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Cisco Leads Managed Services Market Share

Cisco’s market leadership is no longer the “best kept secret” in managed services. Today, in its inaugural Total Managed WAN (CPE) and Network Based Services Equipment Market Share report, leading research firm Synergy Research Group, outlined vendor market share for managed CPE and network based services in the enterprise, SMB, branch and high end environments. It shows market share by quarter from the first calendar quarter of 2007 through the first calendar quarter of 2008. The results outline Cisco having a 68% market share in total managed WAN (CPE) and network based equipment services revenue for the first quarter of 2008.This report certainly underscores the enormous preference and loyalty shown by successful managed services providers worldwide for Cisco as the partner of choice for their managed services business. As previously announced, the managed services market is growing and offers benefits to business customers and xSps, alike. And, businesses that choose a managed service from a Cisco Powered xSP receive the benefit of experience from the worldwide leader in managed services that is focused on:

    1. Offering market leadership in IP-based networks and solutions that serve as the foundation for existing and emerging technologies that define the business and end user experience. 2. Engaging with xSPs to understand the market and then to develop resources, technologies, programs and insight that help them envision, build, operate, market and sell managed services.

Certainly, as we look to the growing managed service market, a unique opportunity exists for xSPs to extend their leadership and benefit from the technology and managed services enablement offered by Cisco.

Next Generation Mobile Networks: Industry leaders on challenges ahead

NGMN logoLast week in Frankfurt, I participated in the second industry conference organized by NGMN. The session opened with speeches by the Hamid Akhavan, CEO of T-Mobile, Vivek Badrinath, CTO of France Telecom/Orange, and Steve Pusey, CTO of Vodafone. Each spoke about the challenges ahead, and some common themes emerged, including royalties, backhaul, and self-organizing networks.Royalties for intellectual property are a key concern. The next-generation mobile network-the Mobile Internet-must support devices beyond simple mobile phones. New devices like the iPhone, of course, and laptops, but the operators also hope to attract innovation from the consumer electronics industry. Imagine a wide range of mobile entertainment devices, for music, video, and games, handheld or in vehicles. Yet the business case for developing such devices would be overwhelmed by the typical royalties of the mobile industry. Current 3G device manufacturers pay over 25% of the retail price in royalties (unless they have patents of their own to balance the negotiation). In contrast, the patent royalties for an MP3 player run only 75 ¢ per unit. Consumer electronics firms are unlikely to introduce mobile products if the business case includes handing over a quarter of the revenue for just the mobile interface, a relatively small component.The NGMN IPR Plenary is seeking to address this concern by asking patent holders to submit anonymously the royalty rates they expect. A trusted third party then aggregates all the royalty expectations and reports back the total. So far, the total still resembles higher mobile rather than lower consumer electronics royalties. And more royalties for older cellular technology (GSM, CDMA, 3G) might also be required if those are included for backwards compatibility. The negotiations continue though opaque layers of technical and legal jargon. Leaving existing royalty models won’t be easy for net collectors like Ericsson and Qualcomm, but such a change would unleash new business by accelerating the Mobile Internet.Backhaul from cell sites is another concern for operators. Historically, highly compressed mobile voice calls required limited bandwidth, and the air interface was the bit-rate bottleneck. Thus, a typical cell site could be connected with just one or two T1 or E1 lines over copper or microwave. Increasingly, laptops cards are multiplying traffic exponentially (and VPN encrypted traffic cannot be compressed), while next-generation radios are removing the air interface bottleneck. Just adding more T1/E1 lines would cause operator costs to outpace revenue. The eventual solution to this challenge seems to require fiber to the cell site, architecturally aligned with Carrier Ethernet. The migration towards this architecture will involve cell-site routers that multiplex circuit and ATM traffic from legacy base stations with new native IP traffic. This change is part of the broader trend toward flat IP architectures for mobile networks.Self-organizing networks promise to lessen operational concerns. Existing cellular networks require much manual configuration and optimization to ensure neighboring cell sites work properly and hand off connections successfully. As next-generation mobile networks grow, such manual tasks would greatly burden the operator. Instead, the radio and network components should interact among themselves, to configure and tune the mobile system automatically in real time. (For historical precedent, consider the migration from IBM SNA networks, which required substantial sysgen configuration, to TCP/IP, which substituted automatic routing protocols.) Self-organizing networks are often associated with mobile ad-hoc networks, but the discussion at this conference flowed more from femtocell developments. To succeed in the mass market, femtocells will require plug-and-play installation by consumers in their homes. Radio and network parameters must be configured and tuned automatically. Presumably, the same techniques can be scaled to macro base stations in the next-generation mobile network.My presentation, Service Delivery in Next Generation Mobile Networks, discussed how mobile operators can introduce new services. It contrasted mobile industry systems like IMS with Internet ecosystems for Web 2.0, drawing on themes covered in previous posts to this blog. (About IMS, Mr. Pusey cited the old joke about mixed feelings, “like having your mother-in-law drive off a cliff in your brand new Ferrari.”) I described new capabilities for enterprise customers, like VPN and web conferencing, and suggested consumers will extend social networking using mobile. Anthony Berkeley, Alcatel-Lucent LTE Business Strategy manager, offered the wry observation that everyone at the conference was too old to anticipate the popular services on the next-generation mobile network, as teenagers will most likely set the trends. With that, I was ready to return home to ask my children about the future of the Mobile Internet.

