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A Data Deluge, Driven by Tablets and Mobile Video, Is Disrupting Mobile Carriers

Only a few years ago, the challenges facing mobile providers seemed well within the realm of their traditional expertise. Their vast and complex infrastructures, built around towers, antennas, core networks, and the like, focused on providing the bandwidth and signal quality necessary for providing clear voice signals. Early mobile Internet applications were limited to services like weather, news, and stock quotes. As video entered the picture, it was mostly limited to a quick, manageable snack here and there on YouTube. After all, on a tiny, phone-sized screen, the prospects for a sumptuous two-hour movie feast were limited.

The situation, however, is being radically transformed. And at this years’ Mobile World Congress, which I attended last week in Barcelona, a clear focus was on a prime disruptor: the tablet and vast, media-rich applications. For with the sudden and phenomenal growth of the iPad—along with its Android-based counterparts—end users who had been limited to quick bites on YouTube are ready to indulge in long-form video buffets, anytime and anywhere. And while those game-changing tablets don’t quite provide an IMAX experience, their larger screens nevertheless offer the perfect mix of visual quality, mobility, and convenience.

For mobile service carriers, however, this has created a certain amount of havoc. Read More »

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Why Smartphone App Reviews Matter

You could say that I’m an early-adopter of new tech gadgets. That being said, I also continue to use older devices until I find a very good reason to upgrade to something more current.

Maybe that’s why I don’t own a mobile smartphone, because I’ve previously not had a compelling reason to retire my basic feature-phone. That is, until now.

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Next generation of Cloud Applications

According to Friday’s Dec 2, 2001,  Wall Street Journal , Google will have a 1-day shipping service to challenge Amazon’s Prime service . The news reminded me of some great talks I was able to attend at CA World 2011 in Las Vegas.  One of the talks was by Dr. Timothy Chou of Stanford University on Cloud computing applications. Another was by Cisco VP Marie Hattar on the impact of an intelligent network on our lives. The third was on the future of application development by CA Technologies CTO Dr. Ferguson, who I knew from working in the WebSphere organization at IBM.

Dr. Chou’s talk was in three parts -- namely the economics of the Software business, kinds of applications possible with cloud computing, and the new generation of cloud applications. The service Google is embarking on is precisely the kind of application we can expect where software provides a context sensitive service while understanding the customer’s needs.  Dr. Chou illustrated the evolution of software delivery starting with the traditional license model to open source software, then to outsourcing and finally Software as a Service. He showed the economic efficiency of Cloud computing (Software as a Service).

He went on to state that the ad-based revenue model that Google has embraced allows them to deliver the search software to users at a fraction of the cost of the traditional license model.  In the second part of the talk, Dr. Chou described how cloud computing innovation lies in the business model and not just technology.  He identified application services that can benefit the most from the cloud model, namely high growth applications and those that have highly variable demand characteristics.  He speculated that cloud services would be specialized and differentiated based on location, performance and innovative business models such as spot pricing.

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How to Make the Business Thankful for IT. Give them Apps!

Think about it, when was the last time the business said “thank you” to IT? It’s probably been a while. Unfortunately, all too often we hear complaints that IT is too slow, or that IT is the department of “no”.

Deploying a private cloud is one way to help turn IT into the department of “yes”, with faster and more responsive IT service delivery. The customers of Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud have compressed the cycle time for IT provisioning from weeks to minutes. That means that project managers and application developers no longer have to wait for IT – they can speed up their projects and get business applications up and running more quickly.

And if there’s one golden rule to remember for your private cloud solution, it’s that the business wants apps. They’ll be thankful if you can provision and manage their applications in a cloud environment with consistency, reliability and speed.

So if you’re interested in on-demand application delivery for your private cloud, check out this presentation from Cisco Intelligent Automation and our ecosystem partner rPath:

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Closer Analysis of Service Penetration Trends

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

In my last post about exploring user adoption trends, I shared insights from the Cisco Connected Life User Experience (CLUE) — the unique Cisco tool that tracks worldwide service adoption trends in a weighted index. By comparing how the CLUE index has changed since 2008, we can see not just the rate at which a given service has been adopted, but how priorities have shifted over time.

Once again, Thomas Barnett of the Cisco Service Provider Marketing team:

“People often want to jump immediately to asking if this means that X percent of people in a region are using a particular service. We can get to that, but we’re trying to look at services more holistically. We want to be able to quickly grasp how people’s feelings about services are changing.”

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