Boosting Business Mobility and Responsiveness with the Cisco Unified Wireless Network

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1 Solution Overivew Boosting Business Mobility and Responsiveness with the Cisco Unified Wireless Network EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Today s businesses are turning to wireless networking to give employees immediate access to the business applications and communications tools they need. By adding voice-over-ip (VoIP) capabilities to their wireless networks, they can further improve collaboration and responsiveness, and realize new cost savings. The Cisco Unified Wireless Network lets businesses bring the mobility and flexibility of wireless networking to their voice communications systems. With robust quality of service (QoS), fast secure roaming, interoperable clients, and manageability, Unified Wireless Network helps the enterprise with a workforce on the move take immediate advantage of cost savings and enhanced productivity. Voice is one of Cisco s Wireless LAN Mobility Services which streamline business processes by providing anytime, anywhere access to critical information, and safeguard information and network integrity in the new era of wireless threats. Mobility Services deliver applications that transform business operations to deliver compelling benefits and are enabled on a simple, secure, and scalable unified platform for the lowest total cost of ownership. CHALLENGE Improving productivity and customer satisfaction has always been critical for businesses, which are constantly seeking new competitive advantages. Today, organizations must be more agile and responsive than ever. They face new challenges of globalization, a geographically dispersed workforce, and increasing reliance on real-time communications in every aspect of their operations. And they need to give employees access to voice, messaging, and conferencing tools, both inside and outside the workplace. IDC projects that by 2009, there will be more than 878 million mobile workers worldwide demonstrating that mobility is going mainstream. 1 To meet the needs of this increasingly mobile workforce, organizations are seeking enterprise mobility solutions that can help them: Resolve business problems in real time Increase responsiveness by reducing paging, hold, and customer waiting times Enable simplified dialing access Provide easier access to voic and messaging Reduce IT and voice costs Wireless networks are a proven solution that can provide ubiquitous access to critical enterprise voice and communications applications and resources. And Voice over IP technology delivers network intelligence and manageability to phone systems. By bringing the advantages of both technologies together in a single, comprehensive solution, organizations can become more collaborative, responsive, and competitive. 1 Source: 2 Worldwide Mobile Worker Population , Forecast and Analysis, IDC, October 2005 All contents are Copyright Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 1 of 7

2 SOLUTION By adding support for enterprise mobility solutions such as voice communications to a Cisco Unified Wireless Network, organizations can dramatically extend the reach of their communications systems to more employees, more of the time. The Cisco Unified Wireless Network brings the mobility and flexibility of wireless networking to voice communications systems. At the same time, it delivers the proven cost savings, productivity tools, and manageability of the Cisco Unified Communications System to an increasingly mobile workforce. The Cisco Unified Wireless Network consists of a comprehensive wired and wireless network infrastructure, extending the Cisco Unified Communications system over a secure WLAN. Organizations that have already invested in a wireless network can now bring the cost savings and immediacy of IP communications products to their network. Or, if they have already deployed a Cisco Unified Communications system, they can easily make the technology more flexible and mobile by adding a Cisco Unified Wireless Network. Cisco s Unified Wireless Network is a voice-ready WLAN and delivers important features such as QoS, fast secure roaming, and centralized RF planning and optimization tools for voice. The Voice-Ready Cisco Unified Wireless Network has four primary components: Access Points Cisco mobility platforms offer secure, manageable, and reliable wireless connectivity with exceptional range and performance, as well as integrated RF management. These access points are optimized to better handle the quick delivery of relatively short voice packets while minimizing retries to ensure a reliable and highly available network for mobile voice communications. The Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS) Cisco WCS provides visibility to voice-critical parameters such as delay, jitter, and roam time performance measurements to ensure a stable and reliable RF network to carry voice traffic. Cisco Compatible Extension clients Cisco innovations and industry-standard features are available in the Cisco Compatible Extensions program to enable a diverse set of voice clients to simply and securely connect to the Cisco Unified Wireless Network. Network unification Cisco wireless LAN controllers are delivered on an extensive range of integrated and standalone platforms, helping to ensure the network can scale as wireless network coverage extends throughout the campus to support voice clients. Cisco wireless LAN controllers are responsible for system wide wireless LAN functions, such as integrated IPS, real-time RF management, zero-touch deployment, and N+1 redundancy. For voice applications, wireless LAN controllers play a critical role in establishing the mobility groups and ensuring clients can roam across the campus. THE CISCO UNIFIED COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM The Cisco Unified Communications system of voice, video and IP communications products and applications enables organizations to communicate more effectively helping them to streamline business processes, reach the right resource the first time, and impact the top and bottom line. The systems is based on Cisco s industry-leading CallManager, Unity, and MeetingPlace, communications platforms. With the introduction of the Unified Communications System, line-side Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) support is built into the system. SIP is an IETF standard designed for voice, video and chat applications which is now incorporated into a number of devices, including mobile devices, wireless devices and desktop clients. By building SIP natively into our communications and collaboration platforms in addition to our existing protocol, SCCP, Cisco enables a communications system built for the future. Benefits The Cisco Unified Wireless Network helps companies take full advantage of their existing IP network to securely and cost-effectively deliver converged voice, video, and data applications to the entire workforce independent of location. In doing so, the solution helps organizations in a variety of industries gain substantial benefits. All contents are Copyright Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 2 of 7

