Posts with #cisco technology - it news tag
Cisco IOS software is installed in the manageable Cisco switches for better LAN management. It delivers network services and enabled networked applications. The Cisco IOS has a command line interface that helps users to execute the Cisco IOS commands.
Cisco Switch Commands
The Cisco switch IOS has different EXEC modes with distinctive prompts. These modes execute different Cisco switch commands. Each mode has a set of specific commands.
The fundamentals of the Cisco IOS User Interface are as follows:
- Uses a command line interface
- Operations vary on different series of switches
- Type or paste entries in the console command modes
- Enter key instructs device to parse and execute the commands
- Two primary EXEC modes are user mode and privileged mode
- Command modes have distinctive prompts
Cisco IOS Software Exec
There are two main EXEC modes for entering the Cisco switch commands:
- Limited switch examination
- Command prompt on the switch is switch
- Detailed switch examination
- Enables configuration and debugging
- Prerequisites for other configuration modes
- Command prompt on the router is switches#
Cisco Telnet Commands
There are two primary ways to access a Cisco manageable switch to use command line interface.
- Out of band Console connection
- Via Ethernet through Telnet
Telnet is a utility used for remotely logging into a device. To telnet a Cisco IOS switch from a computer, type the following command on the CMD computer’s terminal:
Telnet IP address of the switch
Just like: Telnet 192.168.0.253
Cisco Catalyst 1900 Switch Commands
The following are some basic Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch commands:
- Show running-config: This command displays the memory status of the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch
- Show interfaces: This command displays detailed information about all the interfaces of Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch.
- Show interfaces Ethernet 0/1: This command displays detailed information about a specific 10baseT Ethernet interface of the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch
- Show interfaces Fast Ethernet 0/26: This command displays the detailed information about a specific 100baseT Fast Ethernet interface of the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch
- Show ip: This command displays the ip configuration of the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch
- Show Mac-address-table: This command displays the Mac addresses of the devices that are currently connected to the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch.
- Show Mac-address-table security: This command displays the address table size and the addressing security of each interface of the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch.
- Show VLAN: This command displays the status of current VLANs enabled on the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch.
- Show VLAN-membership: This command displays the VLAN membership of all the ports on the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch.
- Show Spantree 1: This command displays the complete information about the spanning tree protocol 1 that is enabled by default on the Cisco Catalyst 1900 switch.
- Copy nvram tftp: //host/dst_file: This command sends the configuration to a TFTP server.
- Copy tftp: //host/src_file nvram: This command downloads the configuration from a TFTP server.
- Delete nvram: This command resets the system configuration to factory defaults.
Show Cisco Switch Commands
Here are some show commands of Cisco switches:
- Show version: This command displays the hardware and software status of the Cisco switch
- Show flash: This command displays the files and directories in the flash of the Cisco switch
- Show interfaces: This command displays the detailed information about all the interfaces of the Cisco switch
- Show interfaces fast Ethernet 0/x: This command displays the detailed information about the specific interface of the Cisco switch
- Show interfaces VLAN 1: This command displays the ip address configuration of VLAN 1
- Show running-config: This command displays the status of RAM
- Show startup-config: This command displays the status of NVRAM
- Show-mac-address-table: This command displays the MAC address of the devices that are directly connected to any switch port.
- Show port-security: [interface] [address]: This command displays the port security options on the interface
- Show history: This command displays the last ten commands that are executed in the switch configuration
- Show line: This command is used to view the brief information about all the Cisco switch lines
- Show line console 0: This command is used to view the detailed information about the specific line of the Cisco switch
- Erase startup-config: This command is used to erase the nvram of the Cisco switch
Cisco Switch Configuration Commands
- Configure terminal: This command is used to enter the global configuration mode of the Cisco switch
- Hostname: This command assigns the Cisco switch’s hostname
- Enable password: This command sets the enable password of the Cisco switch
- Enable secret: This command sets the encrypted password of the Cisco switch that is used for entering into the privileged mode
- Interface VLAN 1: This is a global configuration command used to configure the VLAN interface of the Cisco switch
- Interface fast Ethernet 0/x: This command configures the specific interface of the Cisco switch
- IP address: This command configures the ip address of any interface of the Cisco switch
- IP default-gateway: This is an interface configuration command to set the default gateway
- Speed: This command sets the speed for the interface of the Cisco switch
- Duplex: This command sets the duplex setting for the interface of the Cisco switch
- Line console 0: This command is used to enter in the specific line configuration mode of the Cisco switch
- Password: This command sets the password of any line of the Cisco switch
Upgrading IOS on Cisco routers and network switches is highly recommendable because of the following reasons
Patch critical vulnerabilities: Just like any other network device or application, Cisco routers and switches are also prone to security holes. And because routers and switches are critical to network infrastructure, you should plug these security holes as soon as possible.
