By Adrian Flückiger, Head of Cloud Infrastructure Services – Corporate Business, Swisscom
At Swisscom, we’ve encountered a challenge that should be familiar to telcoms everywhere. As more of our customers shift from landlines to mobile devices, and as the mobile market becomes more competitive and complex, we’re finding it necessary to create new revenue streams by offering a broader range of services. Two years ago, we confronted that challenge head-on with the introduction of a comprehensive cloud offering—our Dynamic Computing Service.
We developed our own customer-facing portal for this cloud offering, but we ran into serious limitations almost right away. The billing and fulfillment processes were insufficiently automated, and customers had very little transparency into the management of their cloud data. The simple fact is this: by attempting to create our own cloud infrastructure with no external assistance, we were stealing focus from our own areas of specialization. We needed a vendor with deep experience in deploying and optimizing cloud solutions. So we asked Cisco and two other top cloud vendors to engage in an intensive proof-of-concept to demonstrate their capabilities.
We assumed that some of our use cases would be too challenging for an external vendor, but Cisco proved otherwise. They delivered a truly dynamic, customizable solution to meet our complex needs. The result? We now offer a standardized catalog of 26 different cloud-based services, all managed through Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) software.
The key to the whole solution is the level of customization provided by Cisco Services. With their help, we’ve automated some of our most time-consuming processes, and we’ve gained greater visibility across the enterprise from a single portal. We can now provision servers in minutes rather than weeks. We can also offer our customers more flexible billing options, billing them on a day-to-day basis rather than monthly or quarterly. That level of flexibility and value is a major differentiator for us, because it really highlights both the quality and affordability of our services.
For me, the best thing about this whole process is that Cisco Services always listened to us. They were open to input. We learned a lot from each other, which is exactly as it should be.
To find out more about how Swisscom worked with Cisco Services to reduce costs while achieving greater agility, read the case study.
As the hype cycle around aspects of concepts like software-defined networking continue, customers are continuing to sift through and educate themselves to determine what is real and actionable. I have had my fair share of participation in several events over the last 24 months, and have been speaking to different audiences both gaining and sharing insights in the process.
One person I spoke with recently was Dr. Jim Metzler. We seem to be crossing paths at multiple venues including Interop, the Network World SDN roadshows currently underway in a few cities in the United States, as well, as at the Open Network Summit in Santa Clara a few weeks ago.
Jim has become the messiah of sorts, on some of these emerging technologies, and is frequently consulted -- both as part of his day job at Ashton, Metzler and associates and during his role hosting various industry panels on these topics. I thought it would be good to host the host and get some of his perspectives here, as we both got together at the recently held Open Networking Summit at Santa Clara.
It’s no surprise that student safety is the upmost priority to educators, administration, and parents. I would know because I have two daughters in K-12. The topic of safety in K-12 schools strikes particularly close to home since one of my daughters has already been in a lockdown due to police activity in the area. A lockdown is where children are placed in the corners of the classrooms, away from windows and clear from the classroom door windows: lights off, doors locked, and no chatter. My daughter took it in stride since she thought it was a game. I, on the other hand, was extremely uneasy when I received the email bearing the news and was not relieved until I received the “clear” email notification.
Given some of the latest developments that Cisco has been working on with location-based analytics using wireless technologies, it didn’t take long for us to start talking about how Wi-Fi could be used to help in the case of public safety in K-12 schools. The intersection of K-12 public safety and Wi-Fi technologies stirred up such a discussion amongst ourselves that we wanted to open up the discussion with an external webinar. I hope you can join me for the discussion on May 22nd (Click to register), but just in case you need some convincing, here’s a teaser. Read More »
Many of us will take a moment today -- or even the entire day -- to let the special women in our lives know how much they mean to us. This appreciation will likely come in the form of gifts or flowers, while others will simply send a card or make a phone call. But imagine how much more it would mean to that special lady who may not be able to spend the day with you in person to connect with you over video and see your smiling face.
As a mother of two, I find myself looking forward to this day every year. Why? This is the day where mothers from around the country get their much due recognition. It is a day where putting a personal touch on your communication is not only appreciated but deserved. Don’t believe me? These celebrities know what I’m talking about. They took the time to tell the world how their moms inspired them with a video message. How awesome is that?
I agree with this approach to Mother’s Day – use video! Forget a greeting card or phone call -- not to say those aren’t better than completely forgetting -- but it’s time to add a more personal element to Mother’s Day, and that’s what video does. So, from my kids to you, Happy Mother’s Day!
I’m sure moms everywhere will approve…I know I do!