3 Supply Chain Consolidating voice and data communications over a wireless-enabled infrastructure lets businesses streamline and enhance their supply chain processes. Using mobile client devices to track and manage supply chain activities, businesses can reduce errors and improve accuracy. They can make processes more flexible and agile by incorporating real-time communication. And they can improve customer service through better communication between front-line and backroom employees. For example, grocery store chain Dierbergs uses a Cisco Systems network to manage its entire business from suppliers to headquarters operations to customer support from one centralized platform with up-to-the-minute information. Its Cisco wireless infrastructure supports inventory management systems, employee hardware (including thin clients and wireless IP phones), customer kiosks, the video advertising system, pocket PC handheld devices, and in-store scale systems. Dierbergs employees throughout the organization are better connected, more mobile, and more productive than ever before. Education The Cisco Unified Wireless Network helps enable more engaging and effective interaction between faculty, staff, students, and administrators, to create a more collaborative learning environment. Based on IEEE a/b/g standards, the Cisco Unified Wireless Network access points give students and faculty with laptops fast, convenient Wi-Fi access to and the Internet. Daytona Beach Community College is taking advantage of the management benefits of a converged IP voice network, while supporting new communications applications that can save time and improve staff productivity. The college is using Cisco Unified Wireless IP Phones to provide convenient phone service for mobile college administrators and support employees. This setup offers staff full communications within the campus, and gives the college a greater degree of control over communications costs. Hospitality Hospitality organizations can benefit from the Cisco Unified Wireless Network by improving customer service and optimizing staff communications and productivity. By bringing the immediacy and intelligence of wireless VoIP to hotels, convention centers, entertainment and sports complexes, cruise ships, and other destinations, these organizations can be more responsive and knowledgeable about guest needs. A wireless IP phone in these environments can free staff from a fixed location, such as a lobby or concierge desk, and helps them provide more personalized service to their valued guests. For example, the Inter-Continental Heliopolis Hotel in Cairo features the latest Cisco Unified Communications and hospitality solutions, combined with a Cisco Unified Wireless Network. Hotel employees use Cisco Unified Wireless IP Phones to help maximize productivity, and staff anywhere in the hotel can respond to guests more quickly and efficiently. Manufacturing In manufacturing environments, the Cisco Unified Wireless Network improves efficiency by allowing the enterprise to respond more effectively to changes in supply and demand. It supports real-time communication and collaboration between different parts of the entire supply chain and logistics locations. From customers to suppliers, and from the factory floor to distribution centers, manufacturers can increase visibility and flexibility. The result is increased profits and customer satisfaction. Minnesota Rubber, a Quadion company, uses its Cisco IP network to unify plants and offices and facilitate collaboration for its engineering staff while reducing phone and videoconferencing costs. Its end-to-end Cisco solution, which includes the largest deployment of Cisco Unified Wireless IP Phones in the state of Minnesota, has helped increase Quadion s engineering productivity by 100 percent. All contents are Copyright Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 3 of 7

4 Enterprise Office The Cisco Unified Wireless Network accelerates productivity of office workers in all industries, enabling mobile access to Cisco Unified CallManager call-handling and conferencing tools, as well as rich media applications, from anywhere on campus. And organizations with mobile employees can reduce cell phone bills by deploying enabled devices to support voice communications. The Cisco Unified Wireless Network also lets enterprises standardize on a laptop or personal digital assistant (PDA) for voice and data communication to reduce the number and type of mobile communications devices they need to support and secure, helping enable broad deployment of mobility-enabled enterprise applications. For example, at Barilla America, executives have equipped their PDAs with Cisco Aironet 350 Series client adapter cards for access to the company s Cisco Unified Wireless Network. With this application they can use the Cisco IP SoftPhone to easily check and make or receive phone calls through their PDAs, so they can respond immediately to customers and other callers. Architecture The Cisco Unified Wireless Network is an intelligent, end-to-end network infrastructure. This Voice-Ready solution is illustrated in Figure 1. Figure 1. Cisco Unified Wireless Network All contents are Copyright Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 4 of 7

