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Summary: BYOD and Collaboration Don’t Have to be Next National Security Threat

In a world where people are always on the go, it’s only natural that employees will use their own mobile platforms more often for collaboration.  However, the increase in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend for collaboration purposes brings about a number of security concerns in the workplace.

There are multiple capabilities that go into delivering an enterprise-class BYOD solution. The recent attention around the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance leak may have organizations across the globe reevaluating their strategies when it comes to BYOD security, but there are tools to minimize threats, such as: user authentication, network access control, and remote data wipe

We understand the need for an emphasis on security and have developed the tools to minimize the threat when it comes to your organizations’ BYOD strategy. Please take a look at our CTO of Collaboration, Laurent Philonenko’s recent No Jitter article about the many options and factors to consider when planning your BYOD security strategy.

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Cisco delivers new multivendor, interoperable communications solutions for government and enterprise industries

At Cisco we often talk about mobile workers and mean the types of employees who travel to other cities, states, and countries, or (even) work from home. However, there is another type of mobile worker we’re helping.  Someone I’ll call the “on-premise mobile worker”.  While this person may have a desk, they also have to travel around a small geography while keeping in touch with others on the job.  Think of police traveling within their city, local transportation employees surveying roadways and tunnels, or school resources officers on a school campus.  For many years these on-premise mobile workers kept in touch with radio. Eventually, some moved to mobile phones or tablets.  However, organizations with these types of workers often use more than one type of device and need a blended solution. A way to use both radio and IP together.

With this in mind, Cisco has introduced the Cisco IP Interoperability and Collaboration system solution. While the name is a mouthful – even the acronym IPICS is long – what this solution offers is quite simple. . Cisco IPICS helps organizations create a unified, integrated radio and IP communications system.  With this unified approach they’re able to manage distributed teams of people and mission critical communications over multiple radio networks and systems. This, in turn, helps improve incident response and decision making.

Cisco IPCS Solution Overview

Cisco IPICS Solution Overview

At Denton Independent School District in Texas, school resource officers have central command centers and rely on desktops with multiple large monitors.  However, they also have a field of school safety officers who are usually mobile as they traverse hallways and classrooms. With Cisco IP Interoperability and Collaboration Systems (IPICS), they can still perform their security duties while mobile, and monitor events  continuously as they are moving to the scene. Principals use IPICS on their iPads and iPhones to allow them to access any camera in the district from classrooms, hallways, cafeterias. With remote access capability they have increased situational awareness, and improved decision making with the ability to track the movement of individuals by switching camera views, which allows them to go straight to where they are needed, and resolve the situation much faster.

Cisco is now shipping its new IP interoperability and Collaboration System (IPICS) solution version 4.6, providing a new set of multivendor, interoperable communications capabilities for operations and dispatch centers across government and enterprise industries.

Cisco IPICS IP Dispatch Console

Cisco IPICS IP Dispatch Console

This new release of IPICS expands virtualization to the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS)E-Series, expands the Cisco open IP standards called Digital Fixed Station Interaface (DFSI) and offers customers a new SolutionPlus touch screen interface from IP Trade.

The IPICS Dispatch console has a new feature called “tear away items” allowing dispatchers to customize their screen real estate and includes new telephony features such as global phone book providing instant telephony communications with critical personnel.

Cisco’s IPICS 4.6 represents the next generation in open multivendor platforms. New features and functions in this release include the following:

  • Direct radio network interoperability—This release supports Inter RF Subsystem Interface (ISSI), Console Sub-System Interface (CSSI), and TIA P25 Digital Fixed Station Interface (DFSI) standards.
  • DFSI Gateway—This release includes a new P25 Conventional Gateway called DFSI gateway.
  • IP Command Touch Screen Dispatch Console—This new touch-screen dispatch capability is available through IP Trade, a Cisco SolutionsPlus partner.

    IP Trade Touchscreen Console

    IP Trade Touchscreen Console

  • Cisco Video Surveillance (VSM) Manager 7 support—Allows the integration of VSM videos with incidents.
  • Key management—This release provides features to manage the storage and distribution of keys for IDC users in “End to End” ISSIG mode, ISSI gateways, and DFSI gateways. These keys are used to encrypt and decrypt voice traffic on P25 TalkGroups and P25 Fixed Stations
  • TETRA radios—This release supports the configuration and use of TETRA radios.
  • SNMP configuration of SNMP V2 options for Cisco IPICS.
  • Language support to include French (Canadian), Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.
  • Cisco IP Phone high availability—The IPICS IP Phone client now supports high availability.
  • Updated Cisco UCS support—This release is extended as a virtualized application on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) E-Series.
  • Enhanced IP Dispatch Console features such as “Tear away items”—You can customize the appearance of the IDC by moving various items from the IDC Main window to any location on your computer screen and enhanced call transfer features allow consultative and blind call transfers,  and  an address book that lets you access and manage multiple contact lists and quickly call or send email to a contact

As Public Safety LTE standards evolve, users with dual mode phones will be able to roam between carrier based LTE networks and D-Block public safety LTE networks.


