Next month marks the 20th anniversary of Cisco Systems, the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. The invention of the router, whether credited to Cisco or Stanford University, is a milestone that benefits any organization.
The router is the core component in the worldwide Internet and most business networks today. It is responsible for converting data to transmit locally and remotely, securing our networks and providing access to a wealth of knowledge.
Networking and the Internet has changed the way business operates and touches every aspect of our lives today. Networking provides the ability to communicate information to customers, employees and vendors through a multitude of mediums including the Web, phone, print and mobile devices.
Companies employing these mediums can achieve a level of productivity and customer satisfaction that has never before been possible. The technologies that enable the network are the focus of this two-part article with a primary focus on small to medium size business. In this first part, we will look at technologies providing mobility to users.
The demands of business today require flexibility and quick response to remain competitive. There are several networking technologies that provide this flexibility with wireless and VPN topping the list.
Wireless networks are increasing productivity, reducing office expenses and offering access that can enable business anywhere. With WiFi and the 802.11-based standards, there is a common medium and protocol by which all users can enjoy access.
While security needs to be addressed, there are several options that enable wireless to be as secure as most companies' wired network. Users are able to work in other offices, conference rooms, and other remote locations while connected to the corporate network. Some companies are foregoing the expense of cabling and using wireless as their primary network connection.
Access to the network from anywhere is becoming a requirement for many workers today. The ability to easily and securely access company information at home, while traveling, or at a customer site increases worker productivity and response time.
Virtual Private Networks or VPNs extend the corporate data network to any remote location and is now regularly used for extending the voice network with VoIP.
For the most secure-minded networks or ones that must pass regular security audits, two factor authentications can be used. In this instance, the user has both a hardware/software generated temporary key they use in addition to their username and pin.
Wireless and VPN technology provide mobility that allows business to be flexible. In the second part of this article, we will look at security, RFID and voice technologies for business. If you have any questions or would like further information on the technologies mentioned above, contact Mark Munger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Submitted by Mark Munger, CEO of Valcros Communications Inc.