The proliferation of smartphones and tablet-based products in the past few years has enabled office workers to communicate, collaborate, and connect with team members, end customers, and partners directly over the network. However, this gradual emergence of enterprise employees wanting to work on their own terms and freeing them up from the “fixed desktop in the office” model creates a whole host of new challenges for any IT department.

This is precisely why Cisco is now paving the way forward with its Unified Workspace solutions. This strategy will transform the traditional concept of a workplace into something that encompasses mobility, video, collaboration, and any business applications, all securely available on any device, as well as allowing the possibility of employees to access personal email and social networking sites if authorized under company policy.

The term Unified Workspace does not in itself specify the type of architecture being used, but is very much focused on providing an exceptional end-user experience irrespective of the end device used. Architecture is the most essential element within any network because it is the blueprint that contains
all the elements, their relationships, and required capabilities leading to implementation.

Essentially, Cisco Unified Workspace is a model to securely access any application from any device and any location, without compromising the security of company confidential applications and data.

Built on three cross-architectural smart solutions, bring your own device (BYOD), virtual experience infrastructure (VXI), and remote expert, Cisco Unified Workspace eases the burden on IT organizations designing, integrating, and deploying workspace environments by using a single unified policy for secure access to data, applications, and systems across the entire organization, including guest, posture, device profiling, network access, and mobile device management (MDM). It also provides data security in the network (on and off premises) to make sure of IP protection while maximizing end-user productivity.

This has been stimulated by corporate industry turning its attention to its “second curve” business dilemma in which to grow and continue to thrive in the future
workspace, whether it is employees at home, in the office, or being mobile. In reality, this potentially daunting strategic jump has been the catalyst for the integration of BYOD and VXI.

Despite such offerings, however, the ability for users to work in their own environment without compromising their normal way of doing business continually pushes the integration and architecture boundaries. Users are not necessarily only seeking raw data throughput performance improvements but are also pursuing their quest toward integrating multiple devices within any network.

With Cisco providing an end-to-end solution that allows users to effectively manage and control the access, experience, and productivity of a BYOD environment, coupled with lifecycle management and secure access, Cisco Unified Workspace offers up a rich collaborative experience for the end user and a simpler, more cost-effective IT solution.

Cisco Unified Workspace Services feature three primary elements

Architecture Strategy Service

  • Align current and future IT infrastructure to business requirements within the context of BYOD, VXI, and remote expert 
  • Develop an architecture strategy roadmap, making sure that the roadmap can support the future business requirements in a timely manner

Architecture Assessment Service

  • Analyze and document business profile, requirements, and success metrics  
  • Assess the current architecture with regard to Unified Workspace
  • Identify any gaps that need to be bridged in the current state architecture
  • Develop a high-level converged solution roadmap identifying technologies and solutions to achieve business and network goals

Architecture Design Service

  • Map technical requirements translated from the business use cases identified in the Architecture Strategy Service to a high-level design (HLD)
  • Translate the HLD into configuration templates, logical and physical topology diagrams, and check lists
  • Develop design validation test plans

 

The way in which Unified Workspace Services have evolved over the past few years is nothing but exciting. Basic attention to the future requirements of BYOD and VXI has paved the way for an imaginative cornucopia of new services to address the most demanding of next-generation end applications. Lowering complexity, providing consistent quality and security, and still using existing investments are all absolute imperatives for Unified Workspace smart solutions.

The need for cross-pollination of services will no doubt continue to develop, pushing the price/performance criteria toward ever more aggressive market expectations. In essence, the acceptance of any new Unified Workspace coupled with the breadth of security and policy management will make sure of long-term
viability along with the industry acceptance of such exciting new architectures.

By using a holistic architectural approach, Cisco Services have the architectural expertise and are leading the transformation toward the next generation Unified Workspace environment.

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