Incorporate new features: Unless an update is simply a bug fix, every new release of the Cisco IOS includes new features. Upgrading your routers and switches in a timely manner means you’ll have more features to potentially make your job easier.
Stay current: “Staying current” with the latest IOS may sound like a flimsy justification to upgrade, especially when you consider your daily task list. However, when you consider the many different tools that communicate with the router’s IOS, staying current can take on a new importance. For example, if you’re using a SNMP network management tool, it may require your router to run a certain version of the IOS.
Things You'll Need
Microsoft Windows 7 computer with telnet client and TFTP service installed
IP address of the Microsoft Windows 7 computer
Cisco router with telnet service enabled
IP address of the Cisco router
Cisco IOS image located in the TFTP service root directory
Password for the Cisco router telnet connection
Privilege Exec mode password for the Cisco router
Steps to upgrade IOS on Cisco router
1. Click the "Globe" button, then select the "Search" box, and then type "cmd." Right-click on the command line icon that appears and click "Run as Administrator." The command line window will appear.
2. Enter "telnet x.x.x.x," on the command prompt, replacing the "x.x.x.x" with the IP address of a Cisco router, and then press the "Enter" key. Telnet will then connect to the Cisco router.
3. Enter the telnet password when requested on the command prompt, and then tap the "Enter" key.
4. Enter "enable" on the command prompt, and tap the "Enter" key. Type the Privilege Exec password for the Cisco router when requested, and press the "Enter" key.
5. Enter the "copy tftp flash" command on the command prompt, and then tap the "Enter" key.
6. Enter the IP address of the Windows 7 computer on the command line as the IP address of the TFTP server from which to copy the new IOS image, and then tap the "Enter" key.
7. Enter the exact name of the IOS file on the command prompt when requested, and then tap the "Enter" key.
8. Enter the name of the IOS file as the destination file name and tap the "Enter" key.
9. Type "Y" when the "Erase flash: before copying? [confirm]" message appears, and press the "Enter" key. The new IOS file will then be copied to the router flash drive.
10. Enter "configure terminal" on the command line, and then tap the "Enter" key.
11. Type "no boot system" and press the "Enter" key. Then type "boot system flash:ios_filename," except replace the "ios_filename" with the exact name of the IOS file that was just transferred to the Cisco router, and then tap the "Enter" key.
12. Type the "exit" command at the command prompt and tap the "Enter" key, and then type "write memory" and tap the "Enter" key.
13. Enter the "reload" command on the command prompt, and then press the "Enter" key. The Cisco router will restart and boot into the new IOS.
What is a Network Protocol?
A protocol is a set of rules that governs the communications between computers on a network. These rules include guidelines that regulate the following characteristics of a network: access method, allowed physical topologies, types of cabling, and speed of data transfer.
Types of Network Protocols
The most common network protocols are:
- Local Talk
- Token Ring
The follow is some common-used network symbols to draw different kinds of network protocols.
The Ethernet protocol is by far the most widely used. Ethernet uses an access method called CSMA/CD (Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Detection). This is a system where each computer listens to the cable before sending anything through the network. If the network is clear, the computer will transmit. If some other node is already transmitting on the cable, the computer will wait and try again when the line is clear. Sometimes, two computers attempt to transmit at the same instant. When this happens a collision occurs. Each computer then backs off and waits a random amount of time before attempting to retransmit. With this access method, it is normal to have collisions. However, the delay caused by collisions and retransmitting is very small and does not normally affect the speed of transmission on the network.
