B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro
B2B Tech Talk with Ingram Micro

Episode · 3 months ago

Why the Clock is Ticking for a Networking Refresh | Cisco Series


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

For more information, visit Cisco Virtual Learning or A Level Up. on YouTube.

To join the discussion, follow us on Twitter @IngramTechSol #B2BTechTalk
Listen to this episode and more like it by subscribing to B2B Tech Talk on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or Stitcher. Or, tune in on our website.

...you're listening to B to B Tech talkwith ingram Micro, the place to learn about new technology and technologicaladvances before they become mainstream. This is the Cisco edition taking yourbusiness A level up, Let's get into it. Welcome to me to be Tech talk withingram Micro. I'm your host Shelby skirt talk and our guest today are danStewart, business transformation engineer for Cisco business unit andJeff. Benjamin, Director of vendor management and client solutions. Bcs,both of ingram micro. Dana. Jeff welcome. Thank you. Hello, thanks forhaving us. So today we're talking about network refresh plans. Now of coursesome businesses have put off updates and upgrades in the last two years butthe way we collectively use technology has drastically changed. So dan, you'rea veteran to podcast so you've spoken to this a little bit on on weeklyepisodes. But for our listeners today, can you explain kind of what the natureof a networking refreshes and why is that so essential? Right now, it'salways essential. It's really understanding how your user experienceis looking to be. Right. So your users are typically your employees and asthat we want to understand how they interface with our environments, right?How they get access to their resources, their tools, their applications is whatdrives any network refresh. It's always great to have shiny latest and greatesttechnology in a new access points, switches, routers. You know, it's coolfor the technical guys putting that stuff in because it makes it easy towork on and management. But it's really why do you do it right. And the why istypically because there is a need from your employee customer user base. So Iwould say, you know, in two years in technical world that is a, you know, afair amount of time to understand the changes that might have happened. Sothe adoption and furthering of cloud and SAAS software as a serviceinfrastructure that's leading a lot of conversation to see, okay, where arethe applications our users want and that's no longer consolidated to juston premise. And that's changing how we access things like SD WAN, right.That's a technology to access our resources in the cloud over differentmediums and again, better management. So that's a lot of what we can see fromthe outside. And then as we're kind of looking at our infrastructure of usersreturning to the office or even if there are still remote or a hybrid typeapproach, we want to make sure that their infrastructure is keeping up withthat access as well. So things like...

...latest wifi six access points, thesupporting switching infrastructure to adopt those new access points. A lot ofthat goes together to again, answer those customers who want immediateaccess bigger, better, faster coming down their way. I think we've got aringer on our podcast today dan you are of course the host of America inmonday's America. America America Muraki guys, well that would be theveteran in you being able to different out correctly. But you know, I'm soglad that you're able to speak to that and you're kind of expanding on what,what you cover there in the podcast of course. Uh listeners, if you areinterested, it's available there in the Cisco virtual learning site. Now, Jeffdan touched on this, but demand is really at an all time high forbusinesses to keep up with technology of course. But you know, when thebusiness is discussing their client device needs, they're looking forsomething that can really keep up with their workload. So what do these clientrefresh conversations really look like? I think a big part of this is reallyunderstanding what is some of the driving factors and dan just hit onsome of the some of this minute ago, but I would really narrow it down tothree things. Number one users are consuming content in a much differentway today than they have over the past many years. Basically when you thinkabout how your Children are learning or how you are working or how teachers areteaching, it's all in a different environment and it's basically videocollaboration that we're seeing across multiple types of organizations andthen with multiple users simultaneously. So you take those three aspects,content consumption changes video collaboration and just the sheer numberof users increasing to very large number you're ending up with asituation today where the amount of pressure being put both on the deviceand the network is at an all time high and if you're not looking at it isgoing to create a problem for you regardless because and then it's goingto force you to look at it. So we're definitely having this conversationwith all of our partners today about how the ecosystem is evolving and whatcan you do as a trusted advisor to help extend this message to your customers?So of course this content consumption has radically changed and it's changedat a rapid pace. That don't even think two years ago we would have expected itto go at this fast. That's a pace, but dan shifting a little bit to Windows 11Microsoft in june announced that uh, there's gonna be a Windows 11 os updatecoming up. So what does this update mean and why are you interested in thisas a networking engineer? Yeah, this is...

