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Cisco: Done right, the right way

Years ago I was working for a videoconferencing company in Austin, TX where the CEO had a success quadrant. The ultimate success quadrant focused on getting things done right, the right way. A perfect analogy for how Cisco organized and executed the annual industry analyst gathering called C-Scape in Las Vegas July 11-13.

I work daily with the industry analysts from Gartner, Forrester, IDC, Current Analysis and many other top-flight groups. I acknowledge here and now that industry analysts have a tough job. Analysts are consistently bombarded with information from vendors all demanding attention and seeking the analyst relations “golden ticket” of a positive note, blog, report, or recommendation that the analyst group’s client consider a vendor’s product line.

So, it was nice at C-Scape to see a truly international contingent of industry analysts who were hungry for information and details about Cisco’s technology innovations, products and services. That’s exactly what they got served.

What positively separates C-Scape from many competitors’ analyst conferences is the access. I am talking about access to the highest levels of leadership at Cisco. It starts with John Chambers’ keynote. At his C-Scape keynote Mr. Chambers first proudly pointed out that Cisco is the current market leader in 11 of 17 product categories. He outlined the company’s top 5 priorities including the core router and switch line; communications and collaboration; data center, virtualization and cloud; video, and; architectures. It’s just where you would expect Cisco to lead the industry and Mr. Chambers, and the leadership team, are fully committed to delivering. If you were looking for a bold statement, here’s a direct quote from Mr. Chambers, “Five years from now video will be the primary form of IT.”  Finally, Mr. Chambers delivered this promise, “When problems occur, we’ll be there for you like no other company in the world.”

Analyst access doesn’t stop with Mr. Chambers and his executive team. Another differentiator is the fact that analyst one-on-one sessions with Cisco team members are one hour instead of one-half hour. It enables both the analyst and Cisco to have a full, solid discussion and advice interaction.

As a member of the data center and virtualization team at Cisco I am very proud of the analyst roundtables segment where Cisco data center, Unified Computing Systems, and virtualization leaders meet with groups of analysts for full-on discussions. There was the UCS Futures Roundtable with UCS leaders David Lawler and Satinder Sethi. There was  the roundtable entitled” Data Center Fabric: Unifying Compute, Network, Storage and Virtualization”  featuring vice presidents David Yen, Soni Jiandani and John McCool. There was the  Data Center customer panel entitled “The ROI of Fabric” moderated by Stephanie Carullo and featuring customers Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold, Travelport, NASDAQ and the Walz Group. There was the roundtable entitled  “Private Cloud Architectures: The CTO’s Perspective” led by executives Lew Tucker, David Yen and Soni Jiandani.

In addition, analysts got to hear from Dave Evans, Cisco’s Chief Futurist (that’s just about the coolest title in technology) who presented “10 Tech Trends that Will Change the World in the Next 10 Years.”

If you follow Twitter or industry analyst blogs you already know that the feedback was that C-Scape was the strongest and best Cisco analyst conference to date. Frankly that’s very encouraging. For the Unified Computing System (UCS) team, it was another superior opportunity to continue to tell our story about the meteoric rise of UCS over the last two years where we are already number three worldwide in blade  server marketshare. There is much to do yet indeed and UCS has the team to get it done: Done right, the right way.

Strong Momentum for Cisco ASR 9000 and CRS Platforms

Momentum continues to increase for Cisco’s ASR 9000 edge routing system and Carrier Routing System (CRS) core routing platform.  

Recently, of course, Cisco announced major advancements to the ASR 9000.  These will dramatically increase capabilities at the network edge and make it simpler for service providers to architect the next generation of the Internet to be more visual, mobile and virtual.  

In addition, Cisco has announced quite a number of ASR 9000 customers throughout the world:

In regard to the CRS, Cisco released figures showing significant momentum for the market-leading CRS-3, as well as announcing additional capabilities for the platform.  In less than a year since the product was launched, Cisco shipped CRS-3 units to more than 80 global service providers in more than 30 countries. Since 2004, Cisco CRS units have been shipped to more than 450 service providers in more than 80 countries. 