The Ethernet protocol allows for linear bus, star, or tree topologies. Data can be transmitted over wireless access points, twisted pair, coaxial, or fiber optic cable at a speed of 10 Mbps up to 1000 Mbps.
To allow for an increased speed of transmission, the Ethernet protocol has developed a new standard that supports 100 Mbps. This is commonly called Fast Ethernet. Fast Ethernet requires the use of different, more expensive network concentrators/hubs and network interface cards. In addition, category 5 twisted pair or fiber optic cable is necessary. Fast Ethernet is becoming common in schools that have been recently wired.
Local Talk is a network protocol that was developed by Apple Computer, Inc. for Macintosh computers. The method used by Local Talk is called CSMA/CA (Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance). It is similar to CSMA/CD except that a computer signals its intent to transmit before it actually does so. Local Talk adapters and special twisted pair cable can be used to connect a series of computers through the serial port. The Macintosh operating system allows the establishment of a peer-to-peer network without the need for additional software. With the addition of the server version of AppleShare software, a client/server network can be established.
The Local Talk protocol allows for linear bus, star, or tree topologies using twisted pair cable. A primary disadvantage of Local Talk is speed. Its speed of transmission is only 230 Kbps.
The Token Ring protocol was developed by IBM in the mid-1980s. The access method used involves token-passing. In Token Ring, the computers are connected so that the signal travels around the network from one computer to another in a logical ring. A single electronic token moves around the ring from one computer to the next. If a computer does not have information to transmit, it simply passes the token on to the next workstation. If a computer wishes to transmit and receives an empty token, it attaches data to the token. The token then proceeds around the ring until it comes to the computer for which the data is meant. At this point, the data is captured by the receiving computer. The Token Ring protocol requires a star-wired ring using twisted pair or fiber optic cable. It can operate at transmission speeds of 4 Mbps or 16 Mbps. Due to the increasing popularity of Ethernet, the use of Token Ring in school environments has decreased.
Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) is a network protocol that is used primarily to interconnect two or more local area networks, often over large distances. The access method used by FDDI involves token-passing. FDDI uses a dual ring physical topology. Transmission normally occurs on one of the rings; however, if a break occurs, the system keeps information moving by automatically using portions of the second ring to create a new complete ring. A major advantage of FDDI is speed. It operates over fiber optic cable at 100 Mbps.
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is a network protocol that transmits data at a speed of 155 Mbps and higher. ATM works by transmitting all data in small packets of a fixed size; whereas, other protocols transfer variable length packets. ATM supports a variety of media such as video, CD-quality audio, and imaging. ATM employs a star topology, which can work with fiber optic as well as twisted pair cable.
ATM is most often used to interconnect two or more local area networks. It is also frequently used by Internet Service Providers to utilize high-speed access to the Internet for their clients. As ATM technology becomes more cost-effective, it will provide another solution for constructing faster local area networks.
The most recent development in the Ethernet standard is a protocol that has a transmission speed of 1 Gbps. Gigabit Ethernet is primarily used for backbones on a network at this time. In the future, it will probably be used for workstation and server connections also. It can be used with both fiber optic cabling and copper. The 1000BaseTX, the copper cable used for Gigabit Ethernet, is expected to become the formal standard in 1999.
Compare the Network Protocols
Twisted Pair, Coaxial, Fiber
Linear Bus, Star, Tree
Twisted Pair, Fiber
Linear Bus or Star
4 Mbps - 16 Mbps
Twisted Pair, Fiber
Linear Bus, Star, Tree
Network Diagramming Software
Edraw Network Diagrammer is a new, rapid and powerful network design software for network drawings with rich examples and templates. Easy to draw network topology, Cisco network design diagram, LAN/WAN diagram, network cabling diagrams, active directory, network planform and physical network diagram.
The Cisco ASA 5510 security device is the second model in the ASA series (ASA 5505, 5510, 5520 etc.) and is fairly popular since is intended for small to medium enterprises. Like the smallest ASA 5505 model, the Cisco ASA 5510 comes with two license options: The Base license and the Security Plus license. The second one (security plus) provides some performance and hardware enhancements over the base license, such as 130,000 Maximum firewall connections (instead of 50,000), 100 Maximum VLANs (instead of 50), Failover Redundancy, etc. Also, the security plus license enables two of the five firewall network ports to work as 10/100/1000 instead of only 10/100.
