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Developers, Developers Developers! Cius Developer Program and Droidcon London 2011

In a classic performance, captured here on Youtube, Steve Balmer does a pretty good job of illustrating his feelings on the importance of developers. We share his enthusiasm.

You have probably already heard that we have an enterprise tablet, the Cius, with corporate telepresence, baked-in security/encryption, VXI, docking stations, display out and a bunch of other features that make it the ideal corporate citizen. One of those features of particular note to developers is the enterprise app store, AppHQ. The AppHQ makes it easier for Cius owners to find apps, while providing an easy route to market for developers. Of course, things like the AppHQ are far more interesting when well stocked with interesting apps, which brings us to the next point…

Cius Developer Program

Speaking of developers, Cisco has a substantial developer network, not surprisingly called the Cisco Developer Network. Better yet, part of that larger effort is the Cius Developer program. We make it easy. Cius uses the popular Android OS, the apps you write will appear in the Cisco AppHQ (if you charge for your apps, you get 70%) and we will help you along the way, with forums, extensive documentation including a solid API reference, and sample code and apps. By the way, did you know what 85% of the Fortune 500 use Cisco Unified Communications?

Droidcon

To help get the word out on the Cius Developer program, Cisco will be at Droidcon London. Participate in our “Crack the Code” breakout session with Marcus O’ Sullivan, Business Development at Cisco on the first day at 2:40 PM in room two. Then, have a drink on us; we’ll be sponsoring drinks later in the exhibit hall. On the second day, Tim Stone, Cisco Business Development Director will give a key note on the insights on enterprise mobility strategies first day at 9:35 AM in the auditorium.

If you miss some of these events, that’s okay, you can always drop by our booth, [booth number] any time—you wouldn’t be able to miss it. Bring some ideas, we’ll be glad to chat with you about the possibilities that are out there for you.

We are also giving away two Cius tablets at Droidcon—just drop your business card off at one of the events or at our booth and we will pick two winners!

So, if you can, please join us at Droidcon – we look forward to hearing from you. If you can’t make it to Droidcon, we certainly encourage you to join the Cius Developer Program.

Remember, there are lots of ecosystems out there but the good ones all have one thing in common…

Developers, developers, developers!

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A Customer Story: Hospital uses Cisco CleanAir technology to rapidly isolate radio interference in “noisy” environment

We all see a growing trend of using wireless technologies in hospitals due to its benefits in cutting healthcare costs and increasing accessibility for patients and healthcare providers. Wireless applications have the potential to improve care by providing real-time access to a patient’s medical history including treatments, medications, laboratory tests, insurance information and more.

Our customer, Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics – one of the leading children’s hospitals in the U.S.—works tirelessly to help ensure healthcare providers, administrators, and patients have access to leading technologies. So when it came to managing the hospitals’ wireless network, IT managers knew they needed a best-in-class solution.  Deploying the right wireless technologies is not only a matter of adopting reliable solutions – it’s also about putting the systems in place to identify and mitigate wireless interference, which can be a major challenge at a busy hospital.

To combat this, the hospital deployed the Cisco Aironet 3500 Series access points throughout the campus to enable high-performance 802.11n wireless services and Cisco CleanAir technology to both troubleshoot problem areas and optimize the wireless environment. The IT team quickly identified and addressed many areas of interference, including pinpointing that some interference was coming from public buses changing traffic lights at a nearby bus stop.  With the powerful Cisco environment, Children’s Mercy Hospitals is moving to a “self-healing” wireless network that will automatically fix itself when interference is encountered.

Listen to what the customer has to say about their deployment and Cisco CleanAir: Watch now. You can also read and download the PDF version.

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Announcing a New Flavor of Cisco Identity Services Engine for Wireless Networks – Cisco’s “Smart Bouncer” for Your Network

During last month’s Cisco Live event in Las Vegas, we invited a few guests to take a tour of the data center of one of our customers, Switch Communications Group. Switch hosts data and servers for several casinos and government agencies, among other high-profile customers, and they take security VERY seriously.  

As Don Clark of the Wall Street Journal described, once the guests passed through security – which included a holding room and confiscated IDs – armed guards monitored every step the guests took while inside the data center, and strictly enforced all policies that disallowed any photography and basically touching anything. 

You could think of this experience as a metaphor for the capabilities of Cisco’s Identity Services Engine (ISE) – just without the armed guards.

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Tips to make your next site survey 100% more fun!

August 12, 2011 at 10:21 am PST

My first project at Cisco was a wireless site survey at a large hospital complex. The hospital wanted a new 802.11n network with CleanAir APs and the ability to track hospital equipment, make Vo-Fi calls and provide guest access for devices like the iPad.  The scope was to survey an estimated 3 million square feet of the facility, which wasn’t even all of the buildings! My retail background consisted of either stores or distribution centers, mostly with fairly large square footage, so my first thought was this shouldn’t take long. What is 3 million square feet, when an average distribution center was 1.5 million square feet?

What didn’t occur to me initially, but did very shortly after looking at a floor plan, is the huge difference in the purpose of the buildings. For starters there are a lot of rooms in a hospital, where as in retail there is primarily just large open spaces. Having to walk in and out of room after room, really adds a lot of time to a survey. Additionally many of the rooms have been re-purposed over time to meet the changing needs of the hospital. For example, rooms now used as administrative or doctor offices were at one time used as isolation rooms for patients, or various other uses that make RF propagation less than ideal. Another challenge was restricted pharmaceutical areas where badge and key access is tightly controlled. This doesn’t necessary pose a challenge in terms of providing coverage, but it does when you are walking your survey and you suddenly find yourself locked out of a room!

After many trips to the hospital and countless number of hours roaming hallways and going in and out of room, I have found that a few things have become almost second nature when I am getting things prepped or planning for a return trip. Below I have a few things that might help WLAN Engineers when planning for their next survey project. While none of these are directly related to the finer technical points of a survey, like configuring your survey APs power level importing floor plans into tools like Air Magnet, they will make life much less frustrating!

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Tablets Welcomed: Will you create the “killer” enterprise app?

Last week’s blog highlighted ways you can improve the user experience by preparing your network to meet the challenges associated with the sea of devices entering the corporate networks. Ultimately however, productivity is not only going to be depended on the freedom to choose a device, or the ease of access to information, or the quality of the connection when consuming bandwidth intensive content. It will largely be depended on the tools available on those devices – in other words “the apps”.

Most desk-bound knowledge workers will be quite content using existing productivity tools such as word processing, spreadsheet, or presentation software already available in the various app stores. There will however be many other types of workers that can tremendously benefit from having applications that are turbo-charged with network intelligence.

What do I mean by that? Well, you will just have to watch the video where Jagdish Girimaji, product manager for the Mobility Services Engine (MSE), outlines what network information can be exposed to make tablet applications more intelligent.

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