Throughout my recent meetings with Service Provider customers at Cisco Live Milan and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, there were two recurring themes throughout my meetings (and there were a lot of them as my peers and I hosted nearly 1000 of them in the four days of MWC alone).
The first was the power and promise of the cloud. Whether carriers were leveraging Cisco’s advanced capabilities in the areas of Network Function Virtualization (NfV) or various virtualization, orchestration and automation capabilities – all with the goal of increasing revenue, reducing Opex and enhancing agility – each Service Provider was keenly interested in the impact Clouds can and will have on their businesses. That’s why the Evolved Services Platform announcement we made resonated so well.
The second was the heightened level of discussion around the dramatic changes Service Providers are seeing in the way people, process, data and things are being connected – essentially the Internet of Everything (IoE) – and thus driving the need to leverage advanced capabilities. While Cisco has spoken about this for the past year, the idea of the IoE is now being recognized as moving beyond vision to actual opportunity for providers who sit at the center of it all. The recurring questions they had was around how to seize that opportunity and what was best path forward for their business to create value and differentiation amidst so much and so fast the speed of change.
This is where the two themes come together. This is where Cisco Cloud Services come into play.
At the Cisco Partner Summit today, we are announcing our Cisco Cloud Services. Designed as a suite of Cisco application- and network-centric cloud services on a truly open and global public cloud infrastructure comprised of many different clouds tied together, or Intercloud if you will, it provides cloud capabilities for any of our global service providers and partners to leverage quickly. Cisco Cloud Services combine the flexibility, efficiency and scalability of a public cloud, with the security and control of a private cloud, with the scale and reach that only Cisco and its partners can enable.
It also delivers greater agility and choice. On the agility side, Service Providers (SP) and partners can take full advantage of open APIs to enable application and service customization across open, hybrid cloud environments – all while leveraging OpenStack standards, industry leading Cisco security, orchestration and Cisco service level agreements. And because Cloud Services can be deployed across different solutions including mobile, video and networking, each carrier can both enhance their current business offerings and develop new and innovative ones. In terms of choice, the best part is that you, our SP customers and partners, can have even more options on how you deliver services… You can plan, deploy, manage and optimize the systems with your teams, or you can now work with Cisco and our partners to deliver advanced capabilities and services quickly and effectively. This leaves you to focus on your core business objectives, which more and more carriers are now doing.
Let’s look closer at these two options: If providers have existing large cloud infrastructures, there are opportunities to have their cloud be part of the Intercloud, which could give them access to other locations in the market which they may not be able to reach on their own (especially given key data sovereignty requirements coming into play). This type of provider may also be interested in Cisco Cloud Services to provide even greater elasticity to scale as needed during peak demands, enabling them to more cost effectively build their architectures to the norm vs. to the peak. For other providers not having as much of a cloud environment, Cisco Cloud Services allow them to quickly get access to a cloud to leverage new capabilities and offer new services that are possible with the Evolved Services Platform working in conjunction with their network infrastructure.
As we highlighted last week , Telstra will be one of the first global partners and global service provider to leverage cloud services powered by Cisco, including recent innovations in the areas of the Evolved Programmable Network (EPN), Evolved Services Platform (ESP) and cloud computing capabilities. They will be using the combination of all of these capabilities orchestrated together to deliver a range of new offerings to Telstra’s business and residential customers. It signals an expansion of Telstra’s existing cloud infrastructure capability, provides global scale and an open standards-based approach to address a broader range of customer requirements, and most importantly, helps Telstra meet its business goals.
Look for more information on Cisco Cloud Services as well as new virtualized service opportunities enabled by Cisco in the months ahead. While there has been a lot of news this year, we’re only getting started to help providers use the network and cloud to seize the opportunity of the Internet of Everything.
Thanks, as always, for reading.