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Evolving to Cloud and Hybrid IT

For a while now, I’ve been promoting that partners need to adopt a Hybrid IT business model to be successful and stay competitive in a world with more market transitions, more technologies, and more customer choices than ever before.

Customers are consuming IT differently, and line-of-business decision makers have more and more influence on IT decisions. The Internet of Everything offers tremendous opportunity, but requires a new set of services and solutions than many of our partners have offered in the past.

A Hybrid IT business model requires partners to address these market transitions; to provide traditional IT (on premise) solutions, managed services, private/public/hybrid cloud services, packaged with professional services, and offered with different SLAs and consumption models.

Embracing this model opens new opportunities for partners. It may mean expanded reach. It may mean selling into a new vertical, a new geography, or addressing new business needs within an existing customer base.

At Cisco Live Milan this week, Cisco announced the expansion of the Cisco Cloud Portfolio  with the introduction of new products and services, including a new hybrid cloud solution, Cisco InterCloud. Cisco InterCloud aims at lowering the total cost of cloud ownership and creating new pathways to secure public, private and hybrid clouds.

The expansion of our portfolio only broadens our commitment to openness and shows the unique value in the Cisco partner-led model. The expanded Cisco Cloud Portfolio enables fast deployment and monetization of cloud services by securely and seamlessly connecting the data center within the world of private and public clouds.

Be sure to read the press release for full details, but to sum up, the new products and services in Cisco’s extended cloud portfolio will include:

For Cisco partners, this expanded portfolio opens up new opportunities for the Cloud Provider, Cloud Builder and Cloud Services Reseller.  Cloud Providers can create new revenue streams by expanding their offerings with multi-cloud solutions for enterprises that can be offered as a service.

Cisco Cloud Builders have a twofold services opportunity. They can implement Cisco InterCloud software into private clouds to enable to them to connect more easily to public clouds, and they can implement the software into their own public cloud offering or third party public clouds.

For the Cisco Cloud Resellers, there are new revenue opportunities for Hybrid IT and opportunities to change the conversation with your customers. There is value in the ability to rationalizing cloud for the customer. When and how do they use cloud in their business? Should they utilize public, private, or hybrid cloud?  What are the best offers in each area?  What is ultimately the best solution for their business?

Of course, partners need to ensure their business is set up to deliver the value and maintain proper cash flow and profitability as they make the move to cloud and hybrid IT.

To help partners make this transition, at Partner Summit 2013, Cisco introduced the Business Transformation Playbook and new individual Business Transformation certifications.  In the coming weeks, this blog will cover even more topics to help enable partners to evolve their business and deliver the cloud solutions to customers, so stay tuned.

And of course, I look forward to more conversation on this topic at Partner Summit 2014 in just a few weeks. I am looking forward to seeing many of you then. In the meantime, please check out the resources available to partners on our Cloud Computing page and I welcome your feedback in the comments section below.

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