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Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Cisco’

What is Unified Communications?

October 11th, 2011 No comments

Cisco UC320WUnified communications (UC) is the integration of real-time communication services such as instant messaging, telephony, video conferencing and data sharing with non-real-time communication services such as voice mail, email and fax.  In its broadest sense, UC can encompass all forms of communication that are exchanged via the medium of the TCP/IP network.  UC allows an individual to send a message on one medium and receive the same communication on another medium. For example, one can receive a voice mail message and choose to access it through e-mail or a cell phone. If the sender is online according to their presence information and currently accepts calls, the response can be sent immediately through instant messaging or video call. Otherwise, it may be sent as a non real-time message that can be accessed through a variety of media.

The main advantage of unified communications is the reduction of communication response time, which often is essential in customer service, decision making and acting upon instructions.  Unified communications integrates all systems employees might already use, and helps those systems work together in real time.  It allows users to seamlessly collaborate with others, even if they are in separate locations.

Small Business Technology Solutions can provide the best unified communications products to fit your business needs.  Contact us today to schedule a review of your communication systems and start on your way to improved customer service and employee collaboration.

Affordable Unified Communications for Small Business

April 11th, 2011 No comments

Cisco Small Business Unified Communications 300 Series

Affordable Unified Communications for Small Business Small businesses no longer need to compromise on voice quality or features for unified communications. With a Cisco® Small Business solution, they can have the quality, peace of mind, and investment protection of a business-class solution at an affordable price. For small businesses with up to 24 phones per location, the Cisco Small Business Unified Communications 300 Series, model 320W, is a complete unified communications system that delivers more—integrated voice and data plus additional features designed and built just for small business. As a part of the Cisco Small Business product family, this easy-to-use solution delivers advanced features to better connect employees and serve customers, all on a highly secure Cisco network.

Product Overview

The Cisco Unified Communications 320W  includes:

  • Support for up to 24 phones
  • Voicemail and automated attendant
  • Voicemail to email notification
  • Integrated 802.11n wireless access point for voice and data, so that employees
    can connect to the network while away from their desks
  • IP-based telephony supporting the Cisco SPA 300 and SPA 500 Series IP Phones
  • Interoperability with up to 12 public switched telephone network
    (PSTN) analog lines (FXO)
  • Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) trunking support with an industry-leading voice SIP
    stack to deliver clear, high-quality voice services
  • 4-port Gigabit Ethernet (1000 Mbps) switch with VLAN support,
    to connect devices or expand
  • Gigabit Ethernet WAN port that can be designated as the network edge
  • Simple-to-use web-based configuration utility for easy deployment

Click Here to view Full Brochure (PDF)

Call us today to see how affordable a new phone system from your local Cisco Select Partner can be!

County elects to use Wi-Fi cloud service

February 7th, 2011 No comments

California’s Sacramento County has moved much of its Wi-Fi networking onto a cloud management services platform and is considering adding a similar routing component to the environment.

Wi-Fi startup Meraki’s cloud service is giving the county more for its budget dollars and the management reporting depth it needs, says Joshua Voelkert, a senior IT analyst.

In 2007, the county sought change, primarily for budgetary reasons. It was running autonomous Cisco access points (AP) in about 20 of its 200 locations. At issue: the high cost and bulky design of Cisco Aironet 1230 802.11g and 1250 802.11n APs.

The county installed the 1230s and 1250s in special enclosures in certain areas, such as courtrooms, to improve their aesthetics, which made these installations even more costly.

As the network grew, the county sought a more economic alternative. The reigning Wi-Fi architecture in vogue, of course, was centralized, controller-based WLANs coupled with lightweight (managed) APs. But the county was lukewarm about that option because of the cost and “non-green” nature of controller equipment.

“We wanted to cut down on energy and capital costs, but we might have needed many [controllers] to support all our APs and still more for redundancy,” Voelkert explains.

“At the reporting end, the WLAN [controller options] required we put in more infrastructure for servers on the logging side,” Voelkert adds, explaining that the county likes to keep logs to study usage.

Meraki sells enterprise-class Wi-Fi APs that customers install locally, but hosts and maintains a WLAN controller farm in the cloud, obviating the need for buyers to purchase, install and maintain them on their own premises. Customers play a flat per-month subscription fee for the ability to access their own WLANs through a Meraki Web portal. They can thus configure, provision and manage their networks without the controller capex investment.

