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Part 2 – How a Customer Crisis Ten Years Ago Helped Me Understand the Challenges of Cloud Service Creation Today

March 6, 2012 at 12:18 pm PST

In part 1 of this posting, I related a real-life experience of mine, where I learned that customer problems were often a better source for product and service definition than formally stated customer requirements.  I’d like to take this discussion further, via a concept in product and project management called the “tyre swing”.  Read More »

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Firewall, IPS, and Web Security Without Degrading Performance? Yes You Can Have It All!

February 28, 2012 at 4:00 am PST

In an effort to reduce costs and improve operational efficiency, organizations of all sizes have begun compressing their firewall and other security services into smaller form factors and fewer physical units. Many small and midsized companies have opted for UTMs to run all of their security on a single box. Unfortunately, UTMs have failed to deliver on their promise to deliver true multi-service security. Most UTMs do one or two things really well, but add all the other services as “checkbox” items just to say they have it. Read More »

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How a Customer Crisis Ten Years Ago Helped Me Understand the Challenges of Cloud Service Creation Today (Part 1)

February 23, 2012 at 10:45 am PST

If you are already offering cloud services from your data center, or are starting your planning to do so, there are some key initial questions I’d advise you consider.  And they’re not about the technical aspects of data center architecture!  You find yourself asking “what cloud services should we offer?” and “How do we evolve what we offer today”.  You may, post launch, also find yourself asking “Why is the take up to our cloud services not as big as we initially forecast?”.  Before you say “aha -  these are questions for service providers offering cloud services” .. I would argue that these questions are fundamental to enterprise and public sector organizations too -- assuming that you intend to provide cloud services to your user community that help them do their jobs.  Following one of my colleagues who blogged earlier that, with cloud services, “you need to think like a product manager”, I will assert here that there are some key lessons from product management that can help you in creating cloud services that are actually useful to your customer and/or your internal clients and stakeholders.

As you may have noticed from my previous blogs, I’ve worked in product management of both products and services for a while (since 1997 in fact, when I moved from software engineering into the “dark side” :-) ) …. so what lessons have I learned that may help you address the challenges of creating and defining new cloud services?

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What Happens When Mobile and Cloud Collide?

Mobility and cloud computing are colliding. So, what does this mean for the future of mobile devices? How soon will video-conference calls on our mobile devices become commonplace? How can service providers (SPs) enhance their competitive position by delivering cloud and managed services?

While research has been conducted on mobile and cloud computing as separate trends, to date very little data has existed on the impact of mobility and cloud together. To understand this dynamic market better, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) surveyed more than 1,000 business users to understand their current and future needs with regard to the mobile cloud.

The top findings may surprise you:

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Barry O’Sullivan: 2012 Collaboration Predictions

This week in No Jitter, Cisco Collaboration Senior Vice President and General Manager Barry O’Sullivan looked into his crystal ball and elaborated on his predictions for 2012.

In an excerpt, Barry predicts:

“1. Post PC-era will explode

2. Video will break through

3. Contact Centers will evolve as customers choose to interact with companies in radically new ways

4. Companies will use the cloud and desktop virtualization to provide collaboration capabilities across the enterprise

5. Social business processes will become mainstream for many.”

Read Barry’s predictions in more detail and the follow-up answers Barry gave to Eric Krapf’s questions. I trust you’ll enjoy reading the article.  Send in your predictions for 2012 for collaboration, video, social software, and contact center.

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