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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Piston Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has fundamentally altered the IT landscape: dramatically boosting IT agility, while lowering costs. To realize the business advantages of cloud, organizations are shifting to a hybrid IT model—blending private cloud, public cloud, and on-premise applications.

To help customers maintain control and compliance in this hyper-connected, hyper-distributed IT environment, Cisco and its partners are building the Intercloud—a globally connected network of clouds. Today, Cisco is taking another important step towards realizing our ambitious Intercloud vision. We are pleased to announce our intent to acquire Piston Cloud Computing, which will help accelerate the product, delivery, and operational capabilities of Cisco Intercloud Services.

Paired with our recent acquisition of Metacloud, Piston’s distributed systems engineering and OpenStack talent will further enhance our capabilities around cloud automation, availability, and scale. The acquisition of Piston will complement our Intercloud strategy by bringing additional operational experience on the underlying infrastructure that powers Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud. Additionally, Piston’s deep knowledge of distributed systems and automated deployment will help further enhance our delivery capabilities for customers and partners.

To bring the world of standalone clouds together, Cisco and our partners are building the Intercloud. The Intercloud is designed to deliver secure cloud services everywhere in the world. Our enterprise-class portfolio of technology and cloud services gives customers the choice to build their own private clouds or consume cloud services from a trusted Intercloud Provider. The Intercloud provides choice of services, all with compliance and control. In a nutshell: we’re delivering cloud the way our customers need it.

Piston will join our Cloud Services team under the leadership of Faiyaz Shahpurwala, senior vice president, Cloud Infrastructure and Managed Services Organization.

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New Certifications Help Connect the Unconnected

The Internet of Everything (IoE) – bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – is accelerating the pace of digital transformation.

This new age of the digital economy presents unprecedented challenges for all CEOs and business leaders. In today’s dynamic business environment, enterprises are under more pressure than ever to drive business outcomes. Innovation, ability to quickly adapt to new challenges and market conditions, as well as proficient leverage of new technologies are all critical in determining success. In addition, the IT landscape is evolving with more connected and mobile endpoints, the growth of application based services, and the need to collect, analyze and utilize an explosion of data. Read More »

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Collaboration Systems Release 11: Innovation and Integration for the Best Experience

If you’ve been following Cisco Collaboration, you know that we’re focused on the experience.  The whole experience:

  • Product experience for users
  • Sales and support experience for partners
  • Purchase, deployment, and management experience for administrators

The market continues to centralize on unification of voice; video; messaging and presence; conferencing; and extending communications to customer and team meeting environments. Delivering a unified experience becomes even more important.

To that end, we moved to time-based system releases as a way to align feature delivery across development teams. This also lets us provide clarity across our entire collaboration portfolio. About every six months, a Collaboration Systems Release (CSR) updates a large portion of the software powering the collaboration experience. Improvements reach from endpoints to mobile clients to voice and video infrastructure.

As we continue to innovate with new cloud-based offerings like Spark and developer tools like Tropo, systems releases become more important.  All our collaboration experiences are “unified” or integrated. And they’re becoming increasingly connected across premises and cloud. Read More »

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Inclusion: The New Core Competence for Leaders

We all know that not one person has all the answers, so it only makes sense that a company would want to have an inclusive, diverse workforce to bring in varying points of view. The problem is that most companies focus on diversity stats, but that doesn’t really make a difference in the culture of an organization, particularly when the whole point is to drive better business results through collaboration.

GVSOteamdiverseI prefer to focus on inclusion, and believe that inclusion precedes diversity. A more inclusive work environment will attract a more diverse workforce. Just as communication is a core skill for a modern leader, I believe inclusion is a core skill for the 21st Century – a style you can learn and practice. What is inclusion?  Simply put, it means including people…seeking diverse opinions and taking into account other points of view.  It’s treating people like they belong and feel valued, and making sure you are building teams and environments where no one feels they are on the outside. This isn’t always easy. You have to demonstrate it by interacting and engaging, and treating people with respect. It’s not what you say, but how you are that counts.

I also believe in focusing on the strengths of our people, rather than their weaknesses. That’s how we get people to go from good to great, instead of not-so-good to mediocre. This is especially important for women. In my experience, there is no difference in competence between men and women, but there is a massive difference in self-belief. We try to challenge women to regularly operate outside of their comfort zone so they can build confidence, aspiration level and impact on the organization.  Read More »

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Collaboration System Release 11.0: Experience, Simplicity, Ubiquity

When we talk to customers about collaboration and communication, we ask how they work today. Then we ask how they’d like to work in the future – and what tools and capabilities they want. Sometimes the things they want are simple, sometimes they’re more complex. But we take them all seriously – and we take them to our development teams to build into our product roadmap.

That’s what we did with Collaboration System Release 11. Customers consistently bring up three key needs, so that’s where you’ll find many of the benefits of the new release.

  • Experience: Provide a delightful user experience that makes collaboration a natural and integral part of any workday, helping people be more productive.
  • Simplicity: Reduce the time to first call or meeting with a complete solution that is simple to buy, deploy, manage, and use.
  • Ubiquity: Extend the collaborative environment beyond organizational boundaries to include customers, partners, and mobile workers.

These aren’t new themes for us – because they’re not new themes for you.

With Release 11.0, we’re continuing to deliver more capabilities and value around these themes, starting with the user experience.

Experience

Conferencing: Multi-streaming is a new feature that allows certain Cisco endpoints to generate and/or receive concurrent video streams of differing resolutions and frame rates. Cisco TelePresence Server’s ability to intelligently switch and transcode streams provides a flexible, high-quality user experience regardless of endpoint or software client.

In the latest version of Cisco Jabber, a single mouse click lets you move a multiparty IM conversation into a videoconference hosted on TelePresence Server, WebEx, or CMR Cloud.

CMR Cloud now includes “mobile proximity join,” which automatically tells the endpoint to dial into a meeting, driving faster meeting starts. Read More »

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