Den Sullivan is the head, Architectures and Enterprise, Emerging Market, Cisco. He joined Cisco and the IT Architecture Group in year 2000. Prior to joining Cisco, Sullivan held a number of management positions in utilities, public sector and consulting.
He has played major role as CIO for a sales region that spanned Latin America, the Middle East and Eastern Europe and was responsible for several large-scale advanced technology programmes including the initial portfolio of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), Wireless and IP telephony services.
Peter ugwu was at the recent launch of Cisco Unified Access Solution held in Lagos where Sullivan spoke on the monumental achievement made by Cisco in converging wired and wireless networks.
The Mega Trend in Network and Connectivity
Anybody working in the information technology environment would be familiar with three major changes in the industry in the recent times: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), Cloud Computing and the Big Data.
A lot of people now have multiple devices; not just to use them in a familiarized environment, thus the proliferation has moved to the working environment.
A lot of people-Smartphone, Tablet or Notes; generally, consumers are buying phones with more computing power.
They want to bring them to the working environment because they are familiar with the operations, they enjoy using them, and so they are comfortable with them.
Gone are the days when people are recruited, particularly in IT companies and are told to seat at a particular place with provided personal computer or other devices. Nowadays, people want to work the way they want to using their devices; to have the experience through the mobility.
They want to work when they want to not tied to a desk; in the ‘70s it used to be that fax, telephone and PC, that era is behind us.
The Post PC era, the phone factor has completely changed it.
We also talk about cloud as another way to create efficiency and have access to greater services; although, it depends on what sector you are in.
Cloud is an utopia for you when you are in the IT world or hybrid cloud to optimize your applications or do you want to build your service; for instance an accounting package for your banking service or do you want to take application from the vendors to simply create your package, absolutely, all the things about your intellectual property, you might require a cloud to have it secured and network to have access to them.
All that mentioned above revolves round data.
There is a big thing happening in the industry about data. With all the devices in place with more coming in, about 210 billion emails are sent every day, increasingly download from application stores, a seamless storage capacity is needed to have this huge downloads function optimally.
Cisco’s Believe in ‘The Internet is Everything’
Talking about the mega trends and existing opportunities for individuals and organisations to develop further it may interest us to know that as at today, 99% of the world remains unconnected. That means one per cent is actually connected.
That is a huge phenomenal opportunity. It may not necessarily be about that Cisco, but our products entail more opportunities we are creating for people, organisations and nations.
We are in the business of changing networks; for healthcare, education and commercial reasons.
Imagine the ability to connect everything within the hospital, the fastening of processes and more so, the better health-care people can get. For us, it is achievable.
Cisco is also trying to change how we live work and play alone. We are particularly interested in knowing when you get connected and what it can do for you.
Imagine a world where ‘the internet is everything’ you would have been connected to the airline server and when you go to bed around 10pm and set you alarm at 8:15am, where my alarm code changes because the flight was delayed and I receive a notification, then I can stay in the bed for the next two hours.
That is internet at work. That singular trigger offers you bundle of opportunities-you can drive your children to school, do some other things; it is like having extra two hours of your life back.
Very simple phenomena we have today can generate huge benefits to the world. So, I can connect to the airline through a simple app.
We received a recent announcement from a diapers company; every time the baby pees they get a tweet which rises from a need to change the baby’s diaper quick enough.
Recently, Cisco carried out a survey and people are enthusiastic of having driverless cars.
At a time I needed my eyeglasses I asked myself, how do people find know they need their eyeglasses? And I found out that we can actually have an application that connects with our eyeglasses that will help us identify where we dropped the glasses and when it is needed.
There are a lot of things to think about and develop alongside helping our daily lives or grow the economy. These ride on the back of the network.
I will argue that network has never been more relevant than it has been today and it will continue to increase in relevance hence technological development continues.
Today, one’s Smartphone, Tables, Notes, Ultra-Books, laptop and others are relevant when they are connected; you need the social media, apps, etc to move on.
Cisco’s Unified Access Solution
Statistics indicate that by 2014, 90% of organisations will allow personal devices for work use, while 100% of organisations are struggling to keep up with mobility trends.
The question is, why are they struggling? The trending issue is security of data.
On individual level, you can move to any apps store and have access to sensitive document, but the next requirement is how you protect them.
It is not just about hacking and cyber security, it about the amount of breaches that happen inside the network from your end involving your workforce.
It is all about managing data, intellectual property; at government level, it could be managing public documents, national security, taxation, it could be about patient’s records. In the employment sector it could be about managing your product.
Before now, it was a desk with PC and telephone on it, now the emphasis is on BYOD. We have seen companies deny workers access to social network like paying games, during work hours, with Cisco technology we can allow you access to the network but your access to games will be tuned off. That makes the difference.
