Preparation for the future

Preparation for the future

Preparation for the future

If you need network connectivity, you need wireless access points. Cisco offers simple-to-deploy, flexible, and secure wireless solutions designed to enable your employees and customers to communicate and collaborate like never before.

What is a Wireless Access Point (WAP)?

wireless access point (WAP) is a networking device that allows wireless-capable devices to connect to a wired network. It is simpler and easier to install WAPs to connect all the computers or devices in your network than to use wires and cables. Using a WAP lets you create a wireless network within your existing wired network, so you can accommodate wireless devices.

Simple

An intuitive mobile app simplifies network set-up and management. Add wireless coverage with a simple mesh extender plug-in.

Flexible

Predictable performance in a compact form factor ideal for small to mid-size enterprise deployments.

Secure

The Integrated Cisco Umbrella end-to-end security prevents malware, phishing, and other threats from reaching your network.

Preparation for the future

When you invest in WAPs that feature future-ready modularity, you are helping to ready your IT infrastructure to support next-generation technologies. Learn more about the different types of access point configurations.

Why it pays to help your collaboration tools go further

Why it pays to help your collaboration tools go further

Why it pays to help your collaboration tools go further

Are you one of the 29.2% of companies who say they are holistically examining all of their technology usage and looking for efficiencies? Makes sense. With the economic uncertainty of COVID-19 still looming large, many organisations are preemptively and proactively watching for ways to cut costs.

Still, there are other ways to make your money go further that don’t involve cancelling essential subscriptions or pausing major projects. One of the most cost-effective strategies? Check that you’re getting all you can out of the tech investments you use most: your collaboration tools.

Why collaboration tools are so essential

You’ll recognise collaborative technology as the tools and systems that help your team work together and individually, regardless of where that work happens.

Consolidated Technologies Inc. describes collaborative technologies as groupware that “trim the costs and time associated with facilitating group work, from designating roles and responsibilities to routing in-situ documents to checking and approving project parts. They allow for more intuitive and coordinated group problem solving across an entire team’s workflows.”

With 63% of businesses participating in a work from anywhere model, most organisations now find collaboration tools invaluable.

These tools are best known for their ability to help teams:

  • Share documents and files
  • Dialog in real-time using chat features
  • Tag members of a team in pertinent discussions
  • Create or change workflow sequences
  • Assign tasks and deadlines
  • Conduct project management remotely
  • Integrate with third-party apps
  • Organise video conferences
  • Track time and schedule meetings

With 63% of businesses participating in a work from anywhere model where operating remotely or on-site is the employee’s choice, most organisations now find collaboration tools invaluable. Considering the rising trend of hybrid work models, few experts believe teams will all reliably function in the same place at the same time anytime for the foreseeable future. In other words, collaboration technologies probably aren’t going anywhere.

Making your collaborative technology count

Underutilise your collaboration tools and you may as well be throwing away your limited capital. To help your technology dollars stretch further, consider:

  • Having someone oversee the implementation: There can be resistance to widespread changes, but it helps to have a point person ensuring the initial rollout goes smoothly. You may also elect to have team leads learn features first so they can be available to resolve questions or concerns within their particular department.
  • Training your team: That starts by reading the user manual, help menus and technical blogs provided by your collaboration software. Instead of just using what you need most, see what other ways the tech might be able to help your team work smarter.
  • Checking third-party integration options: No app is going to have everything you need, but you may be able to combine forces with other tools to make your collaborative tech more productive.
  • Ensuring tools meet your goals and objectives: You could have invested in the best tool in the world, but it won’t do you much good if it doesn’t help you achieve what you set out to do.
  • Providing refresher training: Features and functionality may change every time there’s an update to the software. Keeping your team up to speed will help ensure they get the most out of newer versions, too.
  • Doing an inventory of your tech: You may discover you have software your team doesn’t utilise much. Save those subscription fees for something that can really help move your work forward.

Whether you’re in the market to invest in additional collaboration tools or simply want to better utilise the ones you already have, this list will help you maximise the value of your collaborative tech suite.

Boost your digital transformation efforts with citizen development, no-code applications, and DevOps

Boost your digital transformation efforts with citizen development, no-code applications, and DevOps

Digital transformation efforts have accelerated recently due to the increased demand for digital, remote, and contactless experiences. Changes in cloud and hybrid cloud technologies are at the forefront of the technological leap leading these accelerated efforts. In addition, the shift towards cloud-native workloads promotes the adoption of DevOps as a set of tools and methodologies to develop and release high-quality software continuously.

