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BrandPost: Mobility and SD-WAN, Part 2: Is SD-WAN the Super-Glue That Will Bring 5G and all the Edges Together?

This is the second blog of a two-part blog series that explores SD-WAN and the future of networking in the 5G era. Part 1 “SD-WAN with 4G LTE is a Reality” can be found here.5G, a game-changer for an ultra-high-speed, hyperconnected world Telecommunications providers are racing to roll out the fifth generation of mobile wireless technology to meet today’s explosive bandwidth and network connectivity demands. 5G is poised to revolutionize several industries by bringing significantly faster connections, shorter delays and increased connectivity for users. It will aid the expansion of “internet of things” (IoT), creating a virtual network of ultra-high-speed connections across multiple devices. To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Cloud-managed Networking Unites Global Manufacturing Operations

Manufacturers know better than most businesses the expense of replacing legacy equipment. With high costs for the industrial machines, programmable logic controllers, IT gear, and other systems needed to build everything from consumer packaged goods to cars and electronics, many manufacturers choose to milk their capital expenditures as long as possible. That can mean waiting years before replacing old equipment.One manufacturer, however, has found a way to replace legacy IT equipment while saving time and money, thanks to cloud-managed network appliances from Cisco Meraki.A legacy of innovationJapanese scale maker Teraoka Seiko has been in business for more than 85 years. While the company still makes scales, it has since expanded its business to include self-checkout cashiers, point-of-sale (POS) systems, and many other related devices and appliances. Although the technology has changed over the decades, the company’s commitment to innovation and its international focus has remained constant.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: High-End Networking Improves Customer Satisfaction at Audi

In the era of e-commerce, top consumer brands depend on superior customer service to win sales in the store and showroom. In few industries is this more important than automotive, where technology is changing the relationship between consumers and the cars they drive or ride in, offering an expanding array of options for mobility beyond simple ownership.One carmaker has risen to the challenge with a mix of smart tech and stellar customer service that created one of the most satisfied groups of automotive customers.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Connecting in a Wi-Fi-Challenged Environment at MIT

It started as a Ph.D. thesis project at one of the world’s premier institutions of technology research and higher education. Now it’s back to benefit a new generation of students and researchers.An advanced yet easy-to-use wireless network from Cisco Meraki – with origins in research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – has solved one of the university’s most intractable problems: providing robust Wi-Fi access in a challenging radio frequency environment.From research to productThe Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT is home to cutting-edge research in the areas of robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), machine vision, networking, and more. In 2006, researchers developed a novel plug-and-play Wi-Fi networking system that they spun out into a company called Meraki.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Breaking Down the Barriers Between IT and the Network

One of the great challenges with automation in the telecom industry is that the networking and IT domains remain heavily siloed in many service providers today, with hundreds or even thousands of manual processes required to map data from Operation Support Systems (planning, fulfillment, assurance, etc.) to network management and orchestration systems. Not only does this lead to a lot of “swivel-chair” operations to bridge the gap, but fragmented data systems reduce the visibility into real-time service and network state. The quick fix is to over-provision network resources to cope with this lack of visibility, but that leads to unnecessarily high Capex in addition to the Opex overhead associated with highly manual operations.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: What’s a Mobile-First Support Strategy, and Why Do You Need One?

Remote support has long been offered to customers on desktops and laptops, but with the rise of mobile devices, times are changing. If you haven’t already considered a mobile-first support strategy, now’s the time to create one.Most people spend an average of 5 hours a day on their mobile devices, a statistic that you won’t find too surprising if you’re reading this on a mobile device. Increasingly, we rely on our mobile devices in our personal and work lives, and in many cases, customers are ditching their laptops and moving entirely to mobile.It stands to reason that if mobile is where customers are, support teams should be there too. The problem is, remote support was originally created for desktops and is often offered through channels that aren’t always readily available to mobile users, like live chat. That’s why it makes sense for support teams to look at remote support from the other side: mobile-first. This allows you to create a remote support experience that’s consistent across web and mobile, including how tickets feed into the same queue for fast resolution, and how diagnostic data is presented for the device, operating system, network, and more. Doing so enables your Continue reading

BrandPost: Brillio and Blue Planet Partner to Bring Network Automation to the Enterprise

