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The We’re Listening Blog Series: Big Data Analytics Drive Faster Time to Services Quotes

Throughout the year, our customers and partners provide feedback to us about their experience doing business with Cisco. We take that feedback very seriously, and are constantly making improvements to address the most common themes we hear and improve the overall experience. In the We’re Listening Blog series, we close the loop to tell you about these improvements and the changes that our customers and partners can expect to see.

One common theme in the feedback is the Services ordering process, so I’ve asked Lars Thorsen, Director, Partner Services, to describe some of the improvements that the Simplify and Optimize Annuity Revenue (SOAR) team has been making in this space over the past year – and what they have planned for this year.

lthorsen By Guest Author Lars Thorsen

We are constantly looking to simplify our quoting and ordering processes, starting with the improvements you’ve told us you most want to see. We’ve been listening to your feedback via surveys and live forums throughout the year, and we heard you say that the Services ordering process can be “complex and cumbersome” and the Services contract tool, CSCC, is a bit “difficult to use.” More specifically, you told us that it takes too many resources and cycles to interact with CSCC. We wanted to make immediate improvements that would decrease the time it takes to receive a quote for Services. Read More »

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Big Data and Analytics Touchdowns

What’s your winning combo for big data and analytics? This may come as a surprise to you – but given that the Superbowl is approaching – I am going to use a football analogy. As we get ready for the game in 2 weeks, we have a tale of two quarterbacks. One is an established quarter back with a long-standing history of victories. The other –new, up and coming—brings a ton of enthusiasm and fresh legs to the game.

This is like the analytics market place of today. We have established players like SAP, SAS, and IBM and new ones such as Splunk, Platfora, and ParStream (now part of Cisco). On this 10th birthday of Hadoop, we have established technology approaches from Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR using MapReduce being challenged by the new player to the game – Spark, which is starting to score big in the technology field. The big 3 are taking different approaches to this, which should make it fun to watch.

Ok, guess how Cisco UCS ties into all of this? The foundation under all of these players is a solid integrated infrastructure that enables the game to be played and won. And like Levi’s stadium, UCS is the state of the art infrastructure with all of the most essential bells and whistles (Yes, I’m talking about service profiles for policy execution and management and ACI for business-relevant software defined networking (SDN)). Because in football and in business, it’s important to go ALL THE WAY, you can rely on Cisco’s end-to-end solutions to make this happen.

Trying to figure out the winning combination for your team? I pulled together a ‘scouting report’ to help you put together your ideal fantasy team. Bookmark this, because this is where you can find the latest and greatest and how each player partners with Cisco to bring you insights to action.

Cisco Big Data and Analytics Latest Content

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Welcome to Data Virtualization’s New Frontier

DV Book pic

Where We’ve Been

When Judith Davis and I co-authored Data Virtualization: Going Beyond Traditional Data Integration to Achieve Business Agility in 2011, we identified the five most popular Data Virtualization usage patterns at that time.

“Data virtualization is a versatile data integration solution that can be deployed to solve a wide range of data integration challenges. Based on nearly ten years of successful implementations, several common usage patterns have emerged to help guide your enterprise’s data virtualization adoption strategy.

  • BI data federation
  • Data warehouse extension
  • Enterprise data virtualization layer
  • Big data integration
  • Cloud data integration”

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Five Strategic Insurance Business Imperatives for 2016

One of these days the ground will drop out from beneath your feet
One of these days your heart will stop and play its final beat
One of these days the clocks will stop and time won’t mean a thing

“These Days”, Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters

 As we kick-off 2016, the time is now for industry decision-makers to make a profound difference in the way Insurance business is transacted. Not just for competitive position, but for future generations, shareholders and most importantly, for the customer. Peer group competitors are formulating action plans now to address the most pressing tactical and strategic business imperatives across the enterprise for 2016 and beyond. Are you? Here are five top focus areas for 2016 that I am hearing from insurance executives across both Life and P&C:

  1. Digital Strategy
  2. Security
  3. Collaboration
  4. Talent Acquisition and Retention
  5. Business Outcome Approach

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Drowning in Data: Data Preparation to the Rescue

Everyone knows that data is important. Modern enterprises compete with data and win with the agility and insight it provides.

Thus the “Big Data Era” as metaphorically captured by terms such at Data Lakes, Data Reservoirs, Data Swamps, Data Streams and myriad others that attempt to describe the pools of liquid gold that this valuable data represents.

It seems everyone today is swimming in data. With many figuratively drowning in it.

The Rise of Data Swim Teams

With so much data and so much opportunity, big data has become a team sport at most large organizations today. This makes sense. There simply aren’t enough data scientists to carry the entire load. And while IT has skills and is ready to help, they already have a huge backlog. So business leaders are redirecting their resources to “jump in” with both feet.

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