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Mobility Video Blog du jour: Adding Context Awareness to the Mobility Network

Aside from access and voice services, what else can businesses do with their wireless networks? This is something I think many mobility application providers and innovators maintain their focus on a daily basis. Here is the setup: since a WLAN is available, I can roam around the office and campus while maintaining a connection to check email and access unified communication-type applications like messaging. Grand. I can make phone calls with a voice over Wi-Fi phone. Grand. If I did not have an actual handset available, then I could use my IP softphone client installed on my laptop to make phone calls. Grand. (I’m sure many users are over it, but my IP softphone client has a high usability and practicality factor, especially when I work from home or away from my desk.) And, if I were to work in a retail store, I could use a mobile computer to check inventory levels or collaborate with team members to better serve customers. Grand. Not to digress-But, how about some of the not so often discussed mobility services? I’m talking about services that happen in the background, behind the scenes, yet have an impact to operations. I wanted to learn about some mobility services that do not get too much play, but deserve equal billing because I think they fall into the cool (literally) mobility application category.In this episode, I interview Isabelle Guis, senior manager of mobility solutions, and asked her what mobility-related area she has been focused on. (Mobility has been a long-standing hot topic, but Isabelle always adds that certain je ne sais quoi-) So I will not say more; but, watch and listen about how adding context awareness to a wireless network can benefit the carpeted enterprise and enterprises in the every vertical market, including healthcare and manufacturing. Also, Isabelle talks about what IT should look for when planning to deploy context awareness services within their organization.

Security and the Evolving Mobility Network

Thanks for tuning in for the second episode in our Mobility Video Blog series.It is clear that more mobile devices are entering the enterprise, and this trend does not show any signs of slowing with industry analysts predicting an additional 1.1 billion new mobile devices coming to the market in the next couple years.Security is a maintained concern with IT, especially with wireless and mobility; and with the expected wave of devices entering the enterprise, I interviewed Chris Kozup for his insight on the trends he is seeing that are related to securing a broader mobility network with a growing number of connecting end points and mobile users traversing multiple networks. Although businesses can not deny the benefits of mobility, they should be cognizant of emerging security threats, as well as adjust their strategy when evolving their mobility network.

New Cisco Mobility Video Blog Series

Welcome to the first in a series of video blogs that will discuss the challenges IT face for meeting the demands of mobility. With greater user expectations for mobility, new mobile devices and end points entering the market and organization environment, you will want to hear some of the insights and strategies addressed in the coming video blogs.In the pilot episode,”Mobility and the Converging Networks,” I interview Ben Gibson, and ask what Cisco is seeing as IT’s challenge for providing mobility to employees and mobile users as they are connecting to more disparate networks (both wired and wireless). Ben provides insight on what and how IT should consider when planning, managing and growing a mobility system. And finally, hear how Cisco sees mobility evolving. Thanks for watching, and stay tuned for a new episode next week!

Architecting a Reliable Wireless Network

Few question that the age of mobility is upon us. The emergence of a global economy is facilitated by the basic mobility of goods, services and people. For many, the idea of mobility has become second nature. Of course, the structures for mobility -transportation, logistics, infrastructure -must be robust and reliable lest the mobile quickly become immobile. Given this, it is critical that the wireless industry focus R&D on improving network performance and reliability. What makes this challenging is the need to do this from applications, to the network, and very importantly, to a wide range of mobile devices. To achieve this, businesses should focus on the following key areas when designing a highly available wireless network:- Managing the growth in wireless devices -Managing the growth and diversity of devices connecting to the network requires a continued focus on device compatibility and testing. Through its Cisco Compatible Extensions program, Cisco works with leading Wi-Fi silicon manufacturers to ensure simple, secure connections for a broad range of mobile devices. Another key need is ongoing interoperability testing and validation. While not widely known, Cisco has a very robust program in place, called Assurewave, to achieve just this. Read More »

Responding to CRN’s 802.11n Testing

CRN recently published an article profiling 802.11n performance testing of the Aironet 1250 Series access point. The article titled”Where’s Cisco with Wireless N?” ( profiles the results of their testing of Cisco’s 802.11n solution. The article was part of a larger story testing 802.11n products including Meru and Ruckus. Cisco declined to participate in the CRN product review due to basic differences in product testing methodology. Cisco asserts that the review of its 802.11n access point as presented by CRN misses some of the basic principles of product testing and as such is inconclusive on many levels. Firstly, CRN tested a product that was operating with an early version of software. As with any new hardware, users should seek the latest software to ensure optimal performance. The code for Cisco’s 802.11n access point has evolved quickly and the version used by CRN had already been through 4 subsequent releases. The most recent product code is always available for download from the Cisco website -a point that was overlooked by the CRN staff. Read More »