There have also been several public announcements of customer deployments for the CRS platform:

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Cisco Arms Enterprises with Solution to Address Critical Challenges of Distributing Video

Cisco today announced the Cisco® Enterprise Content Delivery System (ECDS)®, a set of video distribution products that work together to address IT leaders’ growing challenge of delivering the highest-quality live and on-demand video content to end users anywhere, anytime.

As a key video infrastructure component of the Cisco medianet architecture, ECDS consists of hardware appliances and Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) virtual blade software. The appliances and software work together to help organizations distribute live video content via streaming or multicasting, and, on-demand video via caching and prepositioning. ECDS also provides an IT-friendly management system for easy setup, configuration, maintenance, and monitoring of video. ECDS works together with Cisco WAAS to form a complete WAN optimization solution for video, applications and data.

Below a video of Janice Le Litvinoff, General Manager of Cisco’s Digital Media Systems talking more about the solution.

Cisco & Lenovo: Helping Customers Manage Energy via Smarter PCs featuring Cisco EnergyWise

During our recent conversations around the benefits of an Enterprise Next-Generation Network (ENGN), the value of innovations such as Cisco EnergyWise has come up repeatedly.

Numerous global customers have reported back to us on the value of this feature in helping them to monitor, control and report on energy usage for IP-enabled devices.  These customers include Brunel University in the UK.  Thanks to Cisco EnergyWise, Brunel was able to achieve significant cost savings – all from a feature that is available across Cisco’s Catalyst switches and doesn’t incur any additional expense!

This week, Lenovo became the latest member of the EnergyWise ecosystem – a group of over 80 partners working together with Cisco to allow customers to really maximize the impact of EnergyWise for their organizations.

The collaboration between Cisco and Lenovo will involve EnergyWise being natively supported on Lenovo ThinkPad laptops.  ThinkPad laptops featuring EnergyWise include models of the ThinkPad Edge, L, R, T, X, W and SL Series laptops.

So, what does this actually mean for customers?

Customers with a Cisco network and Lenovo ThinkPad laptops will be able to use the management and monitoring services from Cisco EnergyWise to establish more customizable and accurate energy management policies to help save money during times of peak energy costs, as well as when PCs and other IT equipment are not in use.

According to Jeff Reed, vice president of Cisco’s Unified Access Business Unit, “Lenovo pre-integrating Cisco EnergyWise in their ThinkPad laptops enables our customers to expand the value of their Cisco network without installing any additional software.  Now our Catalyst switching customers have a highly accurate PC energy management solution that delivers impressive energy savings at no extra cost.”

For more information on Cisco EnergyWise, please click here.

For more information on this week’s announcement, please click here to see Lenovo’s official press release.

If you have any comments or queries, please do not hesitate to DM me via Twitter or email me. I look forward to hearing from you!

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Putting QUAD into Action- Change Mangement and Cisco Services

Cisco’s been busy this week with news from the collaboration space and the Enterprise 2.O conference this week. It’s been about QUAD—Cisco’s enterprise collaboration platform for today’s workforce: social, mobile, visual, and virtual. It puts people first by offering an integrated and personalized experience that brings together the collaborative, business-oriented, and transactional tools and applications people use over the course of the workday. Sounds awesome doesn’t it? As long as people use it…that’s the trick to real success with any technology driving for a business outcome…utilization.

Along with the technology, Cisco also is offering some important Advanced Services for QUAD and Collaboration including new change management and adoption services — allowing customers to get the best out of their collaborative technologies, while minimizing the disruptive impact of change to employees, partners and customers. These services were designed to help with the adoption of QUAD and handle everything from assessment, planning, strategy and governance, marketing communications to training.

Change isn’t always an automatic and that’s exactly why there’s the need for Professional Services and change management to go along with the technology that really gets people to actualize the benefits of the offerings. Hans Hwang VP Advanced Services shares some further insight on this issue on his blog . And, if you want to go deeper there’s a paper and some interesting upcoming workshops you can attend on Defining a Collaboration Strategy & Architecture to Accelerate Time-to-Value or a Enable a New Collaboration Experience with Enterprise Social Software webcasts.
Here’s to success change and QUAD!

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