2017 IT Preview: What to expect from our top partners in the new year

We’re only a couple of weeks into 2017, but we’ve already got a lot of technology to look forward to. From the launch of new products to updates of old ones, here’s a glimpse into what we can expect from the biggest names in tech this year. Continue Reading…

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Here’s how to take advantage of the Apple-Cisco partnership

wifiWe’ve been anxiously awaiting the fruits of the Apple-Cisco partnership and now we finally have the details.

Apple and Cisco have integrated their mobile and networking technologies to give users optimized Wi-Fi connectivity and streamlined VoIP capabilities, all while prioritizing business traffic. That means more reliable and faster speeds for employees connected to Cisco wireless networks.

Cisco and Apple have laid the groundwork for these enhancements, but system administrators will need to check a few boxes to make sure their users are up and running.

Let’s run through what network admins must know about these capabilities and how to enable them. Continue Reading…

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4 must-see technologies at Cisco Live 2016

SHI-Cisco-Live-2016The holy grail of IT might be the single pane of glass, but it eludes many IT professionals because of all the segmented technologies and platforms they have to manage. How can an organization get there? Two words: visibility and control.

Which is why those topics will be major themes at this year’s Cisco Live, which kicks off next week in Las Vegas.

Cisco’s many acquisitions in the last year, including Internet of Things (IoT) platform Jasper and a plethora of security-oriented companies, all weave around the common threads of visibility and control. These moves highlight the industry trend toward tools that provide more insights into an IT network and answer the call for stronger asset management. Continue Reading…

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How the Internet of Things is driving cost-saving efficiencies for manufacturers

Cisco Internet of Things for ManufacturingIf there’s one industry that demands efficiency, it’s manufacturing. Lined with robots and skilled workers side by side, modern assembly lines pump out millions of goods every year at record speeds. But nearly every line will experience maintenance shutdowns, can improve flow, and can correct designs and oversights.

Manufacturers are now combating those challenges with Internet of Things (IoT) devices that can bring about big results through data collection. In fact, 61 percent of North American manufacturing executives said they’d be willing to use IoT devices to monitor equipment for predictive maintenance services.

This is the next step in the evolution of industry, which has come a long way from the steam-powered 18th century. The mass production of the 20th century and the advent of robots in the 1970s sped production lines, and now those tools are getting smart. The digitization of manufacturing means smart devices and technological progress that’s opening new opportunities.

Welcome to Manufacturing 2.0, where IoT devices are boosting productivity, improving efficiency, and putting money into manufacturers’ pockets. Continue Reading…

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How one company regained visibility into its IT supply chain and saved nearly a million dollars

serversA multinational conglomerate needed hardware fast. After deciding to spin off one of its businesses, it needed to build data centers to equip the new entity with servers and storage.

The spinoff was on a tight timeline, but that wasn’t the only need for a speedy rollout. The new data centers required tight security controls that ensured customers’ data – designs and other intellectual property – wasn’t at risk. Continue Reading…

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2016 IT preview: What we’re expecting from the biggest players in tech

coming soonWill 2016 be the year we see the next industry-changing technology? Even if the next big thing doesn’t come, plenty of new products, improvements, and a few discontinuations are scheduled for the year.

Here’s a sneak peek into what we can expect from the biggest names in tech over the next 12 months. Continue Reading…

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The ONE answer: Cisco’s new licensing suite unlocks the power of software

unlockWe’ve said it plenty of times: Licensing is rarely simple. Cisco is trying to change that.

Enter Cisco ONE, a suite that bundles all available licensing options for a device or platform together in one package. With Cisco ONE, organizations are freed from the requirement of buying licenses on a feature-by-feature basis. Because these licenses are un-coupled from devices, organizations can plan for consistent hardware refreshes without having to buy new licenses. Continue Reading…

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What the Apple Cisco partnership means to you

partnershipWhat happens when two tech giants come together? A new era of networking and integration.

On Aug. 31, 2015, Tim Cook and John Chambers, the respective CEOs of Apple and Cisco, announced a partnership that creates a fast lane for iOS business users by optimizing Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps.

“iOS is the world’s best mobile platform, and nearly every Fortune 500 and Global 500 company today has put iOS at the center of their mobile strategy,” said Cook. “iPhone and iPad have become essential tools for the modern workforce and are changing the way work gets done. Together with Cisco, we believe we can give businesses the tools to maximize the potential of iOS and help employees become even more productive using the devices they already love.”

Before the digital ink was dry, questions about the partnership’s ramifications were being asked in IT departments around the world. What does the partnership mean to customers? What implications does it have on the broader market? How will other ecosystem partners be affected? Continue Reading…

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How to optimize your SMARTnet agreements

Cisco SMARTnetIT managers, take a second and think about your organization’s management of your Cisco SMARTnet agreements. If a hardware unit fails and needs replacing, how soon must that occur? When are your contracts up for renewal? If an emergency arises and you pick up the phone to call Cisco, do you know what service level your contract entitles you to?

While you think, ponder this astonishing fact: Cisco reports that 82 percent of all organizations that call into Cisco’s Technical Assistance Center (TAC) have incorrect information about their SMARTnet contracts and coverage.

Many customers have relayed uncertainty and confusion regarding management of their SMARTnet contracts to SHI. The disconnect between their contracted benefits and their understanding of those entitlements stems from four main issues: multiple SMARTnet contracts supporting a single organization, varied end dates, unaligned service levels, and SMARTnet purchases made through several different vendors.

Here’s another stat all IT professionals should know: 30 percent of all Cisco products are going end of life in the next three years, according to a recent SMARTnet webinar. Now is the time for organizations to start planning ahead and budgeting for the future. Continue Reading…

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