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Cisco Speaks Your Language: Business Outcomes

Correction: This content has been adjusted to reflect appropriate approvals for use of customer names outside of Cisco.

As technological change occurs at a faster and faster pace, a new language is spreading across the business world. For CIO and line-of-business executives, it’s no longer enough to debate 12- to 18-month programs that incrementally improve the status quo. Instead, executives with an eye to sustainable success are talking “business outcomes.”

At Cisco, we understand this language; we understand that we must focus on helping customers achieve their business priorities quickly, to stay ahead of market transitions and the competition. In Cisco’s Services organization, we demonstrate our stake in our customers’ success by delivering solutions to meet technology trends head on:  Read More »

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Future-Proofing the Data Center in a World of Accelerated Change

One thing that I frequently hear when speaking with our data center customers is how the application landscape is in a constant state of accelerated change. Demands on the IT department have evolved rapidly over the past few years, compelling many customers to transform their operations with virtualization and cloud computing. Today’s challenges include addressing the ever-expanding scale of cloud; processing analytics for the data-intensive workloads generated by the Internet of Everything; and deploying and managing distributed edge-scale computing for smaller, more remote IT environments.

dc-cables Rather than trying to anticipate every data center trend, staying ahead of the curve for our customers is about having the ability to innovate when needed. In other words, to be prepared for the data center of the future, the application infrastructure needs to be “future-proofed” for whatever comes next. Future-proofing the data center means having business agility, which in turn translates into application agility.A future-proofed infrastructure employs a common operational model among the application, network, security, and cloud architectures. It delivers agility through simplified operations and assured performance. At the same time, it’s able to scale as more users create information in new ways—and as organizations strive for deeper intelligence, faster decisions, and solutions that offer a competitive edge.

Five years ago, we shattered convention and transformed the data center industry by bringing networking, computing, and storage together into a single platform. Since then, we have delivered results to more than 30,000 Cisco UCS customers, and we recently achieved the No. 1 in the Americas market position for x86 blade servers.

Industry analysts and our data center clients tell me that Cisco data center solutions position IT managers for success by helping to future-proof their application infrastructure. On September 4, we’ll share how we continue to be focused on innovation by announcing the broadest offerings of new Cisco data center technology since the launch of UCS in 2009. I invite you to join us to learn more about how Cisco and its partners will help customers achieve desired business outcomes with the Cisco Unified Computing System.

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The Future of Networking, Available Today

I am Soni Jiandani, SVP of Marketing for Cisco’s Insieme Business Unit. Together with a team of veteran leaders and engineers, we continue to disrupt markets to drive industry transformation. Our latest disruption is focused on leapfrogging Software Defined Networks (SDN) with a holistic approach to the future of networking: Application Centric Infrastructure, or ACI for short.

My blog is timed with announcing the shipment of ACI – namely the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) with ACI mode for the Nexus 9000.  But this is not a corporate sales blog. My intent is to foster an open discussion about the future of the networking industry.

ACI: A key enabler to driving fast IT

We have spent the past few years to gather the best and the brightest engineering minds focused on one simple goal:  to design an infrastructure for our customers that meets the needs of applications today and in the future. These applications require dynamic, agile, fast, secure, scalable, reliable infrastructure that is automated as a native, baseline requirement.

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India: Transforming Promise into Performance

Seven years ago, many people (including my mother-in-law) thought I had made a career-ending decision to accept a high-risk assignment and relocate to India. My mission:  build from the ground up Cisco’s second headquarters, a Globalization Centre East in Bangalore focused on innovation, talent and partner development that envisioned 10,000 employees in three years, including the top 10% of worldwide talent. My charter included developing a world-class technology campus that also served as a showcase for incubating and advancing Smart City services worldwide, and to become the most relevant ICT company in India.

Was it the right decision?

Wim #1Although half a world away from Cisco’s corporate headquarters in the Silicon Valley, I thought the new job was still full of great promise. India was and still is the world’s largest democracy, had a growing talent pool, a zest for innovation, a co-operative government, aspirational middle class and a potentially huge economy purring along at 8% annual growth.

In four years, we partnered with national and local governments as well as an ecosystem of commercial businesses to architect and develop a fully networked campus.The Smart + Connected Community inBangalore integrated building systems with IT systems and applications onto one IP network, enveloped by artfully designed buildings and collaborative work spaces.

Today, the 1-million-square-foot Globalization Centre East campus employs more than 11,000 people, houses Cisco’s Research and Development, IT and customer support teams with the best talent in industry. The campus also meets my original charter Wim #2as the incubator for validating our industry-leading Smart + Connected Communities, especially Smart Cities, which today has projects on nearly every continent worldwide, encompassing more than 90 engagements.

All that has been extremely rewarding to see, but was it the right decision?

We achieved every critical objective except one: growing ICT technology throughout India itself. In my four years of living in India and after a number of subsequent trips revisiting there, I now realize that the promise and opportunity of India can be unpredictable.  After several years of nearly double digit growth, India’s economy spiraled down, experienced high inflation, a weakening rupee, allegations of government corruption and financial policy decisions that spooked the international investment community.

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Securing What’s At Stake with the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) has made a profound impact on our lives.  However, it also means that more personal information and business data will be passed back and forth in the cloud, and with that comes new security risks, new attack surfaces, and new kinds of attacks. And with an unprecedented number of companies staking the future of their businesses on the pervasive connectedness that the IoT world promises, business leaders need to empower their technical teams to create secure IoT networks.

Most organizations deploy disparate technologies and processes to protect key elements of their businesses, including the information technology (IT) that is typically focused on information protection and operational technology (OT) charged with managing control networks that support critical infrastructure, as well as physical spaces.  I recently encountered a company that implements more than 80 security products for different tasks.  Many of these systems don’t work together, which in turn limits the level of security this company can achieve.

In an IoT environment, we need to accommodate the priorities of both IT and OT networks, balance physical safety and security requirements, and also begin to implement cybersecurity solutions to equally protect all networks from attack.  Solutions must be put into place to protect the device, control levels of the network, and the data contained and shared. We need to shift our mindset from considering each object in isolation, to looking at the whole. Attackers are taking a holistic view of the IoT and defenders must do the same.

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