Resilience: A Signifier of Success

Throughout the year, many of us find fortified passion and commitment to establish new goals or reinvigorate those that have gone stale. If you think to past goals, you likely began your journey with focus and honest intentions. Perhaps you did reach your vision of success, but you may have drifted off course or lost momentum. Maybe you achieved only a fraction of the progress that you had envisioned or you abandoned your goals all together. As you forge ahead, take a moment to reflect on those experiences and use them to strengthen your plan.

Regardless of how focused you may be on your goals, there will times when life gets in the way and forces you to redirect your focus. While preventing those disruptions may not be within your control, your response to them is. I find that many individuals spend more time thinking about how they drifted off course than determining how to get back on track. The emotion associated with these setbacks varies from person-to-person, and effect how a person responds to setbacks.  Some give up all together while others dwell on the setback as an indicator of failure.  Individuals often associate fleeting behavior patterns to character traits by saying: I failedI’ve been badI messed upI’m a slacker, etc.  Whether or not you made a homemade meal, met a deadline, passed an exam or went to the gym on a given day is not a measure of your self-worth.

As you start to establish new goals, acknowledge now that you will hit a speed bump.  Few people prepare for the negative events they will encounter, but knowing they will occur will help you to face them when the time comes.  To overcome setbacks you need to own them and quickly take action to get back on track; no dwelling and no self-deprecation. In terms of personal health, resilience becomes a differentiator in long-term success.  It is not the occurrence or frequency of obstacles, but the ability to move past them with a positive attitude and in a timely manner that will determine if you will meet your goals.

Self-improvement of any kind is difficult to achieve, it requires gumption and balance. If you let the first obstacle throw you off course all together, you will never achieve your potential.  Don’t wait to have time to work towards a goal or you will always be waiting. Start acting, even if it is with small steps.  Those first small actions will lead to bigger steps towards reaching your goals. Once you get started be resilient, don’t let anything get in the way of your success.

Introducing the Cisco 8845 and 8865: Affordable HD Video for Every Desk

For those who missed it, Cisco recently released two next generation video phones called the 8845 and 8865.  The phones are richer in features than their 8900 and 9900 predecessors, and while nothing has been officially announced, the writing is on the wall that these new endpoints will phase out both the 8900 and 9900 in the very near future. Combine that with last weeks End of Sale announcement for the legacy 7900 series phones, and Cisco’s personal endpoint portfolio will soon consolidate to only the 7800 and 8800 series phones, along with Cisco’s desktop experience endpoints known as the DX series.

The 8845 and 8865 are orderable now and can be added to any Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) cluster running v8.6.2 and later.  Their value is superior to anything else in Cisco’s endpoint portfolio, with a street price of approximately $300 and $400 respectively.  Both have 720p cameras and 5 inch screens, support Intelligent Proximity and have Bluetooth.  The 8865 adds the ability to use USB headsets and attach up to three expansion modules (sidecars) as well.  Both will support Mobile and Remote access through Cisco Expressway (VPN’less connectivity no matter where you are), providing a secure, seamless experience whether you are in the office or working out of your home.

The 8845 and 8865 communicate natively with Cisco Jabber, 8900/9900 video phones, DX series endpoints, existing TelePresence and Conferencing infrastructure, and support both Business to Business and Consumer to Business video as well.  With the Video Call Back feature being added to WebEx in the very near future, even deeper integration is right around the corner.

If you already have a Cisco Unified Communications platform and are looking to refresh your phones, choosing the Cisco 8845 / 8865 is an economical way to add HD Video Telephony to workspaces where it doesn’t exist today.  If you are looking to replace your telephony platform with something new, this is just one more reason why you should consider selecting Cisco as your vendor of choice.

List pricing and datasheets for both endpoints are below.

CP-8845-K9= / $575 List pricehttp://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collaboration-endpoints/ip-phone-8845/index.html#

CP-8865-K9= / $795 List pricehttp://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collaboration-endpoints/ip-phone-8865/index.html

8845 Charcoal8845 White

NOTE:  The white model won’t be available for a couple of months, but the grey version is orderable now.

If you would like a demonstration of the 8845 or 8865 IP phone (or any Cisco Collaboration endpoint for that matter) please do not hesitate to reach out to the SMP Collaboration Team.

