Cloud Expo was indeed a very interesting juxtaposition of people espousing the value of cloud and how their stuff is really cloudy. You have a group of presenters and expo floor booths talking about their open API and how that is the future of cloud. Then you have the other camp that tells us how their special mix of functions is so much better than that. All of this is a very interesting dialog. APIs are indeed very important. If your technology is indeed a cloud operating model then you must have an API. Solutions like Cisco’s Intelligent Automation for Cloud rely on those APIs to orchestrate cloud services. But APIs are not the end all. The reality is that while the cloud discussions tend to center on the API and the model behind that API, the real change enabling the move towards cloud is the operating model of the users who are leveraging the cloud for a completely fresh game plan for their businesses.
James Urquhart’s recent blog: http://gigaom.com/cloud/what-cloud-boils-down-to-for-the-enterprise-2/ highlights that the real change for users of the cloud is modifying how they do development, test, capacity management, production operations and disaster recovery. My last blog talked about the world before cloud management and automation and the move from the old world model to the new models of dev/test or dev/ops that force the application architects, developers, and QA folks to radically alter their model. Those that adopt the cloud without changing their “software factory” model from one that Henry Ford would recognize to the new models may not get the value they are looking for out of the cloud.
At Cloud Expo I saw a lot of very interesting software packages. Some of them went really deep into a specific use case area, while others accomplished a lot of functional use cases that were only about a inch deep. As product teams build out software packages for commercial use, they have a very interesting and critical decision point that will drive the value proposition of the software product. It seems to me that within 2 years, just about all entrants in the cloud management and automation marathon will begin to converge on a simple focused yet broad set of use cases. Each competitor will be either directly driving their product to that point, or they will be forced to that spot by the practical aspects of customers voting with the wallets. Interestingly enough, this whole process it drives competition and will yield great value for the VP of Operations and VP of Applications of companies moving their applications to the cloud.
Last week’s blog highlighted ways you can improve the user experience by preparing your network to meet the challenges associated with the sea of devices entering the corporate networks. Ultimately however, productivity is not only going to be depended on the freedom to choose a device, or the ease of access to information, or the quality of the connection when consuming bandwidth intensive content. It will largely be depended on the tools available on those devices – in other words “the apps”.
Most desk-bound knowledge workers will be quite content using existing productivity tools such as word processing, spreadsheet, or presentation software already available in the various app stores. There will however be many other types of workers that can tremendously benefit from having applications that are turbo-charged with network intelligence.
What do I mean by that? Well, you will just have to watch the video where Jagdish Girimaji, product manager for the Mobility Services Engine (MSE), outlines what network information can be exposed to make tablet applications more intelligent.
Just the other day, one of our competitors crowed that Cisco customers must be confused about how to manage Cisco equipment when attempting to build a Cloud Computing environment. From their perspective, customers should embrace the mainframe days when a single company delivered all the hardware and software, along with an army of ever-present consultant to make it all work. Don’t worry about complexity Mr.Customer, there isn’t any because you don’t ever see it. And don’t worry about the $bill$ either, because the contract will rollover from one IT administration to the next IT administration.
Based on Cisco’s presence at EMC World last week, I can understand why they would be confused. Not only did live, managed Cisco and VCE Vblock equipment show up in several keynotes (Pat Gelsinger, Paul Maritz, Sanjay Mirchandani), it was also discussed in packed breakout sessions, and in the booths of Cisco, EMC, EMC IT, VCE, newScale, BMC, CA and VMware.
Within the Cisco booth, we highlighted just one of our Cloud Management solutions, Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, in the context of our broader “Cisco Cloud Solutions” strategy.
There comes a time in the evolution of building a technology platform that you have to pause and look back where you’ve come from, before continuing on with the journey. As I think back to the formation of the Cisco Eos platform, it was a time of hard work and rapid growth.
The Cisco Media Solutions Group went from being a business unit with an idea, to truly taking form in 2007 when Cisco made three software acquisitions—Five Across, the assets of Tribe.net and the assets of Click.tv. From that day forward, we were charged with developing an innovative platform that could get media companies online in a simple, manageable way. That long journey started with the single though difficult step of uniting three independent companies and countless independent perspectives into a single team executing against a single vision.
As with any consolidation effort, tough decisions had to be made. One of the most important we faced was what development platform we were going to leverage. Our three teams had experience in just as many languages: Ruby on Rails, PHP, and Java – not to mention Adobe Flex and even a bit of C. After much debate, we chose to use Java for the back end, which includes the core Cisco Eos data and content components like blogs, discussions, and member profiles. And we chose PHP for the front end, the dynamic page-rendering environment that our users can customize for presentation to end consumers. Read More »
Working with our customers, we see media companies in all stages of the social entertainment development process. Many have taken the first step and have begun integrating social features into branded web sites, leveraging Cisco Eos to build out the social experience. However, it is when media companies stop here that they immediately leave fans longing for more.
You may be thinking, “But my competitors haven’t gone any further than this, so we must be in line with what users want, right?” To address this, I ask you this question, “How do you personally interact with content?”
Unless you have been living under a rock, you have a smartphone that gives you the ability to use targeted interactive apps or surf the internet. You may have taken it a step further and bought an iPad to get this same mobile experience on a larger screen. If you fit into either of these scenarios, ask yourself why your consumers aren’t also looking to take advantage of these platforms to engage with your content. As with any product or service, individual users have individual preferences. To fully reach your target audience, you need to provide access to content from all of the devices they use. If you don’t, you run the risk of leaving a large percentage unsatisfied, or turning them off from repeat visits.
If last month’s SXSW Interactive Conference brought anything to the forefront, it is that people are increasingly interested in using mobile web and mobile apps to view content anywhere, anytime. If you are in charge of developing social entertainment experiences across your content portfolios, it is time to start reaching beyond the desktop computer to mobile devices. If you fail to extend your social entertainment experiences to all screens, you are missing the ability to capitalize on a very important, very large audience growth opportunity. Read More »