DevOps is a powerful concept that is becoming a de facto way of delivering software applications. DevOps brings agility to companies undergoing digital transformation through continuous integration (CI) of code, continuous delivery (CD) of market-ready software, and continuous testing (CT) of developed applications.

The increasing need for DevOps to automate execution pipelines, tasks, and tools has created a skill shortage that could slow down your digital transformation efforts. However, the rise of citizen development and no-code platforms helps address the DevOps skill gap and provides new ways of reducing digital workloads.

Citizen development and no-code tools for your digital transformation

DevOps serves as the bridge between development and operations. The main goal of DevOps is to shorten the software development lifecycle while enabling the consistent delivery of high-quality software. In addition, DevOps extends the Agile principles, allowing the enterprise to continuously deliver new software features in cycle times of days or hours at a fraction of the cost compared to traditional methods.

Netflix is a great example of the power of DevOps. What we experience when we run the Netflix app on our smart devices or in a browser is a highly-customised front end of a vast IT machine, consisting of hundreds of microservices running on tens of thousands of virtual instances and serving millions of customers. The system is capable of accommodating thousands of software changes in a production environment daily. Perhaps the most impressive statistic is that such a system produces billions of time-series metrics and is managed by a team of around just 70 engineers. Unbelievable? Welcome to the world of DevOps.

Netflix started implementing DevOps as their business transitioned from DVD rentals to online content distribution. Netflix is a truly remarkable example of digital transformation. However, for many companies, establishing a DevOps workflow is no small feat. In addition to the necessary technological changes, companies often face significant up-front investments and uncertainty when predicting the time it will take to see return on investment (ROI). Depending on the company size and line of business, IT transformation efforts may take time. In addition, due to the number of organisations taking their steps towards DevOps transformation, we are seeing a shortage of skilled DevOps engineers.

No-code development tools are ideal solutions for small to medium-sized companies who want to test the waters in application development but can’t dedicate the resources required by ground-up DevOps solutions. In addition, no-code tools empower both the citizen developers (non-IT staff) and experienced developers to accelerate software application deployment.

In essence, by using no-code tools, team members at any software development skill level can rapidly develop, deploy, and manage software applications using high-level programming abstractions, often reached through a drag-and-drop interface. Similarly, a no-code platform simplifies the DevOps tool chain and enables companies to equip all team members with the skills needed to develop end-to-end DevOps pipelines.

Many no-code platform solutions in the market can be helpful for a variety of business cases. While they can be used to build full-fledged enterprise products, no-code tools have proven to be the most useful for making minimum viable products (MVPs). These tools allow companies to develop their applications quickly, get them into customers’ hands, and iterate the solution based on feedback.

Another plausible use of no-code is for automation of manual processes to increase overall enterprise efficiency and allow tracking of customer interactions via CRM integrations.

Finally, no-code can assist companies in improving existing applications and delivering a better user experience.

Five steps to get you started

No-code platforms and tools are gaining in popularity, and it can be challenging for an organisation to start a project or develop a product in this domain. Follow these five steps to get started the right way.

1. Focus on the business value

Like any other project, start with identifying the business value. Next, examine critical technology issues that would typically require the development team to solve. Finally, assess these issues in terms of the no-code approach. This step is crucial in the no-code journey. If your organisation struggles in relating business problems to the available no-code solutions, we can help connect you with the right expertise through HPE’s Pointnext.

2. Select the technology stack

You should determine your no-code technology stack depending on the type of application you are building. It is essential to understand the advantages and disadvantages of no-code tools available on the market. You’re not alone on this journey and we can provide a tailored recommendation for your needs. It’s important to align on the correct direction while in the early project stages.

3. Build the team

As highly skilled developers aren’t necessary to build no-code applications, the best people to make the product are the stakeholders closest to the end-users. People in your organisation who understand the user’s pain point will be the best suited to build the application that addresses that pain point. Building a team requires originality and thorough risk analysis. The best way to learn what works and what does not is to identify best practice and where others have failed.

4. Build MVP and collect feedback

It is best to start small. Start with a limited scope pilot project with few dependencies so that its success will not affect the organisational flow. This approach will enable you to try different technologies and experiment with the development process. It is imperative to install suitable mechanisms to collect insightful and timely feedback from the end-users. As you may have expected, there are no-code tools to do that as well.