Rick Hamilton, Senior Vice President, Blue Planet Software Rick Hamilton, senior vice president of Blue Planet, a division of Ciena, explains how partnering with Brillio brings the next generation of network capabilities to enterprises—just when they need it most.In February 2019, we announced that Blue Planet was evolving into a more independent division, helping us increase our focus on innovative intelligent automation solutions that help our enterprise and service provider customers accelerate and achieve their business transformation goals. To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Mobility and SD-WAN, Part 1: SD-WAN with 4G LTE is a Reality

Without a doubt, 5G — the fifth generation of mobile wireless technology — is the hottest topic in wireless circles today. You can’t throw a stone without hitting 5G news. While telecommunications providers are in a heated competition to roll out 5G, it’s important to reflect on current 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) business solutions as a preview of what we have learned and what’s possible.This is part one of a two-part blog series that will explore the SD-WAN journey through the evolution of these wireless technologies.Mobile SD-WAN is a reality 4G LTE commercialization continues to expand. According to the GSM (Groupe Spéciale Mobile) Association, 710 operators have rolled out 4G LTE in 217 countries, reaching 83 percent of the world’s population. The evolution of 4G is transforming the mobile industry and is setting the stage for the advent of 5G.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Q&A: Blue Planet’s Andy Youé Talks Network Visualization and Automation

Christine Keck, Analyst Relations Leader, Ciena Andy Youé, Vice President for Sales & Delivery, Ciena Blue Planet Ciena Blue Planet now operates as its own division within Ciena. This news was announced on December 13, 2018, as part of Ciena’s Fiscal 2018 earnings call, and the decision took effect in November at the start of Ciena’s new fiscal year. This move was made to allow Ciena to continue honing our focus and resources on addressing the high-growth market opportunity for intelligent software automation.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: How to Handle More Support Tickets With Less Resources

No big surprise here: the number of support tickets increased again last year, following the same trend it has for nearly a decade. More than 57% of organizations reported an increase in ticket volume in 2018, according to the latest HDI Technical Support Practices & Salary Report.The question is, why? It seems clear that end users are now fully acclimatized to using technology in the workplace, so what’s triggering this very consistent increase in support incidents and issues?It comes down to three factors:Greater complexity in the technology environment. Nearly 50% of organizations are supporting Internet of Things (IoT) devices, with more businesses following suit to stay competitive. These IoT devices scan, measure, and report on the network, adding a whole new world of support issues to manage.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: The Practical Road to Intelligent Automation

Frank O. Miller, Chief Technology Officer, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Ciena Big bang OSS transformation projects are slow, expensive, and disruptive. Why not consider taking a ‘brick-by-brick’ approach that delivers value faster and sets you up for future success? asks Frank Miller, CTO, Ciena EMEA.When I’m talking with service providers, network automation is always high on their agenda. As well as dramatically reducing operational costs by automating manual processes, it can help you access bandwidth on demand, and provision new customer services in a fraction of the time it previously took. There are also major benefits in terms of discovering your network resources dynamically. An accurate view of available infrastructure enables you to more holistically plan and implement strategic initiatives that keep you ahead of the traffic demand curve.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: SD-WAN is Critical for IoT

The Internet of Things (IoT) is everywhere and its use is growing fast. IoT is used by local governments to build smart cities. It’s used to build smart businesses. And, consumers are benefitting as it’s built into smart homes and smart cars. Industry analyst first estimates that over 20 billion IoT devices will be connected by 2020. That’s a 2.5x increase from the more than 8 billion connected devices in 2017*. Manufacturing companies have the highest IoT spend to date of industries while the health care market is experiencing the highest IoT growth. By 2020, 50 percent of IoT spending will be driven by manufacturing, transportation and logistics, and utilities.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Higher Ed IT, Your Digital Transformation Has Arrived

It’s here, and it’s sweeping campuses nationwide: Digital Transformation (Dx) in higher education. While other industries have already made giant leaps in Dx (just look at the retail industry with tech titan Amazon and the transportation industry with innovator Uber), Digital Transformation in higher ed is now starting to take shape.The topic of Dx in higher ed is being addressed at widely attended events like the Educause Annual Conference, where higher education institutions of all sizes come together to discuss the topic of technology. Still in the relatively early stages of Dx, higher ed IT professionals are wondering if their IT departments are set up to support the evolving digital ecosystems at their institutions – and working to ensure that they are.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: What Internal IT Support Can Learn from External Customer Support

