Cisco Blogs

Cisco Blog > Internet of Everything

Internet of Things at MWC

Cisco SAP Helping Connect IoTHere we are, less than a week away from the most exciting conference of the year, Mobile World Congress (MWC). Exhibitors will be showing off the latest and greatest products and services to hit the mobile industry from over the past 12 months, an eternity in the technology world.  MWC will also give us a glimpse into the future innovations across the DNA of the mobile industry; the Devices, Networks and Applications which make mobility so exciting. 

For me, this year comes with added anticipation.  At Cisco, we have been promoting our vision of the Internet of Things, the process of connecting the unconnected, of integrating business processes and analytics to machines and sensors to create new insights that solve real world consumer and corporate challenges.  In addition, Cisco recently launched our Internet of Things Business Unit which is focused solely on meeting the demands of those industries and lines of business that operate in extreme environments.  These customers need more robust networking products that can not only thrive in the comfortable confines of the carpeted and air conditioned world of Information Technology, but also survive in the harsh cold, wet, dirty and stressful world of the operations technologist, or what we call the OT.  This harsh environment is believed to have significantly more “things” that connected compared with the traditional IT environment.

To that end, this year, Cisco and SAP have begun working aggressively together to help solve the latest set of problems our OT customers are facing.  From my perspective, the possibility of combining Cisco’s proven set of networking, collaboration and security products, with SAP’s world class industry business applications and HANA platform is extremely powerful and one which I’m jazzed to demonstrate in Spain next week. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Multi-Party Support – the Emergence of a Dynamic Support Network

When I ask IT executives how happy they are with their external support providers (outsourcers, vendors, etc.) invariably they express deep frustration. They look to these vendors to be real partners – to collaborate effectively and seamlessly, to do their job efficiently and transparently, and to bring real innovation to the table. Instead, they feel like they go into combat every day with these supposed “partners”. And, they say, it’s getting worse. But what has changed?

Over the past several years the number of support providers IT organizations deal with has increased exponentially (one analyst firm estimates a 400% increase over five years). Moreover, the complexity of the relationships is growing – no longer are support transactions limited to just one partner, in many cases incidents bounce between several different partners before they are resolved. Then there is cloud. Cloud makes consumption easy, but hidden behind this “easy on” experience is a highly complex support reality. Cloud services might look like one unified solution when they’re purchased, but in reality cloud services incorporate software, hardware, data centers, and networks from dozens of providers – when something goes wrong, it isn’t easy to even figure out where the problem is – let alone get it fixed.

But the paradigm for managing these relationships has stayed basically the same for decades.  At the end of the month vendors provide reports on their own performance. Most IT organizations have teams of people that sift through these reports, consolidate them into spreadsheets, summarize and analyze. This reactive, long lag time model doesn’t support the business need for flexibility and agility.

Cisco believes what IT needs is a “dynamic support network” – whereby IT organizations have real time connections to support providers – all linked back to the system of record IT relies on to manage support. It shouldn’t be sufficient to find out at the end of the month that target SLA’s have been missed – IT needs to know if the SLA on the incident that is open NOW is going to be missed, allowing it to proactively ensure it meets the SLA.

Interestingly, when I talk with external support providers like outsourcers or managed service providers, they have exactly the same requirement. They want to see the incident they are working on from the point of view of the person who originally opened the ticket, not just from when they were brought into the process. They truly do want to partner – and in fact to delight – their customer. They recognize the customer is ultimately the end user, and it is the end users expectation they want to manage to. To accomplish this, they need to be integrated with their customers – their own dynamic network – with real time visibility and transparency into when the incident was raised, the original SLA, what has already happened on that incident, etc.