Additional Resources:
External Press Release

IPICS 4.6 data sheet

Universal Media Services data sheet

P25 Gateway data sheet


Integrated Collaboration Highlights and Updates from InfoComm 2013

What a great reception at InfoComm 2013! We had the opportunity to share with customers the innovations we are driving around conferencing to deliver better scale, quality and interoperability.  They are excited about what we are doing to make conferencing more affordable, while at the same time maintaining the high quality experience that they expect from Cisco.

It was fantastic to see such a high level of interest in our new pervasive conferencing announcements.  Here are a few highlights of what we demonstrated at the show:

  • Further increases in scale, enabling greater efficiencies and affordability – we now support up to 96 video systems in a single meeting and virtually unlimited participants through WebEx enabled TelePresence.
  • Simplified solution choice with a broader range of deployment options – now included is  virtualized software, and the new compact Multiparty 310 and Multiparty 320 appliance platforms.
  • Entry level packages for new customers – customers can now deploy a compact appliance solution, and start from one screen license.
  • Increased interoperability – we now provide support for interworking with H.264 SVC clients. Read More »

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Cisco’s IOT Connected Safety and Security applications at Cisco Live

Innovative Cisco’s IOT applications for Connected Safety and Security were showcased at the Cisco Live IOT Pavilion, Booth #1558, demonstrating Cisco’s IOT end to end portfolio capabilities and application benefits enabled by connecting the unconnected.

As you have probably heard by now, the Internet of Everything is all about connecting the unconnected. It is about creating the same kinds of efficiencies and new business models that came from the internet as we know it, but to now do that for the 99% of the world’s people, processes and devices that are not yet connected to the IP network. This includes things like cars, houses and machines, it includes people who work in industries like manufacturing, oil & gas, utilities, and mining, just to name a few.

Cisco’s definition of the “The Internet of Everything” brings together people, processes, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.”

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the connection of all machines, devices, sensors, automobiles, cameras and “things” to help customers improve operations and save valuable time, money and even lives.

Cisco’s IOT applications for Connected Physical Security solutions are part of Cisco’s Internet of Things (IOT) portfolio and are delivering on Cisco’s vision for Internet of Everything (IOE) today:  Securing the Internet of Things.


IOT End to End Portfolio

IOT End to End Portfolio

Cisco’s Internet of Everything initiative is about connecting the unconnected – all of the people, processes and devices that currently are not enabled by the IP network. This includes traditional enterprise environments and also all of the organizations whose employees work outside a traditional office. Think of agriculture, construction, manufacturing, healthcare, mining, energy, etc… All of these activities and jobs include machinery, electronics, people and operations that represent huge opportunities for driving productivity, efficiency and new ways to interact by harnessing the power of new forms of data and by integrating business processes.

Question: So why are Cisco’s IOT applications for Connected Safety and Security more important and relevant to enterprise and governments, than ever before? … and how do Cisco’s IOT applications for Connected Safety and Security help solve key challenges as “The Internet of Everything” brings together people, processes, data and things?

Answer: As Read More »

TC 6.2 Enhances Redundancy and Resiliency

I know it just seems like yesterday I was talking about the Cisco TelePresence TC 6.1 software update. But we are moving fast and at InfoComm 2013 we unveiled TC6.2 software release for Cisco TelePresence endpoints including the EX, MX and C Series as well as the Profile and SX20.

This latest release includes enhanced capabilities for redundancy and resiliency when registering endpoints directly to Cisco Unified Call Manager.  With this new system, calls can never be lost during a switch. Another great benefit is “active conference control”, where end-users now can take more control of their conference experience from the Cisco Touch User Interface, something that was previously only enabled by an administrator. Also, as part of Cisco’s strong architectural approach on interoperability we are adding support for H.264 SVC to our TC based endpoints. This means we can do native interoperability with other vendor’s solutions like Microsoft Lync 2013 and Polycom endpoints using the H.264 SVC standard.

These new features ensure the best user experience across Cisco TelePresence endpoints.

To hear about the latest enhancements to TC 6.2, watch the video below.

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