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Holiday Gift Ideas for Your CEO

So, regardless of how demanding or finicky your CEO might be, I can guarantee three things he or she wants to find under the metaphorical tree this season:  faster growth, higher margins and lower risk.  Now, many IT are going to respond to this list by saying a) that someone else’s job and/or b) I can’t effect that stuff anyway.  To response “A” I would argue that its everyone’s job.  As far as response “B”, I would argue that you most definitely in a position to impact growth, margin and risk, but its a matter of connecting the dots.

One of the driving forces behind Data Center Business Advantage was to help the CIO and his/her organization link their IT investment to business impact.  From my own personal experiences, I find that IT folks tend have a great handle on technical benefits (32% brighter and shinier) and operational metrics (five-nines uptime) but often fail to establish how they have made life better for the company: what is the difference between four-nines and five-nines in terms of revenue impact, customer sat, or regulatory policy exposure–and is the return worth the investment.  Case in point:  a couple of years ago, I come home with a new AppleTV.  Now I am a geek at heart and my wife puts up with me showing up with a lot of new gear, so I have a pretty good idea of how this will play out with her:

  • Eye-roll
  • Question: “How much did THAT cost?”
  • Muttering about growing up and finding better things to spend the money on like new curtains or cat beds

However this time, things looked a little different… Read More »

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A UCS Management Roundup

We often tout our open management ecosystem, which is made possible by UCS Manager’s XML API. The goal is very simple: we want to help make your transition to UCS as seamless as possible, which means working within your existing management frameworks as much as possible.  We also want to enable more consistent, policy-based approaches to operational management with UCS, and allowing higher-level tools to consume–and in some cases create–UCS service profiles is an important step along that path.

Today we announced an extension to our partnership with BMC, bringing in their Cloud Lifecycle Manager (CLM) to the party. There’s been some interesting joint innovation done with a particular eye to the multi-tenancy needs of service providers—though larger enterprises with full-blown cloud implementations may find the “network container” approach useful as well.  You can read more about the announcement here.  If you’d like to learn more about how Cisco and BMC are partnering to address perennial enterprise pain points, be sure to attend our webinar on Wednesday, December  15th.

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Does Enterprise IT need a M&A Strategy?

In the past I’ve written about the classic challenge within Enterprise IT, and specifically within the Data Center, that 70-80% of the resources are allocated to “legacy” activities. This obviously leaves very little time to work on new technology-centric innovations to drive the business. Or to put a different way, “IT only does innovation on Friday”.

The McKinsey Quarterly recently had an interesting article about reshaping IT management, where they introduce the concepts “Factory IT” and “Enabling IT”. The premise being that the focus of the Factory IT (70% of the activities) groups should be about cost-reduction, scale, standardization and simplification. The Enabling IT (30%, hopefully growing) should be focused on innovative ways to enable the business to grow. And the management of those groups doesn’t necessarily have to the same, since they’d have different objectives. Read More »

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Informatica Data Integration and Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler: Delivering Timely, Trusted, and Relevant Data for Business Intelligence Reporting

No doubt data is one of an organization’s most important assets. The trick is to turn it into timely and trusted information—information that can be used to rapidly uncover new markets, attract and retain customers, reduce operating costs, shrink time to market, and make smarter strategic decisions. In short, leveraging data can sharpen a company’s ability to navigate markets.

So when we combine Informatica’s world-class data integration platform with Cisco® Tidal Enterprise Scheduler, we are enabling organizations to gain a competitive advantage in today’s global information economy by empowering them with relevant and trustworthy information to support all their business decisions.

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Brocade’s “My Cousin Vinny” Approach to FCoE

When Brocade announced their “end-to-end native FCoE” solution, and read some of the stuff they were peddling to the trade magazines, I was reminded of the scene in “My Cousin Vinny” where Marisa Tomei’s character is put on the witness stand and challenged by the prosecution to answer a trick question (warning: link contains explicit language).

In a nutshell, in order to show that Tomei’s character doesn’t know anything about cars, the prosecutor attempts to use a lot of fancy language that sound legit but counts on people not understanding how things really work. Read More »

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