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Now Is the Time for Service Providers To Invest in Cloud Services for Small and Medium Businesses

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are leading the way to cloud services. In fact, SMBs represent two-thirds of the public cloud market, outpacing the growth of enterprise cloud adoption by about 10 points, according to a recent McKinsey report (“Outlook—Overcast and Bright: How the Cloud Is Transforming IT for SMEs,” McKinsey & Company, July 2011). Yet, many service providers (SPs) are wondering whether the rate of SMB cloud adoption makes it worthwhile to invest in cloud and managed services for SMBs. They are asking:

  • Is now the time to invest in SMB-focused services?
  • What do SMB customers want?
  • How do SMBs want to consume cloud services?

SMB Cloud Watch is ongoing research from the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) designed to answer these questions. Here are some highlights of our most recent findings: Read More »

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CloudVerse Is Here!

Today we are announcing Cisco CloudVerse, an integrated set of capabilities that enables customers to deliver cloud applications and services by uniquely combining the unified data center and cloud intelligent network. CloudVerse is the culmination of Cisco’s data center and network innovation over the last few years and provides our customer with the platform for their journey to the cloud.

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Using the Cloud To Adapt and Thrive in a Rapidly Shifting Financial Marketplace

Lower margins resulting from both the commoditization of transaction economics and the high cost of supporting IT-intensive infrastructures are putting tremendous pressure on financial-market companies. This is causing many firms to rethink their business models to create new revenue streams—and reduce costs—across traditional functions such as pre-trade analytics, risk management, and post-trade reconciliation. These functions are now seen as critical business processes that can be “shifted and lifted” into a cloud-enabled service delivery model.

Key enablers of success will include the development of new cloud operating models and strategic sourcing capabilities delivered via networked services. This will provide financial-market companies with greater business agility, and a path for effectively shedding capital-intensive assets from balance sheets for re-investment in new innovations and for producing positive company valuations.

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US Signal: 100G Optical Network Is Key to Transport and Cloud Services

The telecommunications industry has seen a huge amount of change over the past decade, and carrier US Signal is a perfect example.  Originally a wholesale and business carrier offering basic transport services from T1 to OC48, US Signal has recognized the need to move up the value chain if they are going to continue to provide maximum value to their customers. This transformation has been important as it seeks new markets and offers services, which are unique and provide greater profit potential than generic transport.

US Signal starts from a strong foundation. Today they operate one of the largest resilient fiber optic networks in the Midwest with over 1100 route miles in 23 metro markets and over 11,000 route miles of long-haul fiber. Recently they completed a successful evaluation of the first 100 Gigabit (100G) coherent dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) trial based on the the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP) system.

Cisco ONS15454 MSTP M6

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M-Agriculture Empowers Farmers in Developing Economies

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

A while back, I wrote about the potential for mobile banking to create new opportunity and economic growth in developing countries. Now, I’d like to look at how a related application, mobile agriculture (m-agriculture), is transforming rural villages.

M-agriculture is about bringing mobile information access to rural communities and small-hold farmers. While the concept is still in its infancy, early implementations suggest it can make a big difference.

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