...kind of the crux of where we've beenkind of theorizing a little bit in our forecasting plans for a lot of thethings that are changing. Right? So I'm a proponent of windows and the Windowsuser on their insider. Windows insider team with beta testing differentoperating systems. So I was, you know, looking at their events about Windows11 And it was exciting to see the changes and all the things coming out.But one thing that struck me that came out throughout the event was newhardware requirements or even kind of a line in the sand moment by Microsoftsaying if you want to adopt a Windows 11 operating system or platform, yourdevices are going to have to meet certain hardware by specifications thatreally are more current generation processors for Cpus and some othersecurity measures as well. So of course I looked at my system and lo and behold,I don't meet those specs. So you know, if I don't meet that and I am prettygood Windows user and gamer to get these things where they need to be manyof our counterparts, whether it be consumer devices, corporate provideddevices are going to be met with this moment of Hey, I wanted to get thisWindows 11 new security platform, you know, best of breed in my environment,but my existing platforms may not be able to support it. So understandingthat from just a personal level and then taking it to a more broadcorporate or consumer level. I was like, well how does it impact my role? Right.I'm a networking guy work with the Cisco solutions from ingram micro andI'm like, well that's going to be a change or an influx of new devicescoming onto our networks namely the wireless side. A lot of devices todaybecause they just run and they work, you're going to be not running thelatest wireless client on your laptop or pc if that's how you go about it. Soyou may be on legacy client hardware and you want to take the time now tokind of look at your infrastructure and say, hey, maybe I haven't made thatmove to next generation wifi six and maybe I didn't have a reason to do sobecause some of the benefits didn't really pertain to my client base. Wellnow coming, you know, somewhere near holiday season 2021 theory, we're goingto see Windows devices start popping up in the consumer space and as more ofthose devices will be on our networks, whether they be corporate, whether theybe retail, hospitality, healthcare, where we're going to manage yourenvironments from these devices will be in your environment. So I thinkunderstanding that client behavior always looking for the shiny new thingand maybe holidays and to drive a lot of that interest in new technology. Wewant to look at our networking infrastructure to be ready for thatright. Maybe now is the time to say, hey, we can have a reason to look at aWifi six access point infrastructure...

...and then maybe we can look atinstalling more networking switches that have that multi gigabit componentthat willpower and drive that high performance, high bandwidth consumptionof those access points or even other wired pcs that come now with multigigabit interfaces that if your environment is not keeping up orpreparing for this influx of new client devices that are going to nowoverachieve and overextend where your environment might be today. You don'twant to be left behind. And that's kind of the ideas were kind of looking athere, dan, the shiny new things that you're talking about, you know, forholiday 2021 are these mostly gaming devices and that sort of thing? No, itcould be anything. Right. So it could be a standard business laptop, it couldbe any device that's going to be looking to have this Windows 11preinstalled on it. You're gonna pretty much look at it as coming with newerlater specifications, right. The clients of wifi six adapters on thesenew devices will be more prevalent, more commonplace. Not every device mayhave that cost premiums potentially out there, but as you have the opportunityto put new hardware out from the manufacturers, there are most likelygoing to start having these newer capabilities built into them. Andthat's where we're going to see some of that driving force of infrastructureleading conversation or just client lead the conversation and you want tobe in uh, you know, wanna avoid those crossroads where you can Well, Jeffstaying on updates for both Windows 11 and large, how does this announcementopened the door to new technology conversations and sales opportunities,especially for those companies that have some of this legacy hardware andsoftware. I think that when you look at the way businesses are adopting theirgo to market strategies in the United States work from anywhere and learnedfrom anywhere are here to stay. You see companies talking about remote learningslash remote working and the flexibility that that's going to offerAnd basically these technologies are going to help drive that and enablethat. So when you think about Windows 11 and then also alder lake, which isbasically the code name for the new Intel chip set that's watching The Gen12 product, these are really tied together at the hip. Both Intel andwindows are doing to launch is kind of in a parallel that are going to driveand propel the market up into the right and the users are going to havesomething to basically grab onto with these new products that will help beable to Take advantage of this situation and be able to enableeverybody to compute in the way that they need, to I would also clarifyaround timing, so Q4 is when we will...