Voelkert says that moving to the cloud setup has yielded approximately a 45% decrease in capital expenses and about a 30% decrease in support costs.

The cloud trend is picking up: Aerohive and Aruba Networks offer similar cloud management services. And Meraki recently added a branch office routing component to the mix, which Voelkert is evaluating so he could get “a fully managed environment through a single portal.” Not to be outdone, Aerohive recently acquired Pareto Networks, a cloud routing management company, and will offer a similar option later this year.

Voelkert describes the dual-radio MR16 AP from Meraki as an “inch high, with an Apple-ish design that’s easy to hide even though it’s in plain view,” and thus requires no extra costs for special enclosures.

The county makes use of the mesh (AP-to-AP communications) capabilities of the MR16s in places where installing data network cabling is difficult or impossible. Those managing department WLANs can also use Meraki’s traffic shaping feature to manage congestion: “A department can cut a video stream to use no more than 256Kbps or 512Kbps or completely shut it off,” Voelkert says.

“A lot of departments [in Sacramento County] have not embraced wireless because of budget issues. But with Meraki, we’re able to do much more because their APs cost less,” concludes Voelkert.

Thanks Network World: http://www.networkworld.com/newsletters/wireless/2011/020711wireless1.html?page=1

Here are Small Business Technology Solutions we are your local Meraki Partner specializing in large scale Wi-Fi deployments using their technology. Contact Us today for more information on how we can help to save you money!

UW-Whitewater: world’s first secure intercompany video telephone call with Cisco Systems

March 22nd, 2010 No comments

March 22, 2010

Chancellor Richard Telfer saw his caller’s face on his video phone when he answered the world’s first official intercompany unified communications call over the Internet using Cisco’s Intercompany Media Engine on Wednesday, March 10.

Telfer’s participation in a demonstration by Cisco puts the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater on the leading edge of technology that could change the way organizations conduct business.

UW-Whitewater is one of the first pilot sites worldwide for the Cisco Intercompany Media Engine which allows organizations to spontaneously conduct secure, high-quality, voice and video telephone calls across the internet – using their existing telephone numbers – without the need to re-provision or replace currently deployed infrastructure.

Telfer participated in the first official demonstration of the system by answering a telephone call from Cisco Senior Vice President and General Manager for Enterprise Tony Bates on Wednesday, March 10. Telfer and Bates could see each other as they spoke. (To view Telfer’s video telephone call: www.cisco.com/assets/prod/voice/ime/ime_video.html)

“This technology will allow for better communication and collaboration,” Telfer said. “UW-Whitewater values innovation, and this technology may help our faculty and staff members better communicate with partners in the community, region, state and beyond.”

The Cisco Intercompany Media Engine technology provides voice and video calling over a secure Internet connection.  Based upon proposed Internet Engineering Task Force standards submitted by Cisco, IME allows the same rich collaboration experience that exists within enterprises that have invested in UC technology to be extended beyond enterprise boundaries. The technology is simple, easy to use and works based on existing telephone numbers.

UW-Whitewater was selected as a pilot site for the inaugural call because of its receptiveness to new technology and the depth of its technical expertise, said Elena Pokot, assistant vice chancellor for Instructional, Communication and Information Technology.

The university is currently using several other Cisco products, including 600 to 700 Unified IP Phones that route telephone calls over the Internet. The new Timothy J. Hyland Hall has a Cisco videoconferencing system that allows users to see one another on a high definition screen as if they were in the same room.

Nick Ciesinski, a network architect in the campus Network Operation Center, said this technology takes the complexity out of making video calls because no technician is needed. Callers will also appreciate being able to see the person with whom they are talking.

“One thing you always hear from users about phone conversations is you can’t see expressions to really know what they may be thinking,” Ciesinski said.

Telfer’s call marked the 134th anniversary of the historic March 10, 1876, first telephone call from Alexander Graham Bell to his assistant, Thomas Watson.

Telfer, Pokot and others in the campus information technology department are using the Cisco video telephone system. UW-Whitewater plans to evaluate the demand on campus for this technology and a rate of adoption among its partners before deciding whether to expand across campus.

http://www.uww.edu/marketingandmedia/news_releases/2010_03_telfer_intercompany_video_call.php

Did you know?

February 15th, 2010 No comments
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