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.
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.
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.
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.
Where were you in 1998? Somewhere in one of our customers, a customer booted one of our 3640 routers, and it’s been running ever since without a reboot!
It’s been running since last century! Wow. It’s been running since around the time my daughter was born, and a good few years before my son was born! It’s been running longer that some of our competitors have been in existence, and longer than Juniper Networks has been a publicly traded company!
I learned this from an email was passed around my office, that highlighted this remarkable evidence of reliability. It made me wonder, in your data center, what is your longest running piece of Cisco data center equipment?
And it also reminded me of some of our best practices for network reliability, such as Cisco Smart Services, described in this short VoD:
So now for the evidence. As you can see from the “show version” Cisco IOS output below ……