...start to see these products hitconsumer platforms of this year And then I would say commercial platformswill be closer to Q- one of 22. And so I think it's important for me tounderstand that. And the reason I mentioned the Intel launch is becausemost of the OEM. S and manufacturers are not going to launch a Windows 11with the old chip set. So they're gonna want to launch one product at one timeand so you're gonna want to pay attention closely to when both of theseare launching because that will kind of give you some of the behind the sceneswhen you'll start to see commercial platforms become main stage, so, butyou know, it's definitely a big announcement, there's still a littlebit of ambiguity with regards to dates and timing and what not, but we'll stayclose to this and ingram Micro will be there to help all of our partners withand provide more clarity as it becomes apparent to us as well. Well dan, ofcourse we were talking about keeping up with the workload but you know what Iguess from a big picture, what's happening to devices that that can'tkeep up with the updates, I mean is this happening more nowadays because ofthis two year business disruption, it's a lot of variables out there to say whocan do it. A lot of it comes down to budget, could be the business practiceyou have and it depends on how your environment operates, right? We're inthis transition period of hybrid work. So is your company looking atcontinuing a corporate owned laptop or device handout for your devices orusers or are you bringing more of that? Bring your own device platform where ifyou come from home, you have your laptop and your access to your cloudresources and corporate resources and then you come into the office when youneed to bringing in that client device again that you own now coming onto thatcorporate space into your physical building. So you want to look at again,being ready to have that at home experience, which sometimes can bebetter than your corporate experience because you have the ability to upgradeyour internet provider, you have the ability to upgrade your wireless routerto be those latest standards and then you don't want to come to the officeand be detracted because of it. So you want to as an I. T. Staff say, hey, Wewant to continue that best experience for our users, matter where you workand when you do come back to the office, we want that to be at the pinnacledoubling down on the kind of the focus that Microsoft has of Windows 11 is alot to do with security and they're putting this kind of stamp onto it tosay, hey, if you invest in this new platform, you invest in these newhardware is going to be more secured for your user experience. Again, thesame thing happens for your network infrastructure where if you take a lookat your clients now is a good time again to kind of look at how are youmanaging those devices, ideas like systems management software. CiscoMuraki has that with their...

...appropriately named Systems Managerplatform where you can understand and police and control how those devicesare utilized, both on premise and off premise that can be a good conversationif you're looking at a again change of influx of client devices and then Ciscoalso has different security posturing software where it will scan your deviceis to make sure you have the latest version updates or patches on yoursystem and some antivirus software or anti acts security measures before weallow you on the network. So things like Cisco's identity service engineallows you to adopt that best practice policy. And then again as we're talkingnetworking, that wifi six implementation, that new catalystswitch to support the wireless that SD way and platform you're going to wantto invest in as well. On the enterprise side, you're going to be looking atlike DNA Center too, help you manage all of those various end points or ofcourse, you know, Iraqi as its full stack platform can leverage that typeof conversation as well. So a lot to look at. Even if we're talking a littlebit in that Windows consumer platform, we can use that as a springboardconversation to talk about networking and infrastructure and security refreshkind of at the same time. Well, Jeff coming back to opportunities, theemergency connectivity fund is is launching, its going to help bring highspeed internet and equipment to eligible entities. So what are theopportunities here And uh what's important for listeners to understand?I think this is basically a pivotal moment in our history. I mean that'show important this is. When you look at the United States, there are millionsof students today that do not have access to the internet. They do nothave the ability to learn at the same pace or at the same level as theirpeers in different parts of the country and this divide has to be resolved. Thenumber one resolution is how do we get hardware in the hands of these studentsthat is able to access the internet and also though at the same time costeffective. And so the emergency connectivity fund is a part of the arkLegislature that was passed in the earlier part of 2021 art is theamerican recovery plan and E Cf is a $7.2 billion allotment of funds that isspecifically earmarked for device pyramid the first time ever. Sobasically school districts can apply for these funds. The application windowfor the first round closes on august 13th, so it's a few days away, but Iwill tell you that there potentially will be additional rounds number numberone, Number two, there's a lot of schools that did apply for this alreadyand we want to make sure that we enable...

