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Leveling the Playing Field

What’s a poor brick-and-mortar retailer supposed to do? The competitive landscape seems to be permanently titled toward online retailers. Virtual sellers seem to enjoy facility and inventory advantages unavailable to their physical kin. They even get favorable tax policies from states that want to encourage internet growth.

Even with these asymmetric advantages, it’s the real-time insights available to online enterprises that provide a real game changer. By better understanding customer what a customer is viewing and their past history, a virtual store can provide guided advice specifically tailored to the individual shopper. Talk about targeted marketing.

Sure, the physical enterprise has strengths the online world doesn’t. Like first-person customer service and products that customers can touch, feel, and try on. But that real-time insight the retailers use so well? Out of reach.

Until now. With our acquisition of ThinkSmart, Cisco can help level the playing field.

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Get your Wi-Fi network ready for Windows 8

October 12, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

Microsoft will launch Windows 8 in late October. Along with a slew of other features, it will be among the first to support the 802.11w standard to protect Management Frames for client devices on Wi-Fi networks.

Customers running old Cisco unified releases (between 4.2 to 7.2) in local, Flex or mesh mode will run into an interoperability bug (CSCua29504, to be exact) that prevents 802.11w enabled clients from connecting to a Cisco WLAN with Management Frame Protection (MFP) enabled. This bug does not affect customers running autonomous access point deployments or customers running Cisco unified releases older than 4.2.

What are the possible solutions for you?

1. Please upgrade your production environment to one of the following releases, which will interoperate with Windows 8.

  • 7.3.101.0
  • 7.2.111.3
  • 7.0.235.3

2. Roll back to pre-windows 8 drivers as identified in the Microsoft Knowledge Base article.
3. Fall back to TKIP
4. Sign up for a beta release for Cisco’s upcoming feature release 7.4 (beta available now!) that supports the 802.11w feature in local mode.

What is 802.11w ?

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Public Sector BYOD Series: Streamline IT for a Mobile-Ready Work Strategy

For this week’s final Public Sector BYOD Thursday post, I wanted to discuss a survey  that illustrated what employees want and need when it comes to IT in the workplace:

  • Control over the work experience—the ability to use technology to personal preference, in ways that improve productivity and enhance job satisfaction.
  • Choice when it comes to devices and the ability to use preferred, personally owned devices to complete work-related tasks.
  • Flexibility to perform personal activities at work and work activities on personal time.
  • Mobility that enables anytime, anywhere connections to colleagues, customers and partners.

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Cisco ushers in the Next Generation in Enterprise Class Wi-Fi Connectivity

Last week at Interop New York, we unveiled theAironet Access Point 2600 and Aironet Access Point 1600. They join the Aironet Access Point 3600 (launched earlier this year) to make up Cisco’s second generation “G2” enterprise class 802.11n Cisco Aironet Access Points, a key component of Cisco’s Unified Access solution: one network.

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Application Visibility & Control: CleanAir at the Applications Level

October 8, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

The Problem:

There are many challenges IT managers face on a daily basis. As the proliferation of user devices and the growth in business, personal and collaborative applications continue to grow, almost exponentially, these challenges only make the job of an IT manager harder. For instance, imagine what goes through the mind of an IT administrator who is responsible for helping a hospital and medical school get a handle on device and application growth and usage:

  • Is a guest or patient downloading movies using Bit-Torrent –in other words, stealing valuable airtime away from my mission-critical applications?
  • My network supports a mixed use of guests, employees and vendors/doctors. Without prioritizing applications on the network, employees risk losing productivity and response time to patients, insurance providers, labs. Can I prioritize business-class applications such as Cisco Webex/Jabber and de-prioritize the applications such as Netflix?
  • Who are my top 10 users and the top 10 upstream and downstream applications? Can I save a detailed report of all application flows in my network for compliance purposes?
  • The number of devices, number of users is exploding, and use of video is growing 50% year over year. Should I add more access points in my auditorium or conference room areas? Or should I upgrade to 802.11ac for more capacity?

Enter Cisco Application Visibility Control(AVC) integrated into wireless infrastructure.

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