There are various reasons workers may need to have access to the social networks during work hours, but then, games are out of it. What Cisco is giving is a choice.
There are evidences of facebook being used by recruitment or HR department(s) belongs to different companies, twitter used by the marketing department, all of this have varied roles with organisations.
So, Unified Access Product is a solution that has unique features that offers the biggest significant shift in switching in the last ten years.
It is major breakthrough that will aid IT department of various organisation have seamless convergence of wired and wireless network access.
The differentiation will offer single platform, networking for wide visibility for faster troubleshooting, consistent security of quality of service (QoS) control, enables users to maximise resiliency with the fastest data recovery that contains layered network of high availability design and scale with distributed wired and wireless data plane.
The data plane is made of up of 480G stack bandwidth; 40G wireless/switch efficient multicast.
Is it Integrateable to Existing Infrastructure?
Certainly, it is integratable, no issue is there; but it depends on your industry and what you are looking to achieve through this platform.
For instance, a bank may be offering both wireless and wired network services within its branch; first, to its employees.
Now, why not extends it to the people that come do business or service oriented deals with you.
Presently, banks still deal with a lot of paper work when someone wants to open a bank account with them, at the same time, there is a bank that gives out iPad to the customers to transact business with them.
That bank is the biggest accounts for more voice service more than the local telecom network provider, because on their solution they allowed customers to make voice calls to them. Also, there is a voice call among the employees.
Imagine that bank offering wireless service, before they used to turn all the wireless traffic back to the headquarters, which will be too challenging.
With this product, you can put that in the bank; produce both the wired and wireless services without that transaction going back to your data center.
And it depends on your life circle, what your business is doing, the challenges and more product service you need.
There is a solution imbedded in the product that gives the ultimate security. However, security is a portfolio that cannot be neglected.
Remember this is one out of various solutions you may require to carry out your business, you must be proactive to protect not just your network, but content inclusive and Cisco is in that business.
This is absolutely a keystone to managing your security and it works very well with our identity services engine that manages your access as regards what you can access, from where, because the two may be different and depending on the device you are using.
Cisco is the first to come out with this solution which is our strategy to unify wired, wireless and virtual private networks (VPNs), into a single, highly secure network infrastructure based on one policy source and one management solution for the entire campus network.
It offers software-defined networking open interfaces, which offer greater investment protection through support of new features in the future.
The Unique Proportion
For instance in Nigeria, our customers are looking for a simple, highly secure network with reduced total cost of ownership that allows them to address the demands that new access requirements such BYOD and new innovative line of business applications bring.
Cisco Unified Access allows customers to achieve these goals by moving from individual vertical stacks of technology and disparate components and creating a single architecture for an intelligent network
CBN Pulls Rate Cut Trigger, King Dollar Returns
By Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM,
In a move that caught investors off-guard this week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) slashed interest rates by 100 basis points bringing the MPR to 11.5%. Given how inflation has been above target since 2015, rates were expected to remain unchanged for the rest of 2020 and possibly early 2021.
The question on the mind of many is whether the rate cut will achieve the desired effect by stimulating consumption and economic growth? Ongoing border closures and disruptions created by COVID-19 have pushed inflation to levels not seen since March 2018 above 13.20% while a drop in the production and price of Oil continues to rub salt into the wound. While looser monetary policy could support growth, it may come at the cost of rising inflation and weaker Naira.
Over the past few months, central banks across the globe have deployed unprecedented measures to defend their respective economies against the coronavirus menace. However, fiscal policy has been identified as the sharper tool with governments across the world providing a critical lifeline to keep the wheels of their respective economies rolling.
Outside of Nigeria, King Dollar made a return by appreciating against every single G10 currency. In times of uncertainty, everyone wants a juicy piece of the world’s most liquid currency. As coronavirus cases rise in Europe and other parts of the world, the flight to safety is likely to boost appetite for the Dollar. This is bad news for many emerging markets currencies, especially those with high Dollar-denominated debt.
On the commodity side, Oil prices remain heavily influenced by demand-side factors and the state of the global economy. Prices are likely to remain stuck around the $40 regions in the near term, especially If another round of possible lockdowns hit Oil demand. Looking at the technicals, WTI Crude is under pressure on the daily charts. If prices are unable to break away from the sticky $40 regions, the next key point of interest remains around $38. A weekly close above $41.50 could pave a path towards $43.
NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System
Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.
Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.
He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.
“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.
“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.
He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.
Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.
According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.
“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.
Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.
NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.
The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.
A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.
This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.
Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.
They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.
Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.
According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.
However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”
The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.
Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.
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