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Taking Carrier Ethernet To Another Level: Cisco CE 2.0 Certification Pioneer

BirenProfilePicture-e1349971468612-300x369By Biren Mehta, Senior Marketing Manager, SP Marketing in Routing and Switching, Cisco

Have you ever tried to order a pizza that 20 different people would enjoy?  Just imagine getting twenty companies to agree upon a vigorous test plan that included over 600 test cases! (No easy cop-out by just getting plain cheese here…).  Big kudos go out to the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) for the launch of the Carrier Ethernet 2.0 (CE 2.0) certification program and to the first wave of MEF CE 2.0 certified companies.

The MEF certification of Carrier Ethernet equipment and services is of significant value to network operators.  The certification establishes a standard for delivering carrier-grade Ethernet services, speeds deployment of new services, and creates interoperable trust in a multi-vendor multi-operator network environment. MEF CE 2.0 greatly expands Ethernet services and further advances the industry through standardization of interconnectivity. Improvements include extending the Ethernet services reach, multiple classes of services for optimized mobile backhaul delivery, and greater manageability for delivery of differentiated applications over managed networks globally. Read More »

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Connect, Recognize, and Motivate: Cisco’s Global Sales Experience (GSX) 2012, Part Two

January 31, 2013 at 8:44 am PST

In my previous blog post I discussed the format of GSX (Cisco’s annual global sales meeting) and tactics deployed to listen to, engage with, and motivate the audience. In this blog post I am going to dive into new approaches we took to enable peer networking and team appreciation.

Enabling meaningful networking and recognition for attendees at any event is challenging, but in the hybrid format of GSX, this task is exponentially harder. This year, a number of new tactics were deployed to address these challenges.

Peer Networking
A new networking tool called ‘Make Connections’ was created exclusively for use at GSX. This tool was available on desktops and mobile devices. Using a variety of criteria such as market segment expertise, technology interests, job roles, and sales recognition status, attendees were able to control how they were found, as well as what they were looking for in a network connection. Once a match was made, attendees could add individuals to their personal network, chat with connections one-to-one, and make notes about the connection. After the event, attendees could download their network for reference and/or import it into a contact management tool such as Outlook. The response was very positive with a 6% increase in year over year “ease of networking” satisfaction score, and utilized by 57% of registered attendees during the event.

Team Recognition
Although we have a robust sales recognition program, every year we hear from the winners and the audience at large that they would like to find a way to recognize the contributions their teams made to their success. So this year we decided to tackle the request head on and deployed a digital engagement called ‘Team Appreciation’. Read More »

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VDI “The Missing Questions” #1: Core Count vs. Core Speed

January 31, 2013 at 8:40 am PST

Choosing the right compute platform for your VDI environment requires both science and art. You have to balance CPU and memory characteristics against your expected workload profile and your desired density. At the end of the day, VDI has to meet some cost criteria in order to go from a fun science project to a funded program in your company. That means you can’t just throw the top bin CPU at the problem; you have to pick the right CPU. This is further complicated by the fact that there is not one CPU that is ideal for all VDI workloads. There is no magical bill of materials at the end of this series of blogs, but we will attempt to make your VDI decisions based more on science than art.

Strength in numbers? Or strength in speed? As Tony said in his introduction, we had several involved questions related to VDI that we honestly couldn’t answer… so we decided to start testing. This will be a series of blogs that attempts to answer practical questions like “when is processor A better than processor B?” And of course you then have to ask “when is processor B better than processer A?” In this first installment in the series, I will tackle the question of whether the number of cores or the core speed is more important when the goal is to achieve the best desktop density per host. Here is a handy guide to the other posts in this series:

The usual suspects. Throughout this series, we will focus on two processors. We picked them because they are popular and cost effective, yet quite different from each other. They are not top bin processors. Take a look at the table below for a comparison.

Note: Prices in this table are recommended prices published by Intel at http://ark.intel.com and may vary from actual prices you pay for each processor. The SPEC performance numbers are an average of SPEC results published by many OEMs (at http://www.spec.org/) across many platforms. These are not Cisco-specific SPEC numbers.

Read More »

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RSA Conference: T-Minus 30 Days and Counting

A month from now, thousands of cyber security friends, colleagues, professionals, hackers, defenders, sellers, buyers, old timers, and newbies will descend on San Francisco for the 2013 RSA Conference. We will challenge one another about what has changed, create new topics and new words to describe the previously indefinable, scare the heck out of each another, and ask the same questions…often: “What’s changed in the last year? Is it better? Is it worse? Is it new?”

“Security in Knowledge” is an apt theme for this year’s RSA. It resonates with me, given my very strong opinions that no company can effectively manage cyber security alone, either people-wise or data- and information-wise. Can any organization analyze 13 billion web requests per day? 150 million endpoints? A daily deluge of 75  terabytes of incoming data? You can’t cope with that yourself. We need to move to crowd-sourcing security, creating security knowledge, and ultimately increasing effectiveness rather than watching the ship continue to take on water at intermittently slowed rates.  Read More »

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Customer Loyalty is the Ultimate Goal, Not Just Satisfaction

Money is tight. Everyone wants to feel as if they are getting the most out of every dollar spent.  While brand perception and trust are vital, many insurers have refined their customer satisfaction focus to now pursue and measure customer loyalty.

Like many other industries, the insurance industry is experiencing diminished returns on traditional advertising designed to improve brand loyalty and fuel business growth. Ads are no longer a reliable means of driving new business especially with younger, tech-savvy consumers. As a younger generation begins to make insurance purchasing decisions, it is vital for insurance agencies to harness technology in order to connect with customers and build brand loyalty.

Now more than ever, insurance providers are struggling to increase customer retention and are in need of some help. A recent study conducted by Satmetrix gathered the average customer loyalty of various industries and found that insurance was one of the lowest, with a customer loyalty rate of 23 percent. It is likely there is a correlation between this percentage and the lack of technology insurers have to utilize that would strengthen relationships with existing customers. Consumers are clearly expecting more from their insurance companies and increasingly desire a more personalized and proactive touch.

So how can technology help? Read More »

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