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Executing on Virtualization

With all the talk around virtualization in our industry, it’s easy to get a bit confused.  Between our industry’s love of acronyms and passionate evangelism of technological specs, it can be far too difficult at times to determine what’s really important, what is real, and what is just talk.  Our announcement of the Cisco Evolved Services Platform today is meant to address these very points.  It represents the progress we’ve made on our provider virtualization strategy and, unlike many others in the industry, orients the talk of virtualization around real business benefits and customer deployments.

The Evolved Services Platform represents a fundamental shift in the way service provider networks will be built.  It not only has the industry’s broadest, most comprehensive range of virtualized functions, but it also orchestrates them to create, automate and provision services in real time, across compute, storage and network functions across the entire architecture.  As the middle layer of the Cisco ONE SP architecture which works in conjunction with the infrastructure layer – the Evolved Programmable Network which we announced in September – the ESP ensures the right type of experience for subscribers regardless of how or where they connect to the network.  And it does this while also delivering both significant operational cost savings and the ability to more easily and quickly pursue new revenue generating opportunities.  In essence, the ESP does the equivalent for a service provider business as a retail storefront, factory, and tool kit would do for a manufacturer. It allows them to “manufacture” network experiences quickly, efficiently, and in a customized manner.

Those experiences can be many and span the entire provider’s existing services portfolio, plus an ever increasing array of new services that are now or will be possible in Internet of Everything.  But to help keep the business orientation of this announcement, we’re announcing the first two service modules, complete with business models that can help quantify the benefits to the providers that are interested in or already deploying them: Read More »

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Cisco’s Commitment to Customers

At the core of our company’s values is a simple concept: make Cisco customers successful. We have a vigorous process for measuring customer satisfaction and success, and conduct constant analysis of the competitive advantage they can achieve by using our technology solutions and services. This ongoing focus is designed to anticipate our customers’ business needs today, as well as in the future.

Cisco has been working with individual customers on an issue related to memory components manufactured by a single supplier between 2005 and 2010. These components are widely used across the industry and are included in a number of Cisco products. They are known to slowly degrade over time, and in some cases, have caused products to fail after being turned off and on.

The majority of Cisco products using these components are experiencing field failure rates below expected levels. Recently, however, a handful of our customers have experienced a higher number of failures, leading us to change our approach to managing this issue.

Despite many of these products being out of warranty, Cisco has decided to take a charge of $655m related to the expected cost of managing these issues. We are taking this action to support our customers and partners. This charge was excluded from our non-GAAP financials, as we do not believe it is reflective of ongoing business and operating results.

Our goal to become the world’s #1 IT provider is built on providing a superior experience for our customers in every aspect of working with Cisco. We believe our approach to this industry-wide issue is the best course of action for our customers. Despite the cost, it reiterates that we place their success above all else.

As always, we encourage our customers to contact the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) if they experience a failure in any Cisco product. If you have additional questions about this process, we recommend reviewing the additional updates at www.cisco.com/go/memory.

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Tackling Mobile Security Risks for Government

“Cyber threats. Security breaches. Hacking.”

As mobility becomes more pervasive, these words have become engrained in our work/life culture. The issue of cyber crime has earned national news headlines as governments across the globe grapple with how to build both secure and mobile-enabled infrastructures.

A few weeks ago, Cisco and Mobile Work Exchange released findings from a self-assessment tool that highlights some interesting statistics, enabling us to better understand mobile security best practices and vulnerabilities. The report specifically looks at government employees, 90 percent of whom claim to use at least one mobile device for work, and reveals that many government workers (41 percent)  are putting themselves and their agencies at risk.

Cisco_MobilitySecurity_PatFinn_Final

Here are a few other compelling findings:

  • On mobile devices, 31 percent use a public Wi-Fi connection and 25 percent do not set passwords.
  • 6 percent of government employees who use a mobile device for work say they have lost or misplaced their phone. In the average Federal agency, that’s more than 3,500 chances for a security breach.
  • Despite the Federal Digital Government Strategy, more than one in four government employees have not received mobile security training from their agencies.

Read More »

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Customer Interactions in the Evolving World of Marketing

In a world where we are increasingly connected, and other’s opinions or reviews are more accessible than ever, marketing must evolve to keep up.  Consumers want, and expect, ‘on-demand’ marketing –customized marketing that caters to what they need, when they want it, and is extremely responsive.  59% of consumers who have experienced personalization believe it has a noticeable influence on their spending. That percentage cannot be ignored –and with all the data available from connected devices and social media –there is no reason it should be.

Social media interactions are a part of many customers’ routine. For marketing, these interactions provide valuable insights and data. Companies like Julep Beauty leverage social media to interact with their customers, discover what they want, and quickly create, test, and sell new products. When negative reviews or comments come up, they promptly address the issue. This allows customers to feel like their voices are being heard and helps position the brand as a company that cares and is responsive to its customers.

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Innovatio Case: Victory for Cisco Customers Makes the Case for Patent Reform

We’re pleased to announce today that we’ve achieved full protection for millions of Cisco customers from the overblown and specious claims of a very aggressive patent assertion entity.

Once upon a time a company called “Innovatio” set out to force retailers and small businesses to pay over two thousand dollars per location for use of WiFi patents.  They did this knowing they were obligated to license the patents under reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms and, even worse, that the majority of the businesses they were targeting were already licensed to use the patents.   Innovatio targeted over 170 million Cisco devices that Innovatio claimed could be taxed by their scheme. They sent over 14,000 letters in the first wave of an attack through which they hoped to eventually suck close to $4 billion out of the productive part of the U.S. economy by threatening innocent entrepreneurs with costly litigation.

We, together with Netgear and Motorola, intervened on behalf of our customers and accused Innovatio of running a racket, and we demanded a trial on the true value of those patents.  We also demanded damages for the breach of the contractual obligations to license standard-essential patents on fair terms.  Although Chief Judge Holderman in the Northern District of Illinois did not allow the racketeering claim to move forward, he determined that the patents had a collective value of approximately 10 cents per WiFi device.  “Innovatio” later admitted that over 100 million of the devices they targeted were already licensed, and taking into account our strong breach of contract and other claims, they agreed to license the remaining 85 million devices for a total of $2.7M, or less than 3.2 cents apiece.

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