News Release

Best Buy Improves Corporate Productivity with Cisco Aironet Wireless LAN Network

Innovative Cisco Wi-Fi Infrastructure and Cisco Compatible Notebooks from HP Improve Operational Efficiency
Nov 10, 2004

SAN JOSE, Calif., November 10, 2004 - Cisco Systems® today announced that Best Buy, North America's number one electronics retailer, has successfully deployed wireless networks across its Minneapolis-based corporate campus and in its more than 640 retail stores nation-wide to help increase workforce productivity.

Using Cisco® Aironet® 1200 Series Access Points, CiscoWorks Wireless LAN Solution Engine and Cisco Compatible Business Notebooks from HP, the wireless network enables Best Buy to move toward a more agile and efficient work environment that fosters collaboration and accelerates the pace of business.

With real-time wireless access to business-critical applications and collaboration tools, Best Buy's workforce can respond quickly, creatively and effectively from anywhere on its 1.5 million-square-foot corporate campus and in its retail stores across the United States.

Approximately 60 percent of Best Buy's 5,000 corporate employees now take advantage of the Wi-Fi network in a variety of offices, conference rooms and common areas. The company's entire campus was designed with collaboration in mind and includes several informal meeting areas that encourage ad hoc business discussions. Further, based on a formal study to measure the productivity increases that result from wireless mobility, it was found that ubiquitous wireless access in the Best Buy corporate campus area adds five additional hours per week to the productivity of salaried employees.

"Cisco wireless technology helps Best Buy transform to a more efficient, customer-centric business model by enabling a dynamic working environment that improves employee productivity and agility," said Bob Willett, executive vice president of Operations for Best Buy. "We selected Cisco for its enterprise-class wireless security and its Cisco Compatible Extensions program whereby devices have an established set of innovative features incremental to the standards and have been tested interoperable with Cisco Aironet infrastructure for simplified deployment."

For the campus-wide network, Best Buy installed more than 1,000 Cisco Aironet 1200 Series Access Points in strategic locations inside the 42.5 acre facility to create a wireless infrastructure that provides seamless network access to their Cisco Compatible HP Compaq Business Notebooks and Tablet PCs with Intel Centrino mobile technology. HP, a Cisco Global Strategic Alliance partner, was the first vendor to make available Cisco Compatible notebooks and tablet PCs. Best Buy has also deployed four Cisco Aironet 1200 Series Access Points in each retail store to provide wireless access to its local store functions. To maximize the security of its corporate resources, Best Buy uses Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) encryption and Extensible Authentication Protocol Transport Layer Security (EAP-TLS), a certificate system for highly secure authentication of users. For managing the Cisco Aironet infrastructure, Best Buy uses the CiscoWorks Wireless LAN Solution Engine.

"Electronic retailers such as Best Buy depend on a work environment that fosters collaboration and enables real-time, effective decision making," said Bill Rossi, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Wireless Networking Business Unit. "We are extremely pleased that Best Buy has selected Cisco as it looks to enhance the productivity and efficiency of its employees using the latest in wireless technology innovations."

The Cisco Compatible Extensions program enables customers to deploy their wireless local area networks (LANs) with increased confidence when they select from a broad variety of Wi-Fi mobile devices and client adapters that have been extensively tested for interoperability with Cisco Aironet infrastructure. A Cisco global strategic alliance partner, Intel worked closely with Cisco as a lead collaborator in the development of this program.

"Intel recognizes how important security is for users of wireless technology, so we worked closely with Cisco and designed from the ground up Intel Centrino mobile technology-based notebooks to support Cisco Compatible Extensions Version 3 to provide improved security and to help ensure compatibility with Cisco infrastructure," said Jim Johnson, general manager, Wireless Networking Group, Intel Corporation.