Next we will see a simple Internet Access scenario which will help us understand the basic steps needed to setup an ASA 5510. Assume that we are assigned a static public IP address 100.100.100.1 from our ISP. Also, the internal LAN network belongs to subnet 192.168.10.0/24. Interface Ethernet0/0 will be connected on the outside (towards the ISP), and Ethernet0/1 will be connected to the Inside LAN switch.
The firewall will be configured to supply IP addresses dynamically (using DHCP) to the internal hosts. All outbound communication (from inside to outside) will be translated using Port Address Translation (PAT) on the outside public interface.
Let's see a snippet of the required configuration steps for this basic scenario:
Step1: Configure a privileged level password (enable password)
By default there is no password for accessing the ASA firewall, so the first step before doing anything else is to configure a privileged level password, which will be needed to allow subsequent access to the appliance. Configure this under Configuration Mode:
ASA5510(config)# enable password mysecretpassword
Step2: Configure the public outside interface
ASA5510(config)# interface Ethernet0/0
ASA5510(config-if)# nameif outside
ASA5510(config-if)# security-level 0
ASA5510(config-if)# ip address 100.100.100.1 255.255.255.252
ASA5510(config-if)# no shut
Step3: Configure the trusted internal interface
ASA5510(config)# interface Ethernet0/1
ASA5510(config-if)# nameif inside
ASA5510(config-if)# security-level 100
ASA5510(config-if)# ip address 192.168.10.1 255.255.255.0
ASA5510(config-if)# no shut
Step 4: Configure PAT on the outside interface
ASA5510(config)# global (outside) 1 interface
ASA5510(config)# nat (inside) 1 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0
Step 5: Configure Default Route towards the ISP (assume default gateway is 100.100.100.2)
ASA5510(config)# route outside 0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0 100.100.100.2 1
Step 6: Configure the firewall to assign internal IP and DNS address to hosts using DHCP
ASA5510(config)# dhcpd dns 22.214.171.124
ASA5510(config)# dhcpd address 192.168.10.10-192.168.10.200 inside
ASA5510(config)# dhcpd enable inside
The above basic configuration is just the beginning for making the appliance operational. There are many more configuration features that you need to implement to increase the security of your network, such as Static and Dynamic NAT, Access Control Lists to control traffic flow, DMZ zones, VPN etc.
And so it begins. After a bleak summer that included 6,500 job cuts, Cisco Systems (CSCO) is working hard to raise its voice and rally partners. Channel Chief Edison Peres has issued a video blog to crystallize the company’s partner strategy. Andrew Sage, Cisco’s VP, Partner Led, is set to provide strategy updates soon. And CEO John Chambers (pictured) recently rallied the Cisco sales force to further support partners. All of the chatter includes Cisco executives talking about the “Next Cisco.” But has the Next Cisco really arrived?
In the video blog, Peres reinforces the fact that 80 percent of sales involve partners:
As expected, Cisco has also simplified its messaging. Instead of focusing on roughly 50 markets, Cisco is zeroing in on five opportunities:
- Core (routing and switching/Cisco routers&Cisco switches)
- Data center/virtualization
- Architectures for business transformation
Some folks on Wall Street are embracing Cisco’s streamlined focus. Auriga USA, an institutional broker, predicts that Cisco can grow faster than rivals over the next years while taking market share from Hewlett-Packard and Juniper Networks, according to Tech Trader Daily,
Still, let’s not forget that Cisco stumbled badly only a few months ago. First, the company essentially said “all is well” during Cisco Partner Summit (Feb. 28-March 3, 2011). But by April, Chambers conceded that Cisco had lost its focus. Cisco soon killed the Flip video camera. And by August 2011, Cisco cut roughly 6,500 positions.
But here’s where things get extra interesting. Sometime around the time Cisco started layoffs, Wall Street began to think that Cisco was in better shape than some of its rivals. And more recently, Hewlett-Packard’s decision to potentially sell or spin-off its PC division may have triggered some distractions within the halls of HP… potentially helping Cisco to gain some ground in the server market (though servers are not part of HP’s potential PC spin-off plan).