5. Improve and automate

Based on the collected feedback, improve your application and continue adding features. After the improved application is launched, you should look to automate as many operational tasks as possible through no-code automation tools. We can connect you with the right tools and expertise to develop no-code DevOps pipelines.

Final thoughts

Digital transformation goes beyond technology and management into how we engage with our customers and our workforce. It gives us a chance to reimagine the way we do business. However, digital transformation does not happen all at once, and there are hurdles associated with the journey.

The supportive technology that helps address those hurdles is also continually evolving. For example, no-code is an effective tool that anyone can use at any stage of product development to test new ideas, build quick prototypes, and improve existing solutions.

Starting with no-code can be overwhelming, but we’re here to help. We can make sure you have the right HPE infrastructure in place for growth and help you access relevant advisory services. HPE Pointnext Services can help you hone your no-code strategy. As your IT partner, we can help you leverage their advisory services and close potential gaps within your business. Reach out to us today to find out how you can benefit from HPE Pointnext’s services to help your digital initiatives succeed.

Work how you like, where you like with Webex

Work how you like, where you like with Webex

Work how you like, where you like with Webex

Work will never be the same. When the pandemic hit, organisations moved almost completely to remote work to keep business running and keep people safe. As many parts of the world emerge from the pandemic, it’s clear that the future of work will be “hybrid” – a mixed mode in which some people work in the office, others from home, and others from anywhere. Hybrid work is about adapting to how teams work best and creating experiences that reach everyone.

Cisco Webex powers a new way of collaborating that’s centred around the work you do, not where you do it—whether it’s in the office, at home, or anywhere in between.

57%

expect to be in the office 10 days or less each month.

98%

believe future meetings will include remote participants.

97%

want changes to make the office safer before they return.

The Future of work is hybrid

Hybrid work is here to stay, and the best hybrid work solutions enable a better way of work that is flexible, inclusive, supportive, secure and managed. Webex is focused an enabling the best experiences for hybrid work. Webex transforms familiar tools and familiar spaces into something more collaborative.

Impressively secure. Incredibly collaborative.

The world becomes your workplace when all of your work is all in one app.

Calling

Make and receive calls with colleagues or customers with a fully integrated, carrier-grade cloud phone system.

Meetings

Drive more inclusive discussions with innovative features that minimise interruptions and amplify every voice.

Messaging

Create inclusive experiences

Include everyone with features that make sure anyone can participate regardless of their geography, communication style, or language.

Translate in real time

Don’t let language get in the way of how your teams collaborate. Translate real-time into 100+ languages and get post-meeting transcriptions.

Choose your focus

Create a meeting view that works best for you with custom layouts that let you choose the content and people you want to see.

Find your flow with Webex.

Experience hybrid work that can adapt to any industry model and all of your needs

Cisco Webex – A single collaboration solution in the cloud

Cisco Webex – A single collaboration solution in the cloud

A single collaboration solution in the cloud

Keep your teams happier, more productive, and more connected than ever before with powerful collaboration tools designed for your business. Cisco Webex ensures that collaboration happens all in one place, from anywhere you are, with Webex Cloud Calling, Cisco Webex Meetings, and Webex Teams

Technology that puts people and teams first

Cisco® Webex is a feature-rich, yet easy-to-use, collaboration solution that keeps people and teamwork connected anytime, anywhere, on any device. Webex brings together calling, messaging, meeting, file sharing, whiteboarding, and more—in one elegant app—so you can streamline teamwork and produce great results, faster than ever, making the meeting experience 10x better than being there.

Secure end-to-end business collaboration, reimagined

Call.

Flexible, secure, hybrid, on-premises, and cloud calling options with Webex Calling.

Meet.

Secure, simple, private, and reliable video conferences, screen sharing, and whiteboarding. Meet with up to 200 people with Webex Meetings.

Message.

Secure, private communications with end-to-end encryption. Connect to anyone from anywhere with Webex Teams.

Huddle.

From the desk to the boardroom, whether in the office or working remotely, experience exceptional video and crystal-clear sound with Webex Rooms.

Collaborate confidently with a safe, secure connection.

Enjoy peace of mind knowing that your data and communications are secure, from software to devices, with anyone inside or outside your organisation.

Automatic integrations make collaboration a breeze.

Webex is a true plug-and-play app that is compatible with PC, Mac, iOS, Android, leading business apps, and Cisco’s industry-leading security solutions.

The Cisco Webex advantage

In-person or afar, Webex brings everyone together to do exceptional work.

