Cisco Redefines Intelligence in Wiring Closet Switches – A Must For UC, Integrated Security and Mobility

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March 27th, 2008

Ish LimkakengWiring closet switches are undergoing a renaissance of sorts. Once thought of as simple network connectivity devices, they are now central to network security, mobility, PoE distribution, IP phone and UC connection devices etc. Wiring closet switches are pervasive as they connect all end points into an enterprise network distributing network services throughout a corporation. TCO of these switches breakdown as 20/80% capital/operational spend resulting in switch design, network management plus reliability and serviceability features possessing a demonstrable effect toward lowering TCO. I talk with Ish Limkakeng Senior Director of Marketing for the Desktop Switching unit at Cisco Systems about wiring closet switches and the new basis of competition and buying criteria that has emerged.

Lippis Report Issue 102: Is UC Innovation Accelerating Faster Than The Market Can Absorb?

March 24th, 2008

Communications or I should say dial tone did not change much in over 100 years. But since 1996 when Cisco, 3Com, ShoreTel, et al launched the IP telephony industry, change has been enormous. IP telephony brings communications into Moore's Law, accelerating it at the pace of computing and semiconductor density advances. This rapidly reduced cost, and in less than ten years IP telephony solutions offer a lower acquisition and operational cost model than TDM telephony. But in only the past eighteen months, IP telephony has transformed into unified communications (UC) being wrapped into software economics which has allowed Avaya, Siemens, et al to announce UC feature-rich packages that cost as low as fifteen cents a day. While Moore's Law is an innovation accelerator, software economics is proving to be a multiplier to this accelerator. All this innovation and competition is usually good, but for UC I'm finding that business and IT leaders are thinking that innovation is moving faster than they can absorb it into their organizations.

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Empowered Branch: Make Your Branch Office as Productive as Headquarters

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March 24th, 2008

By Cisco Systems

In today's business environment, branch offices are enjoying unprecedented productivity, decision-making authority, and innovation. This paper introduces the factors that are elevating the importance of the branch office, the significance of transforming the branch office for your business, and how Cisco delivers value through the Empowered Branch.

Cisco ASR-1000 Series Routers: Transforming the Network Edge for Enhanced Managed Services

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March 24th, 2008

By Cisco Systems

Managed service providers (MSPs) that use the Cisco ASR-1000 series routers are equipped to deliver instant activation of services, full performance without compromise, and high availability. MSP services offerings are comprised of fully outsourced network-management arrangements, including advanced features such as IP telephony, messaging and call centers, VPNs, managed firewalls, and monitoring and reporting of LANs. MSPs can perform most of these services from outside a company’s internal network, with special emphasis on integration and certification of Internet security for applications and content. Given that technology changes are so fast-paced, businesses that require faster innovation absorption may look to MSPs to enable applications that allow quicker deployment.

Top 5 Considerations for Cisco Unified Communications Deployments for Telecommuters

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March 24th, 2008

By Cisco Systems

Organizations are seeking to take full advantage of their unified communications deployments by extending these services to remote locations and to telecommuters. Working from home provides benefits to both employees and businesses, including flexible working, better work-life balance for employees, and helping to lower the carbon footprint of the organization. This white paper provides the top 5 considerations when making decisions about extending a unified communications system to support telecommuting.

Voice Integration with Cisco Enhanced EasyVPN

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March 24th, 2008

By Cisco Systems

Maintaining data confidentiality is an ongoing IP security challenge that has become a key concern as organizations replace traditional telephony systems with IP-based systems. The threat of eavesdropping and loss of confidentiality in an IP-based environment pose a range of risks including breaches of industry regulations and negative impacts on corporate image. As IP-based voice systems evolve into unified communications, extending beyond the corporate network to include remote access services, the requirements for a flexible confidentiality solution grows.

This white paper describes how to integrate voice with Cisco Enhanced Easy VPN to provide voice quality control as well as data and voice security to the corporate network and improve productivity for enterprise teleworkers and small office/home office (SOHO) users.

Changing Business, Changing Lives

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March 24th, 2008

By Avaya

Today’s global economy coupled with business and market trends are changing the way we work. At the same time our generation is witness to a new era in communications that reduces human and system delay in business process, hastening workflow and making corporations more competitive. This paper by Avaya is the best example I have read of bringing into focus communications-enabled business processes and how business and IT leaders are exploiting them for corporate gain. The paper details excellent examples of Whirlpool, MMG Insurance, Commerce Bank, Pacific Urology, Bury Metropolitan Government Agency and Nextel.

Retail Store 2.0: Communications and IT Address Retailers Business Concerns

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March 24th, 2008

Bruce Mazza, Director of Branch Solutions for AvayaRetail business executives are measured on customer experience, revenue and productivity. Retail IT executives are expected to lower TCO while being integral to addressing the most pressing retail issues, that being customer brand loyalty and creating an environment which delivers an excellent experience. The communications industry is driving new value in retail stores with what I call Retail Store 2.0 (RS 2.0). RS 2.0 addresses retail executive concerns including creating brand loyalty, delivering good to excellent service, lowering TCO, simplifying communications, and delivering improved visibility, security and control of communications. Bruce Mazza, Director of Branch Solutions and Leslie Levy, Senior Manager of Retail Solutions, both from Avaya discuss value creation in retail and multi-site environments through Intelligent Store Architecture.

