organization may offer – rather than having separate portals for requesting smartphones, tablets, mobile apps, desktop software, laptops, or BYOD services. A unified service catalog and single access point for all IT services increases workforce productivity, with a better employee experience and improved satisfaction with IT.

As Jonathan describes in the blog post linked above, organizations typically begin from a device-focused approach. IT often focuses on corporate-liable devices or employee owned devices, providing an easy way to onboard these devices and access basic services. Then, organizations progress to the application-focused phase, where the enterprise leverages mobile applications to provide productivity and empower employees.

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The third and final step in the enterprise mobility journey is experience-focused. After having fulfilled the initial device-focused and app-focused stages, organizations are becoming experience-focused and prioritizing service automation to improve the employee experience and provide an easy-to-use, automated self-service experience.

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Collaboration: Changing the Way We Work

It was not so long ago that people would often have to make difficult choices about their work. Your dream job might open up 3,000 miles away. Your new job means leading a team on the other side of the world. Your day is spent on the road meeting with customers, not in an office. In the past, working men and women have been forced to choose: Do I uproot my family to take advantage of a new job opportunity that could bring greater financial security? Will I need to travel a majority of the time to effectively lead my team? What will I lose during hours of travel time? Companies faced similar choices: Are we missing out on talent because they are not local? How do we connect different locations and geographies effectively?  Can our dispersed teams be more productive and more connected? If we require an employee to move, do we risk losing the employee? Can we afford the increasing relocation costs?

And then the Internet changed everything.

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Virtualizing the Desktop: A stepping stone towards the Unified Workspace?

May 17, 2012 at 9:45 am PST

Last week during Interop Las Vegas, I was able to witness and participate in all sorts of conversations about virtualization, and its effect on the way we deploy, deliver and consume applications and services.

Virtualization itself is not a new topic, but given the way our environment has been shaping lately, it is becoming more and more relevant. In this new world we all carry multiple devices, we are always on the move, and the definition whether the app we are using is running from the cloud or from our devices is increasingly irrelevant.

Users do not care about the technology, or the role of virtualization or cloud, as long as they have access to the applications and data they need, whenever they need it. We sometimes think the users should care, but in reality, it is IT that should care, and not the users. And that is a big distinction.

This of course is not a surprise, but I perceived a sense of impatience and even annoyance from some of the users that I was able to question about this matter. I got a really clear message that whatever is the future of the desktop--or the workspace as more and more people refer to it, should be delivered to them soon.

As for the important characteristics of this workspace, from the users’ perspective:

  • Access to it has to be transparent. They must have an ‘on-demand’ connectivity environment that allows them to have secure access to the data and/or applications they need to complete the tasks at hand, without worrying about authenticating every time, on the device of their choice. Solutions such as Cisco AnyConnect and the Cisco Identity Services Engine provide these capabilities, and clearly there is pent up demand for such a solution deployed broadly across the enterprise.

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