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Take 2: From an Ancient Scottish Castle to the Gartner Data Center Conference in London

Time flies!  I’m off to the Gartner Data Center conference in London again.  And as per last year, I’ll drive my this ancient and very historical Bothwell Castle on my way to the airport.

Bothwell Castle

 

Last year I was very busy at the Cisco stand in the Solution Showcase.  This time, I’m spending all of my visit  in the actual conference sessions, learning about top concerns and trends in the data center world, and I plan to tweet out some of the most interesting and controversial learnings, as well as following up in subsequent blogs here.  So follow me on Twitter @StephenSatCisco to learn what is surprising me (and I’ll use hashtags #CiscoDC #GartnerDC.  And  if you are at the conference, I should be near the Cisco stand at the breaks so drop by and say hello!

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Making it Easier for You to do Business with Us – Fixed Price Professional Services from Cisco

Professional services, Consultancy Services, Advanced Services – call them what you will.   I can hear you say:   “On No!  Complexity”.  “Now I need to work a Statement of Work”.  “I need help to get my project on time, can’t this get easier?”  “I need to get my legal contracts team involved.”  “Why can’t you just tell me a price?”

Common reactions from some of you who will engage any (and I mean any, not just Cisco!) professional services organization (for example,  Cisco Services or one of our many partners) to help bring additional experience, expertise and resources to your projects.  The good news is, where appropriate to your requirements, this complexity has been substantially reduced, with Fixed Price services from Cisco, available now for many of our most popular products and solutions.

I will confess: this is not new  – in fact we (quietly) first released such Fixed Price services back in 2009, to support the Cisco Unified Computing System deployments! – and if we’re honest, we’ve not talked much about them and how successful they’ve become, with many, many customers taking advantage of these quick-to-engage expert services.

These services have really made it easier for customers and partners to do business with Cisco, delivering a number of significant advantages to our customers and partners, as illustrated below.

 

Cisco Fixed Price Services - Characteristics

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Taking a Strategic Approach to BYOD in Higher Education

In a recent survey of college students and young professionals, 40 percent said they would accept a lower-paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility.

To meet the needs of their students and faculty, most colleges and universities have employed a BYOD strategy on some level for years. However, the evolving expectations of flexibility and freedom of access present new challenges and opportunities for higher education institutions and their IT departments. The proliferation of mobile devices and the exponential increase in traffic from video and other rich media applications will place ever-increasing demands on a university’s network infrastructure. Universities not only need to support the requirements of today; they need to anticipate and plan for future requirements so they can scale the network in a prudent and cost-effective way.

Click on the video below to watch my VLOG on Taking a Strategic Approach to BYOD.

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Cisco WAAS – Key to Cloud, Key to the Cisco Network On Wheels

Wow, time flies.  When I started blogging at Cisco, 2 years back (here), helping organizations formulate their cloud strategy was top of my mind.  I’d ran a customer market research survey, and one of the things we learned that in certain parts of the world, the access bandwidth to the cloud was a significant concern – in terms of reliability, cost and bandwidth available.  From this customer feedback, we concluded that Cisco WAAS – Wide Area Application Services – that helps accelerate applications and optimizes bandwidth usage  – was a key asset in helping our customers overcome this cloud adoption challenge.  And from this feedback, we realised that our Cisco WAAS Planning and Design Services were key to some of our customers adopting cloud.

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Crawl, Walk and Run Your Way to Cloud Automation

Stretching the Olympic theme of my previous blog, where I used the analogy of a 100m sprinter and his backup team to introduce the new Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Deployment Services, I’d like to now discuss how to roll out new cloud projects in the data center.  Thinking again about  a team of Olympic champions – and the Team GB (Great Britain) cycling team, illustrate this principle so well – with their fabulous winning streak, not least the incredibly exciting keirin event win by my countryman Sir Chris Hoy (yes, fellow Scot, however that’s where the association ends :-) ).  Such teams don’t often win with a “big bang” all-at-once, approach.  Their training and successes usually builds incrementally, over several years and phases.  

In the case of Team GB Cycling, they have developed from  practically “also rans” in 1998 to consistent world beaters in Beijing 2008 and now London 2012.  They have improved incrementally, event by event, year by year, demonstrating incremental successes as they went along, to be world beaters.  In essence, they have used an approach we in Cisco sometimes call “Crawl, Walk, Run”, illustrating the progress to success.  From my experience over the past 25 years in IT, there are big lessons here for IT project delivery.  Let’s use a Cloud Automation project as an example.

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