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Why the Clock is Ticking for a Networking Refresh

August 20, 2021

Why the Clock is Ticking for a Networking Refresh
 
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Many businesses have put off making tech updates or upgrades over the past two years. However, the way we use technology has drastically changed in that timeframe, so the moment is ripe for a networking refresh.
 
Shelby Skrhak talks with Dan Stewart, Business Transformation Engineer - Cisco Business Unit, and Jeff Benjamin, Director Vendor Management - Client Solutions/BCS, about:
 
  • Why networking refreshes are essential
  • The Windows 11 OS update
  • The launch of the Emergency Connectivity Fund


Networking refresh

A networking refresh is all about understanding the user experience you are offering to your employees.
 
The big question: how are they interfacing with our environment?
 
In other words, how do they access their resources, their tools, and their apps?
 
Networking refreshes are essential because a lot can change in the technical world in a short period of time.
 
In the past two years, there has been increased adoption of cloud and SaaS software, which changes how we access things like SD-WAN. The infrastructure required to access that is changing as well considering new tech like the latest Wifi6 access points and switching infrastructure.


Client conversations

“A big part of this is really understanding what some of the driving factors are,” Jeff says.
 
3 big factors:
 
  1. Different levels of content consumption
  2. Video collaboration
  3. Increasing number of users
 
These factors are putting more and more pressure on our devices and our networks.
 
Ask your clients: how is your ecosystem evolving to meet these needs?


Windows 11 OS update

The new OS hardware specifications are in line with current generation processors or CPUs and include increased security measures as well.
 
For many businesses, their existing platforms do now meet these new requirements.
 
That means that there will be an influx of new devices onto our networks in an effort to leverage Windows 11.
 
So now is the time to look at your infrastructure and maybe make the move to:
 
  • Next gen Wifi6 access point infrastructure
  • Network switches with multi-gigabit components

“If your environment is not keeping up or preparing for this influx of new client devices, you might be left behind,” Dan says.


Emergency Connectivity Fund (ECF)

“This is a pivotal moment in our history,” Jeff says.
 
There are millions of students in the US today that do not have access to the internet. The ECF aims to remedy that.
 
As part of the American Recovery Plan passed earlier in 2021, $7.2 billion has been specifically earmarked for device procurement and school districts can apply for these funds.
 
Ingram Micro has educational resources for the ECF and can also guide you on what type of hardware will be a good fit for your organization.
 
For more information, visit Cisco Virtual Learning or A Level Up. on YouTube.