Intelligent Communications Powers the Next Wave of Productivity Growth

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March 24th, 2008

By Zeus Kerravala, Yankee Group

The combination of IP networks and ubiquitous connectivity has created a world that seems much smaller today than it did in the past. As the world continues to shrink, the concept of place and time is no longer a barrier to corporate communications. Additionally, our extended enterprise continues to grow. It's not just internal employees that rely on corporate information; it is also customers, suppliers, vendors, partners and anyone else in a company's demand-through supply chain.

To truly harness the power of the extended enterprise, companies need to deploy an intelligent communications strategy that combines traditional communications and collaboration tools with business applications. In this white paper Zeus Kerravala of the Yankee Group details a Road Map to Intelligent Communications and its business value backed up with case study examples.

Intelligent Branch Office Communication Strategies

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March 17th, 2008

Podcast guestsCustomers demand personalized and relevant brand interaction at every touch point be it on the web, call centers, online and particularly in-branch. The brand experience must flow consistently across these channels. Smart multi-channel retailers "“ especially those with traditional branch marketers like department stores, home improvement, retail banking services – even branch-delivered healthcare are realizing the value creation possible by investing in communications innovation of their core brick and mortar investments. This alignment of the customer experience across channels ensures consistently good customer interaction, increased productivity and ultimately – brand loyalty and increased revenues. Avaya's Craig Wilson, Principle Business Communications consultant and Bruce Mazza, Intelligent Branch Solutions Manager join me to discuss discuss value creation within Branch Offices though intelligent communication solutions.

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Lippis Report Issue 101: Economic Recession? Which IT Projects Will Get Cut? For Networks and Communications, Not Many.

March 10th, 2008

The US recession forecasted by economists and government agencies became real on March 7th when the Labor Department estimated that the nation lost 63,000 jobs in February. Like plotting the coordinates on a hurricane chart as the storm heads toward you, this consumer-led downturn is beginning to concern business and IT leaders. Perhaps the worst fear is that this downturn is similar to Japan's 1990s real estate-led crisis, which resulted in a decade of economic malaise. But the only similarity between the 1990s Japanese and the current US downturn is the source of the disturbance. US banks are quick to write down bad debt; the federal government responded quickly with a stimulus package while the Fed continues to reduce interest rates, none of which Japan did. In IT while there are no hard signs that the US economic slow down has impacted current projects, business and IT leaders have a steady-as-she-goes attitude with a tint of caution. I predict that IT will weather this storm with only a slight percentage of spending growth lost while some projects such as UC, virtualized data centers and application delivery accelerate their adoption and growth.

Inbar Lasser-RaabRelated Podcast:
The Year of the Branch Office: Interview with Inbar Lasser-Raab Senior Dir Marketing Cisco Enterprise Routing/switching

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Siemens Guest SpeakersRelated Podcast:
Siemens Challenges Microsoft OCS with new UC Server

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The Year of the Branch Office: Interview with Inbar Lasser-Raab Senior Dir Marketing Cisco Enterprise Routing/switching

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March 10th, 2008

Inbar Lasser-Raab, Director of Marketing Enterprise Routing for CiscoThis is the year of the Branch Office. Business and IT leaders are re-distributing corporate assets and allocating significant investments in data center and branch office assets. There is strong business, economic, demographic and technical drivers' shaping this trend. The IT industry has responded by offering many new network design options to business and IT leaders who seek to add value to their branch offices. In this podcast I discuss this global trend with Inbar Lasser-Raab Senior Director of Marketing for Enterprise Routing and Switching at Cisco as we dive into the details of Cisco's latest branch office innovations. If adding value to your branch offices is a corporate initiative, then you need to listen to this podcast.

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Practical Considerations for Deploying 802.11n

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March 10th, 2008

By Siemens Enterprise Communications

There is a lot of confusion surrounding the capabilities and status of the new 802.11n WiFi standard. Full ratification is not expected until mid-2009. However, the WiFi Alliance (WFA) launched a compatibility testing and certification program for 802.11n infrastructure and clients based on the Draft 2 standard which removes much of the deployment risk and accelerated the 802.11n market. Two of the major issues to consider when planning for 802.11n are power consumption and WLAN architecture. 802.11n hardware from many vendors requires significantly more than the 12.95 Watts guaranteed by the current PoE standard, 802.3af. The second major issue to consider is the increased traffic on your core network arising from high-throughput 11n WLANs. It is important that your WLAN solution provide flexibility for traffic forwarding and network segmentation.

As with any new technology, there are plenty of issues and caveats to take into consideration, but 802.11n is ready for enterprise deployment today. It provides a standard for WLAN performance and reliability that supplement the existing security standard (802.11i) and QoS standard (802.11e) to make WLAN as fast, secure and reliable as wired LAN.

OpenScape Unified Communications Server

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March 10th, 2008

by Siemens Enterprise Communications

See the same presentation that industry analysts saw when Siemens Communications made the largest UC announcement of the year by launching its OpenScape UC Server and a suite of UC applications. By viewing this presentation you’ll be more up to date with Siemens’ UC products and plan than you will be from any other source.