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Learning More about Cisco Jabber

Imagine being able to communicate with your coworkers easily despite their location or endpoint, and seamlessly escalating a conversation over IM to a voice or video call from a single client.

Last week at Enterprise Connect in Orlando, Cisco announced  Cisco Jabber, a new application that helps enterprise users consolidate all of their communications: presence, instant messaging (IM), voice and video, voice messaging, desktop sharing and conferencing. Cisco Jabber provides integration across devices, including PCs, Macs, tablets and smart phones.  Jabber provide users with a unified client they can deploy across on-premise and cloud-based options.

Listen below as Laurent Philonenko, Vice President and General Manager for Cisco’s Unified Communications Business Unit, describes the new Cisco Jabber solution and what it means for enterprise communications.

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The Gathering of the “Clouderati” at Cloud Connect

Yesterday the “Clouderati” gathered again in Santa Clara, CA, where I had the pleasure of delivering a short opening keynote at the Cloud Connect conference.

I always look forward to these events where I can get together with friends and exchange our ideas about how the industry is evolving with each new wave of innovation.  Some of the key themes I heard throughout the day is the importance of the ecosystem being built on top of the cloud services APIs and the growing interest in open source communities like OpenStack – a community that Cisco recently joined.  

Here’s just a quick recap of what I shared with the audience, talking about the “Network is the Computer, Once Again” …click on the video to hear more details on each of these points (14 min).

  • There will be a world of many clouds, driven in large part by the regulatory requirements of the different industries (e.g. financial services, government or healthcare), but they will share a common model for cloud computing.  And we are still at the early stages in this journey.
  • Application complexity makes it impossible to efficiently scale traditional enterprise data centers due to the binding of each app to it’s own infrastructure. However, even within a private data center it is possible to gain some of the benefits of the cloud computing model by de-coupling apps from the infrastructure through pooling resources and running an internal Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) operation. If truly operated and measured as a service offering independent of the applications, many of the advantages of a cloud computing model can be gained in-house and give the organization greater flexibility over where they eventually run their workloads.  This new “Infrastructure-as-a-service” layer is therefore an important part of the new platform enabled by cloud computing.
  • Cisco, along with its partners, is helping both service providers and enterprise customers architect, build and deploy clouds and is continuing to evolve networking to meet the new requirement of customers moving to the cloud.
  • In summary, the network is the computer…once, again.

I encourage you to tune in to Cloud Connect online for videos of all the great speakers.

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Top 3 Government Challenges with Cloud

As Cloud Computing gains more attention from government customers, it presents new challenges and demands a different set of skills to become successful. Having a clear understanding of the business’ challenges and the benefits that may be obtained from the cloud becomes even more important.

In my conversations with different government organizations about Cloud Computing, three distinct challenges keep coming up.

Cloud Computing Government

#1: Reducing Costs. More than ever, agencies have the pressure to reduce costs at all levels.  Dealing with shrinking budgets and demands for newer services has forced agencies to carefully look for areas that may be optimized or simplified.  While many agencies struggle to keep the lights on, they are forced to look at alternate ways to provide services. Cloud services has become an attractive way to address those demands and provide new services to its citizens.

The pressure to reduce costs has also forced agencies with common needs to work together and find ways to collaborate and simplify operations.  This is different from the past, where agencies could not justify or were not interested in combining computing resources with other agencies.

#2: Agility and Scalability. At the same time they are forced to reduce costs, agencies are also forced to achieve new levels of agility and innovation.  The constant demand for new services and deployment of new technologies have forced agencies to consider services in the cloud in order to simplify and reduce their infrastructure footprint.  While agencies may be solely focused on reducing costs, cloud applications can not only reduce the costs, but also give agencies a new level of agility and scalability.

The cloud allows agencies to pool resources to serve multiple customers using a multi-tenant model.  These shared resources give agencies a sense of independence and elasticity, since resources may be dynamically assigned according to demand.

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Making Cloud Possible by Changing the Game

A Game changer occurs when something that is thought about enables competitive advantages that were previously unachievable. Ideas that level the playing field or outpace the competition don’t come along every day. The Cloud is considered a game changer for service providers (SPs) enterprise and consumer customers alike. It’s a solution offering mutual advantage to all participants. There are so many people writing about it that we’re almost all becoming cloud-weary.

But like every good idea, execution is the key. If the Cloud cannot be leveraged by businesses profitably then the scorecard doesn’t go positive –  and in the case of service providers the scorecard is based on new revenue generating services, faster ways to get there, new levels of customer satisfaction, new ways to trim costs and new business opportunities.

For enterprises, using an SP or hybrid-Cloud approach offers new ways to cost reduce IT budgets and concentrate limited human capital on their core business offers. Mobile workers and teleworkers, can access resources at their fingertips while branch offices are linked to scalable, virtually unlimited resource pools via the network.

Cloud offers SMBs  a way to compete head-to-head with Fortune 1000s using new pay-as-you-go (or a pay-as-you-grow) business models. Applications that were unaffordable are now available on-demand.

Cisco Unified Service Delivery is helping Service Providers change their game when it comes to the Cloud. Service providers need a flexible, dynamic solution that enables on-demand service delivery. They need to integrate pools of resources within, across and beyond the data center and Cisco USD is the industry’s most complete end-to-end solution. The ability to manage a  cloud solution from the data center all the way to the end point while applying the right QoS and security and meeting numerous other parameters will be critical metrics for success.

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“A Day in the Clouds” – APIs for Cloud Infrastructure Automation

When we really try and boil down the appeal of Cloud Computing, the ability for a person or business to move from “great idea” to “implementing the concept” almost always moves to the top of the list. The true value of Cloud Computing is fundamentally about “now”. You want resources now. At times you’ll want to expand those resources now, as the business grows. You might also need to reduce those resources now, as projects end or priorities changes.

The concept of “now” was the focus of Cisco’s participation in the Intel “Day in the Clouds” event last week at their campus in Oregon. The event allowed all of the Intel Cloud Builder partners to come together and collaborate around the technologies evolving the Cloud Computing market. This was a follow-up to the initial Reference Architecture that we had submitted to the program, which focused on a modular implementation of Virtualized Multi-Tenant Data Centers.

ChipChat podcast with Intel’s Allyson Klein and Brian Gracely – “Enabling the Unified Data Center with Cisco”

Cisco – Intel Day in the Clouds – March 2011

View more presentations from Cisco Data Center.
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