Mid-size customers need a unique approach: Erinwood Ford

In the first post in our series on the mid-market, we looked at a Toronto-based Cisco partner, IT PRO CANADA, which focuses solely on installing Cisco solutions to mid-market customers. In this post we’ll review advice from IT PRO CANADA co-founder David Lee and review a solution which involved a challenging wireless install.


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Perception versus Reality: Step Up Your Security Protection in 2015

This month, we officially unveiled the Cisco 2015 Annual Security Report, which captures an industry snapshot of our security landscape from an IT network trend perspective. The most glaring point about the report is the seeming “perception versus reality” disconnect among survey respondents: while 60 per cent aren’t patching, 90 per cent of those polled remain “confident” in their cybersecurity capabilities.

Annual Security Report - January 2015 Images

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Introducing Cisco ONE Software and Cisco Meraki

Today at Cisco Live! Milan, we announced the launch of Cisco ONE Software and introduction of Cisco Meraki as an enterprise class, cloud-networking solution.



Infographic excerpt


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Partner finds success with a focus on mid-size businesses

Larger than small businesses but not quite an enterprise, mid-size businesses, which make up a large percentage of Canadian companies, pose a unique set of challenges for partners.

Cisco Partners are creative, highly specialized and knowledgeable. They can create a solution that will perfectly suit any environment, no matter how challenging. They also provide a personal touch because they not only know Cisco solutions, they understand their customer’s businesses.


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Building the Entrepreneur Skillset with the Cisco Design Challenge

What if schools helped students become entrepreneurs? Some schools offer an entrepreneurship curriculum, focusing on theory but often neglecting the practice. Increasingly, universities are opening their own incubator, like the Ryerson Digital Media Zone (DMZ). And more often than not, students are leading these initiatives.

For example, the University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College’s Digital Enterprise Management (DEM) Society is organizing a Young Entrepreneurs’ Conference (YEC) on January 24. The DEM Society is run by students in the Digital Enterprise Management program.

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The Benefits of Working for a Company that Encourages Work Life Balance

We’re launching a new series in sync with our Hockey’s Hidden Heroes program to highlight great Canadians that are able to handle two full time jobs – one at the office and one at the rink. On a bi-weekly basis, we aim to provide you snippets of how employees at Cisco and our Partners are balancing their work and hockey life. These stories will come from everyone in the organization, and we hope that they inspire you to share your work life balance story whether it be between your work and hockey life, or your work and your other passions that you strive to accomplish every day.

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Announcing the Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome


I’m tremendously excited to announce the new Cisco Milton Pan Am/Parapan Am Velodrome has officially opened! Introduced to the public on January 9 during the Milton International Track Challenge, the state-of-the-art facility will not only see tremendous competition as part of the upcoming TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. Its launch means Canadian athletes can now train right here at home, building their cycling dreams without having to live abroad. As the first facility of its kind in Canada and one of only two in North America that meets top international standards, the Velodrome truly puts Canada on the international cycling map.

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Prepr #EduChallenge Panel

Great things happen when you connect the unconnected. This is why I enjoy participating in hackathons, where developers, subject-matter experts, such as educators, designers, business gurus, entrepreneurs and other interested (and interesting) fellows co-create our future. In November 2014, Prepr invited creative minds from across the GTA to take on the #EduChallenge. The weekend-long hackathon started with a panel discussion hosted at the Mozilla Foundation. The intent was to provoke deep reflections and challenge the participants to transform education in Ontario.

The panel was hosted by Jason Shim (Pathways to Education), featured Ruth Childs (OISE), Steve Tam  (Indiegogo) and me. We could not have been a more diverse group: a university professor, non-profit sector leaders and a representative of the private sector. While we agreed on many points, we also had very different perspectives on others. Below are my takeaways from the event, as well as some thoughts on how technology influenced education in 2014.

For more on #EduChallenge, view my recap on Storify.

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Canadian Oil and Gas – 2015 and beyond

“We usually find gas in new places with old ideas. Sometimes, also, we find gas in an old place with a new idea, but we seldom find much gas in an old place with an old idea. Several times in the past we have thought that we were running out of gas, whereas actually we were only running out of ideas.”

- Parke A. Dickey

As I’ve shown in my past blogs, Canada’s oil and gas sector has seen much innovation, but operators have also faced many challenges. For example, gas prices were at seven-year lows just a year ago and oil prices plummeted in the second half of 2014. Operators are scrambling to re-plan for 2015. Consider that in the span of 6 months global oil prices have fallen 45%, the majority of which goes directly to the bottom line.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 10.07.42 AMWe are entering a tipping point in the market, and historically it forces the industry to change.  Mergers and acquisitions, consolidation and cost cutting are always a byproduct of a downturn, and these times often accelerate the need for innovation and change. This pressure to reduce costs can become a strong driver for technology adoption.  The key is to position solutions that drive efficiencies and reduce cost. Cisco’s collaboration, cloud computing and Unified Computing System (UCS) technologies can all be aligned to reduce operating costs.  It may look to many observers of the oil and gas industry that the floor just fell away, but it is actually a great time to build a better, more cost-effective foundation.

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Keep Your Employees Happy This Season – Let them work from anywhere.

Twas the time over Christmas, and all down the hall

Not a worker was present, no lights on at all.

The weather was snowy – too slippery for driving

Work had to be done, business year end was thriving.

Clients were waiting and bosses were needy

Employers had to find ways to work smartly and speedy!

But no phones went unanswered, no emails unread

As merry employees accessed them from home instead.

So keep your employees happy this season, here’s a gift from me

Try out Cisco WebEx for 14 days, absolutely free.

Sign up for a free trial.

Santa Claus

Author: Santa Claus

Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, or Kris Kringle, is responsible for bringing gifts to the homes of children on December 24th. The members of his team include elves from across the nation and several reindeer including Rudolf. Claus is located in the North Pole and uses WebEx to stay in contact with his leading elves and raindeer on the eve of Christmas, the most important day of the year. Claus has his CCNA and has been in operation since the 19th century.

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