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So you want a real private cloud?

I had a customer ask me last week what differentiated our Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud solution.  He had reviewed many of the vendors in the space of private cloud software stacks including some of the virtualization vendors and was somewhat impressed to see that overall the industry was making progress in building out these solutions.  He did have a nagging thought in the back of his head that going with many vendors meant he was getting a “prefabricated” cloud experience much in the way prefab homes are offered.

His management wanted a private cloud, wanted it fast, but was not sure exact what a private cloud would look like or how it would operate.  His enterprise had specific needs, whether they be naming conventions for VMs or physical servers, or any number of integration points into 3rd partner products.  What his company really wanted was a home built to their specific needs for their private cloud.  This did not mean a fully custom house, but something that could use standard components  (think of all the standard construction components we use now a days) to build a designed to spec home.

This did not mean they needed high end digs right away but the ability to start in a pragmatic way and to enhance, extend, and build upon that first home.  This requires an underlying framework that can be used to build a company’s first pragmatic cloud and to grow up, much like my 63 year old house in its fourth remodel over the years.  The basic platform is present, we are just making much needed changes to support the needs of 2012.

After we got on the same page about clouds and why he would want to build his companies 5-10 year strategy of cloud on an extensible framework, we moved on to the composition of the solution:  product license, Cisco TAC support, and Cisco Advanced Services.  Given a clear business driver for the private cloud (such as in-sourcing of rogue VMs in the cloud, or driving infrastructure support of elastic business needs, or leverage Cisco network functionality for multi-tenancy) the financial conversation resulted in a positive outcome for both sides.  Of note was that building this individual’s Enterprise Private Cloud means that he was going to consume a good amount of Cisco Advanced Services.  To him this was a good thing as he was leveraging the knowledge and experience of the Cisco team to build and configure his cloud to start out and to scale out.  Just like when I am building a new great room in my house, I want the best people figuring out structural loads, making construction recommendations for extensions and to build out those special design features.

That is the thing about REAL private clouds, they need effort to configure it the way your company wants to operate it.

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Engaging A Partner-Centric Approach with Cisco Services

Making Cisco easier to do business with. That is one of the committments the company outlined this year as part of its refinements and evolution.  The results in doing so continues, we hope you see it and feel it. That promise shows up in many places across the company including our Services business.   Services  is one area of any business that is multifaceted, no doubt.  At Cisco it’s a  differentiated strategy that we bring to the market because of our  partner-centric approach. Services provides a huge opporutnity for our partners,we recognize that and it  now represents 40-50% of Cisco channel partners business, up from 20 percent just  five years ago.  

 Partners participate in the Services opportunity at every level, from the largest global customers to the local small business. Our partners are the extension our Services arm. And that’s not just “lip Service” --to back it up Cisco is taking the next step forward to further clarify our sales engagement model and drive consistency in the field to continue  momentum with absolute clarity.  We just published our Services Rules of Engagement to provide our partners with a definitive road map for how to engage with Cisco Services and maximize their Cisco Services investment. Specifically the document does the following:

Defines the partners role in the selling and delivery of Cisco services
Helps partners build a collaborative and predictable field sales and delivery model
Gives partners easy steps to driving accelerated customer adoption of smart services capabilities
Delivers a clear field escalation process should a mishap occur
Describe the sales compensation neutrality strategy

You be the judge as to how this really works, your outside voice and views are a great reality test. Let us know what you hear and how we are doing, we think we are off to a solid start, so let’s engage.

 To learn more, click here and check out a blog by Raja Sundaran VP WW Services Partner Organization on the Rules of Engagement that talks more about Cisco’s approach and “tasty” opportunity for our partners.

Hit the video below  from Keith Goodwin, SVP WW Partner Organization, and Bob Singleton, SVP WW Services Partner Organization on our  Services Go-to-Market model and ways partners will benefit.  

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire AXIOSS Software Assets

Cisco today announced its intent to acquire AXIOSS software assets that is designed to allow Cisco to Enable Service Providers to Generate New Revenue Opportunities.