Cisco ServiceGrid is designed to solve this problem. With a “connect once, connect all” approach, ServiceGrid integrates all participants in the support process to the cloud platform only once, instead of integrating everyone one at a time. It allows companies to collaborate in real time to deliver services to a single customer. All information, data and workflows are shared in an automated way, eliminating manual practices and bottlenecks. From a customer perspective it looks like one company, even if two or more companies are working together to solve a case.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

Cisco Nexus 1000V: Simplifying and Scaling Virtual Networking in Microsoft Private Cloud Hyper-V Environments

Windows Server 2012 R2 is central to Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision; the operating system platform delivers enhancements and new features in virtualization, management, storage, networking, and more.  Our Cisco server infrastructure solutions (UCS) as well as our management (UCS Director, UCS Manager, Cisco Intercloud) and network capabilities are purpose built for supporting Microsoft’s virtualization and cloud offerings.

Cisco Cloud Infrastructure
Figure 1. Cisco’s Microsoft Cloud OS Solutions and Capabilities

Together Microsoft and Cisco provide tightly integrated and flexible solutions that deliver on the benefits of a Microsoft private or hybrid cloud. Our R&D teams have spent, and continue to spend serious time together developing technologies, APIs, and solutions.  In our blog post today, let’s focus in on the networking side of things, specifically on our award winning Nexus 1000V offering for Hyper-V:

  • It’s all about simplifying and scaling virtual networking.  Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V helps to reduce the operational complexities associated with virtual machine-to-virtual machine networking and thus help customers gain more of the benefits of server virtualization technology and cloud.
  •  It maintains networking resiliency across your physical and virtual environments as you move to the cloud.  Protect your investment by future-proofing your network design with a flexible virtual networking platform.
  • Recognized with the 2013 Best of Tech Ed award in the Virtualization category, Nexus 1000V extends comprehensive networking capabilities to your Hyper-V environment. A distributed virtual switching platform with advanced networking features and integrated virtual services, Nexus 1000V delivers consistency across your physical, virtual and cloud environments.
  • Uses a consistent operational model designed to accelerate server virtualization and cloud deployments securely and transparently. Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

How Next Generation WLAN Optimizes RoboCup at Bowdoin College

Bowdoin College is a liberal arts college based in the town of Brunswick, Maine. It houses 1839 students in about 100 buildings and offers 33 different majors and 4 minors. The Bowdoin IT Team are pioneering in nature as would be expected from the state whose motto, “Dirigo”, translates to “I lead”; adopting bleeding-edge best-in-class technologies to provide the optimal connected experience for students, faculty, staff and guests. This is counter-balanced with pragmatism in phasing the roll-out of these services.

This next generation pervasive WLAN network enables students to collaborate with each other anywhere on the campus and with the teachers in the classroom. In the previous blog in 2012, we described how Bowdoin upgraded to 3602 Access Points and used the innovative CleanAir technology tie-in with Event Driven Radio Resource Monitoring to optimize WLAN coverage. They also adopted the Cisco Prime and ISE 1.2 for manageability and consistent wired-wireless Policy respectively. In this blog, we will cover more details about the recent upgrade of the Wireless LAN Controller from the previous model WiSM to the new model 5760 and describe highlights of our conversation with Jason and Trevor about the WLAN deployment itself.

bowdoin1 Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The New Price of Attracting and Retaining Insurance Customers

The insurance industry is facing a massive evolutionary shift driven by competition and changes in consumer preferences. The competitive battle is easy to see, as insurers delve out billions in advertising and marketing expenditures in an effort to attract and retain customers, while maintaining top of mind brand awareness and differentiation. And adding to the pile on–retail  banks are beginning to offer personal and commercial  policies, which means insurers are no longer only competing with one another, but banks as well.

Insurance fits into the broader context of how we live our lives. So, the same technology trends and innovations that are changing the way we interact with each other socially as well as with other products and services – travel, entertainment, automotive, to name a few–are changing the expectations we, as consumers, bring to the insurance experience. Customers want to interact with their insurance provider in the way they choose, at the time they choose, across any access channel with any device.     Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , ,