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Improving Business Process through Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI)

I attended my second VMworld in San Francisco last week, and I’m seeing a change in the desktop virtualization discussions I’m having with customers.  It’s no longer just about the technologies but how it impacts (either positively or negatively) the business process.

There are some business processes common to most companies such as supporting contact center agents and onboarding of contract workers who need only the VDI components but also the communication and collaboration capabilities to do their job–often from remote settings such as their homes.

In fact, a recent analysis based on our customers’ Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure deployments revealed Read More »

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Collaboration Technology Enables Suburban Town to Scale Smartly

One of the famous axioms in business is, “It’s better to work smarter than harder.” I’ll add one for government employees, “You’d be wise to spend taxpayer money smartly.” The City of Longwood, a suburb of Orlando, Florida, which is known for its historic heritage and small-town charm is doing just that.

The challenge facing the City was its 150 employees were dispersed between ten buildings across town including City Hall, Police Department, Fire Department and Water Utilities. So, when a desktop service request came into the IT department, the IT Manager, Craig Dunn, needed to travel across town to resolve the issue.

Additionally, City employees demanded Read More »

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For IT Strategy Think BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

At Citrix Synergy 2012, I was invited to participate in a panel discussion, “Beyond BYOD to Work Anywhere with Virtual Workspaces”.  Fellow panelists included Simon Bramfitt, Principal Analyst at Entelechy Associates, and Jeroen Van De Kam, CTO at Login Consultants.

Two key themes came up repeatedly:  the need to keep BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in perspective and the role of the business and the users. 

Read More »

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DoDIIS 2012 – A Few Closing Words

This week the best in government gathered in Denver for the 2012 Department of Defense Intelligence Information Systems (DoDIIS) Worldwide Conference and we’d like to share a few themes we saw as well as excerpts from some of the conversations we had with Cisco booth visitors.

First of all, we’d like to thank everyone that stopped by our booth; we had a lot of traffic and received amazing feedback on all of the products we demoed.

Read More »

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The Quest for Simplicity

A colleague of mine with close to 30 years experience in financial services recently returned from a business trip to Kuala Lumpur where he attended a financial services CIO summit.  One of the messages he heard again and again was the quest for simplicity.

The CIOs were looking for solutions that are not simplistic, but rather simple – simple to implement, simple to maintain and simple to use.

Not a new concept, but one we need to constantly remind ourselves of as we use technology as an enabler.  Key lessons learned to keep in-mind include:

  • It’s not about the technology, it’s about delivering improved capability and business value
  • Get the users involved early and often
  • Ensure both the business and the technology sides are aligned
  • It’s about people, process and technology

The list can go on, but let’s return to simplicity. When we look at today’s distributed computing environment, it harkens back to the early 1990s when the battle raged between OS2 and Windows.  We all know the result and now PCs, in a client-server architecture, rule the day. It is now becoming increasingly clear that the client-server environment is anything but simple which is why we are moving into a post PC era.  I would argue that a critical part of this shift is the need to drive to simplicity.

A brief example may help paint the picture for you. We recently worked with a large European bank that was facing a far-reaching desktop operating system upgrade. To replace the old with the new would not have solved one nagging problem:  it took over 20 minutes to boot up, sign in and start using a desktop. All the best intentions lead to increased complexity and a lot of lost productivity.

Do the math:  1,000 people signing in once a day lose a total of 333 hours of productivity every day. That’s 8 weeks of lost productivity in the first half hour of each work day. Transitioning to a virtual desktop environment, with Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure(V XI) and services, brought the sign-in time down to seconds, not minutes, while simplifying overall desktop management, which ultimately helped increase productivity.

The challenges we face in today’s post-PC era include overcoming complexity, but as Edward de Bono says, “Dealing with complexity is an inefficient and unnecessary waste of time, attention and mental energy. There is never any justification for things being complex when they could be simple.” Now is the time to drive for simplicity.

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