Broadband = E2 ~ The enabler of the enablers

Join Tony Bates, SVP and General Manager, Cisco Service Provider Group and Bob McIntyre, Chief Technical Officer, Service Provider Group, as they discuss the evolution of broadband through recounting pivotal events in the history of broadband and considering the collaborative and personalized experiences possible through digital video.

Connected Life vs. Disconnected Life

By reading this blog, perusing our web site, visiting with us at tradeshows or hearing our presentations, you’ve likely learned about our vision for the integrated branded experience for today’s end users. Cisco enables and experience providers deliver these experiences to their customers through all aspects of our daily lives, whether at work, at home or on the move. We call this the Connected Life and are actively innovating to provide the intelligent network technology that providers need to deliver it.While some may call this as visionary, we think it is self evident (likely happening sooner than you’d think). But to help make the point, we decided to show what things would be like from a contrarian’s point of view, so we created a video”sitcom” of sorts where you can watch the comic travails that lurk for the unenlightened and “dumb network” dependent. You see this as you watch how it directly affects the”disconnected lives” of Don and Rhonda DeLay -a married couple in need of a communications upgrade. First meet the characters, then check out the web sitcom episodes and see if they can repair their ‘disconnected life’.Social Marketing Guru, David Meerman Scott, says he has”high hopes” for these videos and is looking forward to future episodes. What do you think?Be sure to check them out and give us your thoughts. And if you’d prefer, here’s where they’re posted on YouTube.

Disruption?

monique_morrow.jpgSo, back from my whirlwind travels and, I am now in China. In my discussions with Service Providers, the topic of”disruption” often occurs. Questions around emerging technologies and trends in business dynamics are quite common in these encounters. Whether one speaks about so called”cloud computing”, pervasive computing, impact of social networking on architectures, offline web applications, graphine transitors, open source and so on, the response is multi-faceted. There are considerations for macroeconomic, political, cultural and technological dynamics in scenario analysis, and continued innovation is at the heart of this topic. Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group for Service Providers work very closely with Service Provider customers on scenario analysis relevant to a customer business model. Additionally, Cisco participates in MIT’s Communications Future Communications Program that includes industry participants. Topics like Interprovider Quality of Service, Viral Communications, Value Chain Dynamics are amongst many that the program is addressing. Finally, Cisco Research, is part of the thought leadership team working with universities, and Service Provider customers to collaborate on areas of research pertinent to emerging business, In summary, keeping ahead of the curve, thinking in big picture mode and being cognizant of the external dynamics such as macroeconomics, cultural, political and technological, really do comprise the topic of disruption.