SMP is a Cisco Master Collaboration and Cisco Gold Partner, and we have a state of the art Solutions Center where we can demonstrate the latest and greatest in Cisco technologies in person or remotely.  Please reach out to us to learn more about how we can help you with your IT challenges.  We pride ourselves on enabling our customers so they can keep up with both the speed of business and IT.

Sean Wilson – swilson {at} smp-corp.com

Don’t END user computing, ENABLE it.

End user complaints and general experience issues are many times seen as lowest level IT support function. Most organizations when asked “who is responsible for this?” reply “I am not sure” or “it’s another team’s responsibility”. Usually, if it’s an end user issue that is directed to anyone but the infrastructure team (cuz they are really busy!) App slowness issues, contact App Dev…Unhappy user, contact the service desk…down application, Infrastructure team will be there to save the day but it’s not their fault. All others please visit the IT Complaint Department (shown below).

Please Take a Number

“…our job is to take responsibility for the complete user experience. And if it’s not up to par, it’s our fault, plain and simply.” – Steve Jobs

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SMP Cycles for a Cause

This June, SMP recruited both avid cyclists and beginners to ride and fundraise in support of two events that aim to improve health and longevity in our region. The Tour de Cure aims to stop diabetes and raise critical funds for education, advocacy and research through the American Diabetes Association. SMP riders participated in the Rochester tour in both the 40 and 20 mile rides on June 13th. In support of cancer research and patient care programs at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, SMP singed on as a Five Speed sponsor for the 2015 Ride for Roswell. On June 27th, SMP riders rode the 45 and 20 mile routes. At both events riders enjoyed scenic views, cheers from volunteers and the satisfaction of supporting such worthy causes!

Becoming Good at the NEW IT

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. -Alvin Toffler

Over the past 3 years I have begun to see a shift in the way customers are planning, selecting and deploying technology capabilities to their users. The range of choice has expanded at every level; in devices, applications, methods of computing, potential partners and ownership. A ‘one-size fits all’ technology strategy is moving to one in which it’s now ‘any size that you like’. IT can now deliver many more capabilities; dependence on ‘cost-only’ business cases will encourage IT leaders to keep the legacy alive.

Our EUC team is focused on helping our customers identify their desired outcome, assess the legacy IT, document and present it to leadership in meaningful terms. This provides the best starting point to decide whether the investment is worth pursuing for the value planned to obtain.Read More »

How is cloud impacting modern networking and security? Maybe it’s time to start from scratch… No, really.

John McAdam, Outgoing CEO of F5 Networks
John McAdam, Outgoing CEO of F5 Networks

Some time in the past year, at an F5 event, I was listening to John McAdam’s view on the disappearing data center. He said that it’s all going to the cloud, which will drastically shape the way we design IT infrastructures from now on. It’s a little funny because we’ve come to think of the cloud message as almost a parody of itself.  This cloud is some vaporous thing out there that we’re supposed to be moving to, but nobody knows how.  The fact, though, is that he’s 100% right. It’s happening.  Every mature IT department I work with has a cloud initiative, of sorts.  Some are taking an application or two.  Some are taking a whole data center.  Some are building DR in the cloud.  Some have moved all collaboration to a managed or cloud service – whether that be documents and email or phone systems. Some believe we can simply load our data centers up into vCloud Air and, “voila!” it’s done. That may be the case for some smaller enterprises, but, as a seasoned architect, I still have a difficult time swallowing an SAP infrastructure’s existence in the cloud.. and I work cloud stuff every day. Imagine the questions a CEO might have about that.  In fact, if we step into those shoes for a moment…Read More »

The “Network Effect” and its Impact on Collaboration

A successful collaboration strategy promotes the grouping of applications, services, devices and content into “one” unified architecture to improve business processes and boost productivity. Cisco’s Collaboration portfolio has an end to end solution for businesses of all shapes and sizes. However, an organization will not see the impact of their strategy until the user population adopts the technologies and puts the capabilities to use.

Successful collaboration relies on the “network effect”. I am not referring to network design… or how secure a network is… or how much bandwidth it has… or whether or not Quality of Service has been implemented. I am referring to a concept that the “value” of a product or service increases as more and more people use it. A perfect example of a product falling victim to the “network effect” is the telephone. The more people who own telephones, the more valuable the telephone is to each owner. A user purchasing a telephone may not intend to create value for other users, but they do so regardless.

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