SAN JOSE, Calif., READING, United Kingdom, HELSINKI, Finland – August 21, 2011 – Cisco today announced its intent to acquire service fulfillment software assets and associated employees from the UK subsidiary (formerly Axiom Systems) of parent company Comptel Corporation (NASDAQ OMX Helsinki: CTL1V). The acquisition will enable Cisco to extend network and service management technologies across its next-generation Internet Protocol (IP) network platforms and enable service providers to more quickly and efficiently launch new video, data, mobility and cloud services to their customers.

“As more users, connected mobile Internet devices and bandwidth intensive applications drive the explosive growth in IP-based networks, service providers continue to invest in their infrastructure to support customers’ needs,” said Jesper Andersen, senior vice president and general manager, Network Management Technology Group (NMTG), Cisco. “With the acquisition of AXIOSS software and talent, we will help enable service providers to generate greater profits using a single management architecture to drive quick monetization and optimization of their Cisco network investments.”

Cisco will acquire the AXIOSS software suite, a fulfillment platform that strengthens the Cisco service provider management offering by automating ordering and fulfillment. The software will provide management capabilities for network services across Cisco’s five company priorities, and it will enhance Cisco Prime, which enables service providers to better manage their networks and network services. By integrating service management and fulfillment capabilities into Cisco Prime, Cisco continues to demonstrate its commitment to innovate around the convergence of services and networks.

“Through the acquisition of AXIOSS software and talent we will be investing in a unique set of technology and skills in the UK that will be a valuable addition to Cisco’s network management portfolio,” said Jordi Ferrer, managing director, UK Service Provider and Media, Cisco. “Cisco will deliver network management technology and services that will help service providers significantly increase the speed and lower the costs of delivering a wide range of voice, video and data services to their customers.”
The AXIOSS software suite has already been integrated into the Cisco managed services solutions. The Cisco Advanced Services operational support systems practice will offer implementation, customization and integration services for the Cisco Prime fulfillment platform as a result of the acquisition.

The AXIOSS team will bring strong software development and professional services skills to support the Cisco Prime platform. Upon the close of the acquisition, the AXIOSS team will be integrated into the Cisco NMTG and Cisco Advanced Services Group.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cisco will pay approximately $31 million in cash for the acquisition. The acquisition is subject to various standard closing conditions and is expected to be complete in the third quarter of calendar year 2011.
About Cisco
Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com

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Meet with Cisco Network Management Technology Group Executives at TM Forum’s Management World Africa

By David Flesh

Planning on attending TM Forum Management World Africa? We hope you’ll join us.Cisco is going to have a table top demonstration area, plus a discussion regarding service provider management offerings, and the opportunity to meet with key members of the Cisco executive team at TM Forum’s Management World Africa this September 20-21, 2011.  This event will take place at the Hilton Sandton in Johannesburg.

TM Forum’s Management World provides a unique opportunity for senior executives to network with peers to learn about the latest trends in the industry. Cisco is sponsoring executive meetings and has hospitality suites reserved at the event. Executives from the Cisco Network Management Technology Group and Advanced Services teams will be available to meet with customers to discuss the Cisco service provider offerings. Read More »

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Addressing the Service Provider Transition to IPv6: The Changed Landscape (Part 1 of 4)

IPv6 has been top of mind lately, with World IPv6 Day on June 8th that provided a global-scale test flight of IPv6 technology for the purpose of testing and data collection. Cisco also recently announced that French service provider SFR is using our Carrier Grade v6 solution to offer IPv6 services to their residential customers, while still preserving their existing infrastructure investments.

Many people still have questions on the issues and options associated with making the evolution to IPv6. Below, in part one of a four part series, Cisco’s Kelly Ahuja, SVP Service Provider Chief Architecture Office and ACG Research’s Managing Partner Dr. Ray Mota discuss the changed landscape which network operators face that is driving the adoption of IPv6 technology. Ray does make an interesting comment about 2011 being the year of the tablets - and not just for consumer use, but also for business applications. Another point that Ray makes with which we agree is the need for network operators make a near term plan which extends or preserves the use of existing IPv4 assets, and a longer term plan which can migrate services to IPv6 - seamlessly - when needed.

Read More »

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