5 In this enterprise solution, the Cisco Unified Wireless Network and the Unified Communications system work together to provide reliable, manageable connectivity. The Cisco Wireless Network addresses the challenges of implementing a converged solution using several advanced technologies. QoS QoS is vital to enabling reliable, toll-quality voice communications. Cisco wireless access points include support for Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM), which is based on the IEEE e WLAN standard to support priority tagging and queuing to ensure intelligent handling of voice communications. Implementing QoS in a WLAN makes network performance more predictable and bandwidth usage more effective. Through the use of call admission control, QoS can be maintained under a heavy user load so your Cisco Unified Wireless Network can meet the demanding needs of voice clients. Because the role of the wireless voice client also is critical in establishing end-to-end QoS, Cisco also supports WMM in its Cisco Compatible Extensions specification. Client Device Support Today s employees depend on a variety of mobile wireless clients for communication, from PDAs to cell phones to laptop softphones. In response, the Cisco Unified Wireless Network is designed to support devices optimized for specific applications as well as general-purpose voice enabled devices. The Cisco Compatible Extensions program helps a wide variety of clients to simply and securely interoperate with Cisco s wireless infrastructure; it also enables advanced client features such as power save mode, QoS, and fast secure roaming, which must be supported on the client. The program lets WLAN client suppliers license Cisco innovations. Participants products undergo extensive testing at an independent third party test lab to ensure support for innovative Cisco features, as well as interoperability with the Cisco wireless infrastructure. Cisco Fast Secure Roaming Efficient roaming is critical for voice applications, which are unforgiving of any delays caused by the need to reauthenticate clients to preserve security. The Cisco Centralized Key Management protocol delivers fast secure roaming to enable clients to roam between access points in the same subnet (Layer 2 roaming) or between subnets (Layer 3 roaming) to support time-sensitive applications such as voice. Cisco delivers fast, secure mobility with access-point handoff times of 150 ms or less, and ensures WPA2 security is maintained during the roam. Management and Deployment Tools Organizations require robust management and deployment tools to ensure that the network RF performance can support voice communications. Voice traffic is susceptible to interference in a wireless environment, and interference can introduce delays. To optimize network availability and minimize interference, the Cisco Unified Wireless Network framework lets IT managers manage and control the RF environment with tools integrated into the Cisco WCS. Even IT professionals who are not trained in RF propagation and measurement can leverage the WCS to manage the Unified Wireless Network. The Unified Network also simplifies WLAN management to enhance productivity for network administrators to minimize total cost of ownership. The Cisco WCS automates and centralizes many time-consuming tasks, such as access-point firmware updates, VLAN configuration, dynamic grouping, and switch monitoring. Supporting Solutions The network infrastructure is only part of the Cisco Unified Wireless LAN solution. Cisco also provides a comprehensive set of supporting solutions designed to ease network planning and implementation and to optimize performance and reliability after deployment. All contents are Copyright Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 5 of 7

6 CISCO ADVANCED SERVICES Planning for a voice over WLAN (VoWLAN) deployment is critical to ensure that voice services can run successfully and reliably over a wired and wireless IP network infrastructure. Cisco Advanced Services provides a customizable, real-world deployment lifecycle process to help companies achieve their business objectives. The service helps organizations prepare for and manage the migration to VoWLAN with high-level designs and detailed RF site surveys, all the way through ongoing performance and optimization of voice network applications. CISCO SERVICE AND SUPPORT Cisco Unified Communications services and support reduce the cost, time, and complexity associated with implementing and maintaining a converged network. Through Cisco Partner Consultative Support programs, Cisco helps ensure a successful implementation that delivers the right functions and features on time. Support services include the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC), software updates and upgrades, hardware replacement, and access to Cisco online tools and resources. Cisco Service and Support lets organizations create and maintain a resilient, converged network that will meet their business needs today and in the future. WHY CISCO? Cisco Systems helps businesses who need to improve their processes, safeguard information and improve customer, partner and employee experience and loyalty. Cisco s Wireless LAN Mobility Services are a combination of voice, location, security and guest network services that enable mobility applications streamline business processes by providing anytime, anywhere access to critical information, and safeguard information and network integrity in the new era of wireless threats. Voice is a key component of the Wireless LAN Mobility Services. Running over a converged IP network, the Cisco Unified Wireless Network enables a common management and robust security scheme, simplified deployment and operation, integration and participation of Cisco Compatible clients in network management, and centralized control and configuration of thousands of networking devices. The solution provides a complete range of enterprise voice solutions for a converged WLAN, helping organizations improve their responsiveness, collaboration, and productivity, while realizing a significant return on investment. All contents are Copyright Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 6 of 7

7 Printed in USA C /06 All contents are Copyright Cisco Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. This document is Cisco Public Information. Page 7 of 7

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