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Building Innovation: Achieve Fast IT with Customers

Recently I had the privilege to exchange thoughts at a roundtable discussion about the Future of Managed Services with our strategic partner Presidio. I would like to share some highlights from that dynamic dialogue.

We all agreed, the services industry overall is heading to a tipping point. Managed services are becoming more attractive to IT, and consequently the demand is growing exponentially. Our discussion focused on the key factors driving this demand and what managed service providers can do to stay ahead of customers’ needs.

Business leaders have ever growing expectations for increased IT speed and responsiveness. As the pace of change in business grows ever quicker, IT needs to become “Fast IT” – delivering new solutions at a more rapid pace In order to do that, IT needs to be able to integrate and automate all support interactions that it’s responsible for delivering.

Customer needs can change in a heartbeat. To meet these needs, organizations and service models have to be more fluid in order to adapt to the ebb and flow of the customer’s business. This embodies a new type of relationship between the customer and the managed services provider. Customers may want to use one service model for a few months or for a few years, changing models as the business changes – gone are the rigid, long-term outsource agreements that lock customers into one model for many years. Ryan Jordan, VP of Managed Services at Presidio put it well:

“Customers want more flexibility from their managed services providers. It’s true that just off-loading managed services allows IT to be faster on their feet. But offering a managed service that is also flexible and responsive adds tremendously to the goals of Fast IT.”

A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work in an era of ever changing business needs. For instance, rolling out a new application and updating the infrastructure to support the trading desks for a global financial services company requires a different service approach from supporting the operations for a hospital.

A standardized cookie-cutter approach gives you better economies of scale, which supports profitability, but can sacrifice the opportunity to customize offerings by industry or customer. This can affect your competitiveness. The future of managed services is in tailored solutions that meet the specific needs of customers and can adjust as the relationship develops over time.

Presidio and Cisco are working together to implement a new model – built on a foundation of real-time service integration. In this model customers, managed service providers and the technology vendors are all connected in real-time. It creates a new level of transparency and collaboration, speeding resolution times and ensuring all parties have a common view of what’s happening as its happening.

I encourage you to watch the video and read the case study to learn more:

 

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Analytics Solutions for Driving Better Business Outcomes

When you hear a statistic like ‘87 % of enterprises believe that analytics will redefine the competitive landscape of their industries within the next three years,’ two things become clear. First, we no longer need to make the business case for big data and analytics: enterprises clearly understand the value. Second, the next three years will be a whirlwind of data-driven innovation.

Line of Business and IT executives alike are feeling a new level of urgency to identify the right analytics use cases for their business and deploy them quickly. Having a Hadoop-based solution that’s fueled by a highly-scalable and intelligent infrastructure is a good start.  But, what do you do next to put your company on the fast track to implementing pervasive use of game-changing analytics solutions throughout your company?

Cisco would like to help you answer those questions. Join us for our February 24th webcast: Analytics Solutions for Driving Better Business Outcomes: Let Cisco and Leading Analytics Partners Help You Accelerate Big Data Insights at 9am PT to hear how several analytics leaders are enabling exciting innovations to the analytics market. Learn how Cisco is working with them to integrate their breakthrough solutions with our end-to-end big data and analytics infrastructure so our customers can speed solutions to market, reduce risks, and have the freedom to work with the software providers that best suit their business.

Hear about joint analytics innovations from the following analytics leaders:

  • Splunk’s VP, Shay Mowlem, will talk about how Splunk and Cisco are innovating to put the power of machine data-driven intelligence into the hands of more users, more securely and cost-effectively
  • Pete Schlampp, VP of Product Development at Platfora,  will discuss how their easy to use, 100% native Hadoop analytics environment running on a Cisco infrastructure is providing better access to all forms of data in Hadoop and speeding delivery of insights to non-technical users.
  • David Besemer, CTO of Cisco Data Virtualization, will highlight how our data virtualization software allows organizations to easily access different types of data, from dispersed data locations, using varied access technologies, for a wide range of users
  • David Parker, Global Vice President, Big Data & Internet of Things at SAP will talk about how the enterprise application leader is working with Cisco to provide customers with a single, integrated view of transactional, analytics, and big data, and enabling predictive analytics.
  • And Russell Cobb VP Global Marketing and Alliances at SAS, will talk about how, the analytics industry leader is deploying rich IoT and data-driven analytics solutions running on a Cisco infrastructure to optimize business processes.

I hope you’ll join us to learn about how you can make the most out of your data to start redefining your own competitive landscape!#UnlockBigData

register now

Tags: big data, analytics, UCS, ACI, Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure Unlock Big Data, Platfora, SAS, SAP, Splunk, Cisco Data Virtualization, Data Virtualization

Using the Cloud Strategically

A recent blog from Sungard AS, Stretch Your IT Dollar with Cloud Computing Services, offers more than just ideas on how cloud can extend your IT budget.  It also covers ways organizations of all sizes can use cloud services strategically to meet their goals, as well as provides a link to materials useful for companies considering the move to cloud.