...them to get the devices that theyqualify for and are able to use these funds towards. We have resources atingram micro that are able to educate you on what E Cf is and thenadditionally what type of hardware would be a good fit for thatenvironment. You know, whether it be HP Lenovo Dell surface, there's a lot ofdifferent vendors that we have in our line card that could meet those needs,but definitely be a part of changing history and work with ingram Micro andparticipating on the E c F program. Some. Well, as we start to wrap up ourepisode today, we ask everybody the same question here and it's where doyou see technology going in the next year? That could be, you know, fromyour own particular niche or something that you personally interested in? Sodan I'm going to start with you. Where do you see technology going in thefirst in the next year? I'll try to keep this short and sweet. I say it'sgoing to be more cloud than ever. Everything in the cloud. Everything asa service you consume where you want the content, how you want the contentand that's going to continue to drive the ability to continue your approachto be more mobile cell phones, five G wifi, The hybrid approach from all that.So cloud adoption, mobility, that's going to be a big point in this nextyear, definitely. How about you, Jeff? I think that three points that I'venarrowed down to would be number one people are actually paying attention towhat they used to compute. That's a big development. It's different people wanta higher spect unit. They don't want to drop off of that team's callinadvertently or that zoom call inadvertently. They want to be able toparticipate without any interruptions number two, I would say demandcontinues to outpace supply. This is a a new problem that we've had for thepast year and a half and we see it continuing through 2021. Sounderstanding your rug map and the products that are current that aregoing to be current. What's happening? When is it happening? We'll have a lotof subject matter experts at ingram micro that can help to decode thesetypes of questions and help you to navigate the murky waters. So with thatI would just say thank you for this time. I really appreciate it. What wefind out more about what we talked about today. I would say for mepersonally we have a lot of resources on the web, on our imagine next websitefor both. I'm sure Cisco and all the client solutions and then secondarilywe have a lot of people that care about your business and these resources reachout to us. We can absolutely engage the right person to solve and answer anyquestions that you might have done anything you'd like to add. That'sthat's spot on with exactly what we can do and provide. And I just like to addon inside of that. Imagine next home...

...page you'll find our Cisco virtuallearning portal where we have a podcast like this video on demand arm. Iraqimonday series will live in there. Of course. I work out of our businesstransformation center. So if you want to see touch and demo all the goodthings we talked about from that side, we can bring that to light there andthen we do have a Youtube presence with our ingram level up program or areawithin youtube as the channel that exists there. That contains a lot ofour helpful videos if you want to navigate via youtube. Alright, so I gota podcast idea dan. So you take, you take Muraki Mondays and I'm going totake Marik I monday's here. We mispronounce all the difficult words inour shared vocabulary and then boil it all down to a few acronyms and thenreally confuse everybody. Exactly that would be the entire show. Exactly danAnd Jeff. Thank you so much for joining me. Yeah, thank you appreciate it.Thank you and thank you listeners for tuning in and subscribing to be to betech talk with ingram Micro. If you liked this episode or have a question,please join the discussion on twitter with the hashtag B to B tech talk untilnext time I'm Shelby scare hawk. You've been listening to B B tech talk withingram Micro, Cisco edition. Taking your business A level up BtB tech talkis a joint production by Sweet fish Media and ingram Micro, ingram Microproduction handled by laura Burton and Christine fan to not miss an episode.Subscribe today in your favorite podcast platform. Mm.

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