Cisco offers a rich Guest User experience that Microsoft and Zoom can’t match – enabling businesses to connect easier. Only Webex is fully business-ready today.

Microsoft Teams provides basic VoIP and call back functionality.

Tip: Security issues are real in Microsoft Teams. Example: potential data leaks, since admins cannot prevent unauthorised sharing.

 

Zoom has a simple, easy-to-use interface and is riding a wave of popularity.

Tip: There is a difference between consumer-grade products and enterprise-grade solutions. Customers should look hard at how well – or poorly – Zoom integrates with other technologies in their environment, especially security.

Make secure collaboration a reality

Break down communication barriers, ditch formality, and work securely with anyone, anywhere. Seamlessly secure your remote workforce with experts who make safe and productive experiences a reality.

5 IT choices that can immediately counter climate change

5 IT choices that can immediately counter climate change

5 IT choices that can immediately counter climate change

Building a green business is an important goal – but it doesn’t have to be purely altruistic. On average, environmentally-friendly businesses save more money, are more productive and have better overall reputations. In fact, 88% of consumers say they want businesses to be more environmental and ethical. It’s actually the basis for most of their purchasing decisions, too.

88% of consumers say they want businesses to be more environmental and ethical.

Whether you want to go all-in on creating a sustainable business or simply make a few eco-conscious changes around the office, these IT choices are a good entry point.

Engage in environmental purchasing

Going green at work starts with making informed purchases and spending in line with your environmental values. By doing business with sustainable companies and prioritising environmentally-focused IT equipment, individual companies can really move the needle on climate change.

The University of Queensland recommends this multi-step checklist when shoring up your purchasing options for sustainable electronics.

  1. Evaluate the sustainability of potential purchases through the EPEAT (Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool) system.
  2. Choose products that are ENERGY STAR designated.
  3. Check that equipment complies with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) core framework.
  4. Purchase from companies who use recycled materials in their electronics and packaging.
  5. Extend preference to sellers who offer end-of-life take backs.

Go digital

Leaning into digital tools and solutions is a green goal for many modern businesses.

For some, the easiest place to start is going paperless. Not only can it help your business save money and better safeguard your data, it also protects against dangerous deforestation.

The associated costs of using paper are estimated at 31 times the purchasing cost.

Considering that the associated costs of using paper are estimated at 31 times the purchasing cost, it also just makes good business sense. Looking to ease in? Start by signing up for ebills and investing in digital project management tools and document management systems. Nitro reports that 59% of organisations that do invest in paperless document management realise a complete ROI in less than a year.

Turning your brick and mortar business into an online store is another eco-conscious option. Not only does it reduce consumption of natural resources like water, electricity and natural gas, it also decreases vehicle emissions by lessening the number of drivers going back and forth to your storefront.

Embrace IoT

Before you know where to cut back on energy consumption, sometimes you need to know where you’re overusing. That’s where The Internet of Things (IoT) can help.

Using IoT sensors and devices can help businesses automate their green routine by continuously monitoring usage and flagging performance abnormalities, as well as alerting users about maintenance issues.

Choose green web hosting

Feel like you’re doing a good job of keeping things sustainable in-office? What about the energy drain your business might be unknowingly contributing to with its web presence?

Over a billion websites are hosted on servers worldwide. Many of these run on fossil fuels and waste unthinkable amounts of energy. No wonder, Sustainable Business Toolkit reports that the internet produces almost as much pollution as the airline industry.

Choosing a green web hosting company can help counteract this overconsumption. How it works: “Green web hosting companies purchase renewable energy credits to offset the energy used by your website, making your website carbon-neutral or even carbon negative!”

Recycle your old tech

We’ve hit a new global milestone: 53.6 million metric tonnes (Mt) of electronic waste generated worldwide in 2019. According to the UN’s Global E-waste Monitor 2020, that’s a 21% jump in just the last five years. By 2030, that tonnage is expected to double.

Businesses who want to do their part should work with a certified e-waste recycler. They ensure that as you phase out old equipment and invest in new technology, the usable components get repurposed for other machines or responsibly upcycled – and stay out of oceans and landfills.

Why not take it a step further and obtain an e-waste recycling certification from NSF International so you can do the recycling yourself?

These eco-strategies prove that greening your IT choices and products can lessen your business’ impact on the environment without increasing your operational costs. In fact, going green actually helps you save some green. Plus, being a good environmental steward is really the ultimate perk.