A key part of Cisco’s cloud strategy is to enable service providers like Sungard AS to offer a wide range of cloud-based services. These cloud services aren’t simply cloud-based copies of data center applications.  Because they are based in the cloud, they can provide even greater flexibility and value.  This gives businesses fast access to new technology without the delay or expense of capital expenditures.  Put another way, this gives businesses a powerful competitive edge.

For example, organizations can deploy disaster recovery in the cloud.  The use of shared, multi-tenant architectures enables businesses to minimize the cost and complexity of a disaster recovery solution.  This provides greater flexibility, giving businesses more options that can be tailored to meet their specific needs and budget.

Cisco’s portfolio of cloud services is extensive.  It includes:

Collaboration services like TelePresence as a Service (TPaaS) and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

Infrastructure services like Desktop as a Service (DaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), and Bring Your Own Device as a Service (BYODaaS)

Software services like Application Experience as a Service (AXaaS)

Security services like Hosted Security as a Service (HSS)

And the list only continues to grow.

An important part of this portfolio is that providers can offer these services as Cisco Powered services.  Every service is built upon validated architectures.  As such, they provide enterprise-class performance and reliability as a minimum standard.

The top percentage of Cisco partners, however, take these services to the highest level.  By passing a third-party audit, cloud providers like Sungard AS have verified that they can deliver the service, security, and support they promise.  They also earn the right to use the Cisco Powered logo.

For you as a cloud user, the Cisco Powered logo means a service has passed Cisco’s stringent standards.  As a result, the service provides fast time to market with ensured performance.  You also benefit from ongoing innovation by your service provider and Cisco as they continue to innovate and improve services.

Using the cloud strategically is crucial for survival in today’s competitive world.  However, not all cloud services are created equal.  Commodity-based services built on best-effort networks can’t give you the confidence you need to move your mission-critical applications to the cloud.  To execute a great cloud strategy, you need cloud services you can trust.

Learn more about how Cisco Powered can transform your business.

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Fog Computing: The New Model for the IoE

Last month, we proudly announced Connected Analytics for the Internet of Everything (IoE), easy-to-deploy software packages that bring analytics to data regardless of its location. It is a continued part of our commitment to delivering on our vision for fog computing, also called edge computing, a model that does not require the movement of data back to a centralized location for processing. If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ve seen me write about this as the concept of ‘Analytics 3.0’ or the ability to do analytics in a widely distributed manner, at the edge of the network and on streaming data. This capability is unique to Cisco and critical for deriving real-time insights in the IoE era.

To perform analytics using a traditional computing method, once data is generated it is aggregated, moved and stored into a central repository, such as a data lake or enterprise data warehouse, so it can be analyzed for insight. In the IoE, data is massive, messy, and everywhere – spanning many centralized data repositories in multiple clouds, and data warehouses. Increasingly, data is also being created in massive volume in a very distributed way…from sensors on offshore oil rigs, ships at sea, airplanes in flight, and machines on factory floors. In this new world, there are many problems that arise with the traditional method – not only is it expensive and time consuming to move all of this data to a central place, but critical data can also lose its real-time value in the process. In fact, many companies have stopped moving all of their data into a central repository and accepted the fact that data will live in multiple places.

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Analytics 3.0 creates a more appropriate model, where the path to derive insight is different by combining traditional centralized data storage and analysis with data management and analytics that happen at the edge of the network…much closer to where the huge volume of new data is being created. Analytics involves complicated statistical models and software, but the concept is simple…using software to look for patterns in data, so you can make better decisions.  It makes sense then to have this software close to where data is created, so you can find those patterns more quickly…and that’s the key concept behind Analytics 3.0. Once it’s analyzed, we can make more intelligent decisions about what data should be stored, moved or discarded. This model gives us the opportunity to get to the ‘interesting data’ quicker and also alleviates the costs of storing and moving the ‘non-interesting data.’

Analytics 3.0 is not about replacing big data analytics, cloud analytics and other centralized analytics.  Those elements are all part of Analytics 3.0, but they are not sufficient to handle the volume of massively distributed data created in the IoE, and so they must be augmented with the ability to process and analyze data closer to where it is created. By combining centralized data sources with streaming data at the edge, you will look for and find new patterns in your data. Those patterns will help you make better decisions about growing your business, optimizing your operations or better serving your customers…and that is the power of Analytics for the IoE.

 

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Learn More from My Colleagues

Check out the blogs of Mala AnandBob Eve and Nicola Villa to learn more.

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Could Big Data and Cloud go together?

In today’s era of increasing connectivity, data is getting generated in vast proportions.  Moreover, it is also important to be able to generate insights from it quickly and act accordingly.  Gone are the days when one would move data into a data warehouse and then extract insights from it to act at a later date.  Here are four scenarios why.

Scenario 1: Cloud and Social

If a discussion around a brand is trending positively or negatively, that organization needs to take action then and cannot wait for a future time to do so. They might want to capitalize on the positive sentiment and amplify it or perhaps take action and remedy a trending negative sentiment. Both Twitter and Facebook provide several real time analytics capabilities leveraging big data technologies that they pioneered themselves.  These analytics run within their cloud environment and provider users real time insights.

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