Over the last couple of years, there’s been a lot of attention on how customer support is changing and how brands are using customer support as a business differentiator. But where’s all the attention on how businesses are using internal-facing support as a key competitive advantage?(Crickets chirping. Still chirping.)The truth is, customers are a prime focus for businesses but internal employees a distant second, at best. It seems to make sense to prioritize external-facing customer support over internal-facing IT support. But here’s the deal: your employees are consumers, too – they’re out there in the world interacting with A+ service and support teams, and it’s changing their expectations back at the office. They expect internal IT support to deliver the same level of service that they experience as customers.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Measuring the edge: Finding success with edge deployments

Edge computing deployments are well underway as companies seek to better process the wealth of data being generated, for example, by Internet of Things (IoT) devices.So, what are the results? Plus, how can you ensure success with your own edge projects?Measurements of successThe use cases for edge computing deployments vary widely, as do the business drivers and, ultimately, the benefits.Whether they’re seeking improved network or application performance, real-time data analytics, a better customer experience, or other efficiencies, enterprises are accomplishing their goals. Based on two surveys — one by Automation World and another by Futurum Research — respondents have reported:To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Is 802.11ax the End of Dual 5 -GHz Radio APs?

There are a lot of things that remain to be seen about how 802.11ax will affect wireless network design. An interesting side effect of the addition of OFDMA to the standard may be an end to the dual 5 GHz access point (AP). In a typical campus wireless network, we don’t need as many 2.4 GHz radios as 5 GHz radios. Rather, we are more limited in the number we can use because the 2.4 GHz spectrum has fewer channels and a larger coverage area. This issue is even more pronounced in high-density wireless deployments.Rather than just disable the 2.4 GHz radio, some APs allow you to switch the unneeded 2.4 GHz radio to a 5 GHz radio in software. This can be useful because there are a lot more available 5 GHz channels, so rather than having a bunch of APs with only one radio you can add 5 GHz capacity to the network with the same number of APs.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Edge computing is in most industries’ future

The growth of edge computing is about to take a huge leap. Right now, companies are generating about 10% of their data outside a traditional data center or cloud. But within the next six years, that will increase to 75%, according to Gartner.That’s largely down to the need to process data emanating from devices, such as Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. Early adopters include: Manufacturers: Devices and sensors seem endemic to this industry, so it’s no surprise to see the need to find faster processing methods for the data produced. A recent Automation World survey found that 43% of manufacturers have deployed edge projects. Most popular use cases have included production/manufacturing data analysis and equipment data analytics. Retailers: Like most industries deeply affected by the need to digitize operations, retailers are being forced to innovate their customer experiences. To that end, these organizations are “investing aggressively in compute power located closer to the buyer,” writes Dave Johnson, executive vice president of the IT division at Schneider Electric. He cites examples such as augmented-reality mirrors in fitting rooms that offer different clothing options without the consumer having to try on the items, and beacon-based heat maps that show Continue reading

BrandPost: 5-Minute Breakdown: Wi-Fi 6

The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced the standard for the next-generation of Wi-Fi and that standard is Wi-Fi 6.The first thing that people are thrown off by is the newer, uncommon naming convention. From basic consumers to techies alike, we are used to the 802.11 technology designations. I'm not saying the naming didn’t exist before, but the 802.11 standards designation was much more commonly used. To break it down simply, here is what Wi-Fi 6 translates to along with other well-known technologies: Wi-Fi 6→ 802.11ax Wi-Fi 5→ 802.11ac Wi-Fi 4→ 802.11n Wi-Fi 3→ 802.11g Wi-Fi 2→ 802.11a Wi-Fi 1→ 802.11b That being said, you can treat the Wi-Fi 6 designation as a generation number of sorts.To read this article in full, please click here

BrandPost: Clearing up confusion between edge and cloud

Edge computing and cloud computing are sometimes discussed as if they’re mutually exclusive approaches to network infrastructure. While they may function in different ways, utilizing one does not preclude the use of the other.Indeed, Futurum Research found that, among companies that have deployed edge projects, only 15% intend to separate these efforts from their cloud computing initiatives — largely for security or compartmentalization reasons.So then, what’s the difference, and how do edge and cloud work together?Location, location, locationTo read this article in full, please click here

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