The recession of 2009 has completely changed how businesses view and consume information technology once and for all. Companies looking to thrive in the near and long term have had to take a hard look and cut costs while keeping their competitive advantage intact. Businesses locked down spending to core competencies and looked for ways to outsource non-core attributes of the business. As a result, the adoption of Managed and Cloud Services as a way of meeting IT needs has skyrocketed.
Whilst the economic downturn acted as a catalyst for managed and cloud services it also seems to have fundamentally changed IT buying behaviors. So, as the economy begins it recovery, we will continue to see strong adoption of these new consumption and delivery models.
Having just returned from Paris, France where I had presented at the Cloud Telco 2010 Conference, I could not help but pick up on common themes of Cloud Management and Security and will state that management and security are absolute table stakes when developing a sustainable Cloud-based service architecture blueprint. Further, another theme for discussion was the role of network virtualization (not a new concept by the way) specific to the network infrastructure enablement e.g. multi-tenancy. Architecturally, considerations such as proximity of the network to the data center infrastructure itself as to mitigate latency and ensure the required quality of service when moving virtual machines were also common topics for discussion at these venues. Oh yes, it is no surprise that with the launch of Cisco’s CRS-3, we have integrated the Network Positioning System (NPS), that implements L3-L7 best path for content.
However, in focusing on cloud management there is the notion of “on demand” as opposed to hours, days and weeks. Therefore cloud management autonomic flow-through provisioning may be the norm and will consequently have implications to OSS systems as these move to cloud management architecture as I highlighted at the Cloud Telco 2010 Conference in my presentation last week:
In less than a half decade from now, the IP traffic on the global network will be:
More Visual: 91+% of all consumer traffic will be driven by video
More Collaborative: web-based conference and high definition video conference are driving the growth on the business front
More Mobile: overall mobile traffic will be 39X in 2014 than it is in 2009
More Connected: overall number of consumer devices will reach 12 billion in 2014 – 50% more than what was forecast in 2013
This changing landscape has an impact on providers, regulators and consumers alike, and I’ll cover some of that in the video below. There is a lot more to discover though, I encourage you to see for yourself at our site, the Cisco VNI Forecast.
Service providers are under pressure to differentiate themselves from the competitors, to be more innovative in creating new services, and to move towards a lower-cost operating model by reducing operational complexity. In a situation where mobile voice revenues are stable or declining, and mobile roaming charges are under attack by regulatory bodies, Vodafone was looking to create innovative new services for their business customers that would bring new revenue streams with reduced operational cost.
Speed to market is also essential in the increasingly competitive IT services environment. Vodafone and Cisco worked closely to create a standardized operational model for the accelerated deployment of a Mobile Web Conferencing service, based on the Webex Meeting Center product, into Vodafone’s key Operating Companies (OpCos) around the World.
Vodafone and Cisco worked closely to create a “partner ecosystem” model, which enabled Vodafone to standardize their internal operations as well as the external touch points and process interlocks with Cisco and audio partner Intercall, in deploying and supporting the new service. After a pilot launch in a lead OpCo, the three companies then created a “Ready-to-Go” operational and support package that was replicable for the other Vodafone OpCos in which the service will be deployed in a global rollout sequence.
The “Cloud-based” operation of the new service means that the other Vodafone OpCos can use the standardized operating model and partner ecosystem templates to quickly launch and board new customers and provide ongoing support for their use of the service, at lower cost to Vodafone.