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The Cisco – SP Partnership: How Proactive Planning Drives Service Quality

By Carlos Cordero, Director, Service Provider Internet Business Solutions Group

In my previous blog I explained the importance of collaborative testing between telecommunications service providers (SPs) and their network vendors in order to achieve higher service quality levels. I’d like to start where I left off and move on to exploring how this type of collaboration can extend into the planning process.

SPs with the highest service quality tend to have a strong planning capability within both their Network Engineering and Operations organizations, which is directly coordinated with their vendors. Leading SPs establish a joint Program Management Office (PMO) with their network equipment vendor, whose scope of responsibility includes early bug identification, bug remediation, and new feature deployment. This includes structured, joint planning meetings and performance reviews which are attended by VP-level engineering and operations executives, as well as senior members of the vendor’s account team, services organization, and the development organization.

The joint SP-vendor PMO performs several critical activities.  First, it drives requirements gathering with senior network designers, and then works with them until actual code is released.  The PMO also develops network architectures with the vendor and the SP’s engineers using “Plan-of-Record” (POR) documentation.  Next, the PMO jointly prioritizes feature functionality with the vendor, keeping track of critical features needed by specified timeframes.  It works closely with the vendor’s development organization to understand any design limitations, testing issues, and special conditions.  In addition to performing classic management functions, the PMO makes use of “Bug Workbooks” to track all major, critical, and minor bugs and trends.

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What are the priority enterprise collab apps to move to the cloud?

As a follow up to a recent post, “Lessons about cloud from Enterprise Connect,” which discusses the merits of moving to cloud-based collaboration solutions, I wanted to dig a little deeper into which collaboration applications should be a priority for your move from premise-based to cloud-based solutions.

While we at Cisco certainly realize that cloud-based collaboration solutions are not a “one size fits all” deployment, we’ve outlined our suggested priorities as you work to migrate your collaboration technology to the cloud.

In order to maximize the return on your collaboration investment I’d first suggest going with a robust instant messaging (IM) and presence solution in order to collaborate more effectively with colleagues, partners, and customers. Cisco’s answer is Cisco Jabber a unified communications platform that in addition to IM and presence includes voice, video, desktop sharing and conferencing. With Jabber available from a wealth of mobile and fixed endpoints (from iPhone to Android, to the iPad and to both Windows and Mac) having this application migrated to your organization’s cloud allows you to work from any workspace, on any device, giving you the opportunity to communicate from truly anywhere.

Next, I’d suggest incorporating a web / video conferencing solution in order to stay engaged with colleagues, customers and partners from afar in the current mobile workplace ecosystem, which is not showing signs of slowing down. Cisco WebEx® Conferencing increases productivity and accelerates results with the ability to meet anytime, anywhere, in a compelling and cost-effective package.

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Where are all the Women?

The future of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector is exciting. Every day, people are using the Internet, computers and mobile devices in new and innovative ways.  ICT is changing the way we work, live, play and learn. And it’s opened up new employment opportunities that should appeal to men and women alike.

So, where are all the women?

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Getting Connected

The world of transportation is rapidly changing, which is in turn driving rapid change in the world of manufacturing. Transportation products of all kinds have had connectivity in some form for many years however; the connectivity was confusing, unreliable and often deficient in adequate bandwidth and technology to sustain a continuous stream of interactions between equipment and operation centers.  New means of M2M have emerged out of necessity, which have broadened the ecosystem of participants to include tech companies, service providers, and others. Read More »

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Making Money from Wi-Fi

The insatiable demand for smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices is generating staggering amounts of mobile data. The much-quoted Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) predicts that global mobile data traffic will increase 18-fold from 2011 to 2016, reaching 10.8 exabytes per month.   In tandem, the use of Wi-Fi for Internet access is exploding as more mobile devices are Wi-Fi enabled, the number of public hotspots expands, and user acceptance grows. Until recently most technologists and mobile industry executives viewed it as the “poor cousin” to licensed mobile communications.  And they most certainly never considered a role for Wi-Fi in mobile networks or their business.  The explosion of mobile data traffic has changed all of that.  Most mobile operators now realize that offloading data traffic to Wi-Fi can, and should, play a significant role in reducing clogged networks and the number of unhappy customers.

Mobile operators understand that off-loading data traffic to cheaper Wi-Fi defers significant capital expenditures for further build-out of the licensed network.  Operators around the world however, are asking if there is more to Wi-Fi than just data offload? Can they actually make money from Wi-Fi by turning the cost of doing business into profitable business models?  Read More »

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