Yes, Cisco still has massive market share in switching and routing. And folks like Peres and Sage have the channel’s respect. But here’s one remaining riddle: How exactly does Sage’s role differ from Peres’s role? The VAR Guy expects to gain more answers and insights within the next few days…
Cisco is a large manufacturer of networking hardware, inter-network operating systems, network routers, switches and other similar devices. The actual design and layout of each product controls what types of Cisco memory can be used in the system device. This also influences what functions the memory serves in the system.
Cisco has four main types of memory in its hardware.
Dynamic Random Access Memory
Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM) is designed to work with computer systems that have two device requirements. One requirement would be the job that the processor memory performs. This is an operation that allows for exclusive memory access by the CPU, which it uses when executing software running on the Cisco IOS platform. Critical data such as configuration settings or routing tables are stored in the processor memory. The second requirement would be the function that the shared memory performs. This takes any and all data that comes in and out of the system and buffers it to what is called the packet memory. It is sent there before being transmitted over the network interface.
Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory
Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory (EPROM) is a memory system often unchangeable by consumers. When the system is being manufactured, it is one of the last stages left to complete. EPROM memory is installed with two components. One is the boot loader, which allows a system that may fail to find a bootable image in the flash memory and allow an alternate boot option. The second component is a ROM monitor, which comes with a user interface and options for troubleshooting any possible failures of the ROM chips.
Non-Volatile Random Access Memory
Non-Volatile Random Access Memory (NVRAM) performs the duty of storing configuration information used by Cisco IOS during booting and start-up. The NVRAM allows the functionality of the Cisco Software Configuration Register (SCR), which sole function is allow a device to be booted and chosen from the multiple IOS images stored in flash memory.
Flash memory has the widest variety of uses from all the Cisco memory types. The primary use for flash memory is to store bootable IOS images from which the system can define and use to start up. Most of the computers have installed the onboard flash memory the device uses to boot, but in some higher end systems, they can have the ability to boot up from a image stored on a removable flash memory card.
Cisco markets the 3900 Series Integrated Services Router, or ISR for short, as their cutting edge option in office network technology. The unit offers an upgradable motherboard. This allows owners to update hardware as more powerful options become available without having to purchase a new router. Cisco also appeals to environmentally conscious consumers with their EngeryWise dual power supplies, which lower electricity costs and support essential redundancy requirements. It is occasionally necessary to reset this powerful networking device, restoring it to factory default settings.
Two Metods to Reset a Cisco 3900 Router
1. Enter "config-register 0x2102" from the router's command prompt window. This gives you access to global configuration mode.
2. Enter "show version." The response should read:
router# configure terminal
router (config) #config-register 0x2102
router (config) #end
Repeat the "show version" command.
The response should now read "will be 0x2102 at next reload."
3. Enter the command "write erase." This will erase the current start-up configuration.
4. Reload the software by entering the "reload" command. Do not save when prompted.
The system display should read:
System configuration has been modified. Save? (yes/no): n
Proceed with reload? (confirm)
Confirm that you want the reload to proceed.
5. Wait for the reload. The dialog box will read:---System Configuration Dialog---
Would you like to enter the initial configuration dialog? (yes/no)
The router has been reset.
1. Enter the command "config-register 0x2142."
The response should read:
Router (config)#config-register 0x2142
Repeat the "show version command."
The response should now read "will be 0x2142 at next reload."
2. Reload the software by entering the "reload" command. Do not save when prompted. The system should read:
System configuration has been modified. Save? (Yes/no): n
Proceed with reload? (Confirm)
Confirm that you want the reload to proceed.
3. Wait for the reload. The dialog box will read:
---System Configuration Dialog---
Would you like to enter the initial configuration dialog? (Yes/no) Enter "no."
4. Change the configuration register setting to 0x2102. Enter "config-register 0x2102." Enter "write memory." This will overwrite the running configuration.
5. Enter the "reload" command. The system configuration dialog will appear again. The router is reset.
Competition between HP and Cisco has reached epic heights in the past few years, from data center wares to tablets. Here's why Cisco Cius survived even as HP pulled the plug on its TouchPad tablet.
With the TouchPad experiencing one of the shortest product lifecycles in IT in the last few years (some argue the Microsoft Kin had a shorter lifespan, but it did get a temporary resurrection), analysts are pointing the finger for its untimely death at a major switch in HP’s strategic focus, product launch delays and confusing marketing. With the TouchPad officially on the chopping block seven weeks after launch, what’s in store for other business tablets, most notably the Cisco Cius?
The simultaneous announcement that HP would be selling off its PC unit really shows a difference in the vendor’s focus since the days of Carly Fiorina and Mark Hurd, both of which were focused very much on the PC business. Current CEO Leo Apotheker, however, is a different kettle of fish, said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. King noted that Apotheker is a data center and software guy, and with terrible sales of the TouchPad in the first few weeks after launch, there was clearly a willingness to abandon the product.
“Certainly patience wasn’t the order of the day,” King said.
According to Rob Enderle, president and principal analyst of Enderle Group, HP’s acquisition of Palm delayed the release of the TouchPad. Designed to compete with the first generation of the Apple iPad, by the time it hit the market in July, it already seemed out of date and the consumer market had already spoken. Meanwhile, other tablets being released right now were designed to compete with the iPad 2.
Mixed marketing messages also may have contributed to the early demise of the TouchPad, Enderle said. Was it a consumer tablet or a business tablet?
“The TouchPad was kind of a mixed beast. It didn’t have a lot of business attributes to it. The advertising was clearly focused on the consumer. It got lost,” Enderle said.
It seems clear that mistakes were made, but what does this mean for business tablets entering the market, most notably one of HP’s biggest rivals, Cisco and its Cius tablet?
It’s likely to be good for Cisco, said Michelle Warren, president of MW Research & Consulting. Although there has been a lot of iPad adoption by executives in the business world, IT departments are struggling with managing and securing the devices. They’re looking for an alternative, and the Cisco Cius, which was designed specifically for enterprises in mind (Cisco’s own messaging is not aimed at the consumer at all), is getting some notice. Warren said the Cius is becoming a popular choice, even though it hasn’t even launched yet. When the Cius does launch, it will have one less competitor in the business tablet space, and it’s unlikely Cisco will drop the Cius product line, she said.
“There is a need for it in the enterprise space,” Warren said. At the very least, it was designed for enterprise apps and will be easier to manage and secure.
However, the question regarding all tablets that sell at or above the iPad's price point is whether they can be viable in an Apple-dominated business, King said. There is likely more leeway for business tablets like the Cius, he added.
“Apple is very clearly consumer-focused, although the company insists the iPad and iPhone are ready for the enterprise. I think that’s arguably incorrect, but it may have been a problem with the TouchPad because HP was trying to market it as being used by both businesses and consumers,” King said.
To its credit, Cisco has been very clear about its intentions for the Cius, he said. Its primary strengths are in enterprise computing and collaboration.
“The environment right now for tablets is extremely challenging, but I think Cisco is obviously in a place where they’re working very hard to curtail costs and reduce red ink,” King said. “If the Cius was really bleeding money, it could be destined for the boneyard, but I think what the company has done to date, at least, is get rid of those products that weren’t within the purview of its enterprise focus, like getting rid of the Flip and some of its other consumer-centric product areas. I think the Cius probably resonates enough with the company’s overall enterprise-centric mandate that it would make less sense for Cisco to put down production on that than it would on something on the more consumer-centric side of the business.”
14 years ago when Chuck Robbins started at Cisco, “you had a desk and you put your name outside the desk.” Now after more than a decade, the work style at the company has changed nearly beyond recognition, becoming incredibly accommodating to remote teams. And Robbins has thrived in this innovate environment, rising to the position of senior VP and running the organization’s sales team for the Americas.
What lessons has Robbins learned from leading through this transition at company that was not only an early adopter of flexible working, but which also builds a number of remote work solutions? He shared his wisdom with WebWorkerDaily.
Do experienced managers of co-located teams just magically make a smooth transition to a virtual workstyle? Not according to Robbins, who is a big believer in training, and not just on the technical challenges of web work.
“The technology actually tends to be the easiest part of this whole thing,” he told us, adding that the success of web work is often inhibited by “cultural acceptance by the leadership team that this is how we operate and it’s OK. Some companies equate productivity with being in the office, so I think, first of all, we have to make sure that we provide our leadership with education on things around, how do you manage a remote workforce effectively? What are the things you need to do differently when you can’t walk down the hall and grab them? We give that kind of training.”
Robbins’s pro-training philosophy extends to tech tools as well. He explains that team members are also trained in how to make the best use the of video conferencing solutions Cisco offers, answering questions like, “What sort of things should you be thinking about when you’re presenting to a customer over video and you’re not in the room and everybody else is? Or if you’re in the room and somebody else is remote, how do you make sure you continue to engage them?”
Video may play a big role for Robbins’s team, but email doesn’t. “Email is becoming the least favorite mode of communication with our team,” he said. Instead of sending individual messages, Robbins’s employees have “a new platform that we actually designed called Quad. It’s named after the college campus quad where everybody gathers. Think of it as Facebook for enterprise. People can build communities around different topics and they have their profile and their status and then we have integrated instant messaging.”
“New technology that enables single number reach for our sales organization,” is the final piece of the puzzle for Robbins’s team. “No matter where you are somebody doesn’t have to keep up with what phone numbers to dial. They dial your office and it rings whatever device you need it to ring,” he said.
In addition to tech and training, Robbins relies on an outcome-based management style to keep his team running smoothly. To succeed as the manager of a virtual team, “you have move to outcome-based performance, and to the extent that you can, outcome based compensation,” he advises. “That cultural thinking that, if you’re at your desk from eight to five, than you’ve been productive is no longer valid, so you’ve got to figure out how you create outcomes and metrics where you can determine success.”
All of these pieces have come together to create a deep change in attitudes towards flexible working at Cisco, Robbins concludes. “When we first started working from home, for some reason we didn’t want people to know we were working from home. You didn’t want the dog to bark or the kids to come and say something. You were always trying to mute if the dog was coming around. Today, if you’re working from home and your kid walks in, you tell them to say hello to whoever you’re talking to on the other end because it’s such an accepted thing.”
Think something similar won’t be coming to your company anytime soon? Think again, insists Robbins. “Any companies that don’t think they’re going to have to buy in to this approach, I think they’re going to be in trouble. For the first time ever we have conversations with companies about how to build their remote worker infrastructure and their collaboration capability in a way that will enable them to recruit the next generation workforce, because they believe that will be a retention issue. It’s become a strategic recruiting tool for many companies.”
Knowledge about Cisco:
Cisco Systems, Inc. is a multinational corporation headquartered in San Jose, California, that designs and sells consumer electronics, networking, voice, and communications technology and services. Cisco’s main network products are Cisco routers, Cisco switches, firewall security, IP Phones VoIP, all these network equipment can meet companies, business, campuses, industries of all size…
In the fiscal third quarter, Cisco’s reported net income fell 18 percent to $1.8 billion or 33 cents a share, from $2.2 billion, or 37 cents, in the year-ago quarter.
Stiff competition comes from companies like Juniper Networks and Alcatel-Lucent for corporate customers, including telecommunications companies, hospitals and universities. Meanwhile, Spending by government agencies was particularly weak for Cisco, declining 8 percent in the quarter.
Cisco faces additional pressure because of evolving markets and a failure to adapt. Many networking products are now specialized based on the kind of customer, a development that Cisco was late to embrace.
How to do? What strategy will cisco take?
In an effort to reverse the slide, John T. Chambers, Cisco’s chief executive said that he planned to cut an unspecified number of jobs and potentially eliminate or scale back additional products to lift Cisco’s growth. With about 73,000 employees, the company has already eliminated 550 jobs, offered employee buyouts and killed the Flip video camera as part of his month-old turnaround plan.
In addition, Mr. Chambers would take additional steps to streamline Cisco by revamping its complex management structure, which had executives serving on a patchwork of “councils.” Instead of encouraging cooperation, the councils created additional bureaucracy.
What’s more, Mr. Chambers e has begun a series of changes intended to focus Cisco on its core products(Cisco router and Cisco switches). He has scaled back the company’s consumer division, which included the Flip video camera, but others may be affected. Cisco said that it expected to save $1 billion over the next 12 months from its job cuts and streamlining.
But the turnaround is expected to take time. It’s a company that has pockets of weakness, but it also has pockets of strength. Let wait and see what happens!