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Listening to Partners: Growing Demand for New Consumption Models

Listening to our partners is one of the most important aspects of my role at Cisco.  The feedback we get from our partners helps to shape our strategy and our programs.

Every year we bring together a select group of partners as part of a series of Cisco Partner Executive Exchange (CPEE) events around the world.  In the last 2 months, we’ve met with Latin America partners, APJC partners, and US and Canada partners.  Last week we met with our Americas service provider partners, and next month we’ll meet with our partners in EMEAR.

During these events, partners gave us feedback on our go-to-market strategies; our programs, tools and incentives; and how to optimize our sales teaming with them. While each region is unique and partners have their own unique challenges, as we talk to partners around the world, it’s clear there are some common themes. Read More »

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Introducing Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud – Version 3.1

Just the other morning, my 3.5 year old daughter said “Daddy, can you make me a waffle?” And like any self-respecting parent, I of course responded with “Poof. You’re a waffle.”

It reminded me of something we frequently hear from customers: they effectively ask us to “make my data center a cloud.”  Now we could wave our arms and say “Poof. It’s a cloud.” But it’s not that easy.  Despite what some cloudwashers may say, virtualizing your data center does not mean you have a cloud – and self-service provisioning of VMs is not cloud computing.  Real clouds require much more.

Fortunately, we have solutions to help our customers deploy real clouds – with market-leading compute, network, and management products in our Unified Data Center portfolio as well as our cloud enablement services.  In fact, today we introduced yet another innovation in our Unified Computing System (UCS) portfolio with Cisco UCS Central.

I’m pleased to also announce the latest release of our cloud management software solution today: Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud version 3.1.  This release introduces several exciting new features, and I’ve highlighted a few of these new product capabilities below.

Virtual Data Centers – In simple infrastructure-as-a-service use cases, virtual machines and other resources may be provisioned from a shared pool of resources on-demand.  In more advanced infrastructure-as-a-service use cases, virtual data centers (VDCs) can be established to provide project teams or departments with a dedicated resource pool of compute, storage, and network capacity for their own organization. I’ve written in the past about this concept of a virtual data center and this is what Cisco IT deployed for our own internal private cloud.

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Collaborating with the New Generation

October 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm PST

I had a troubling thought. If I can no longer be considered part of the new generation, am I now the old generation? Generation X used to sound so modern, but we’re no longer the cool kids. After all, I’m driving a Prius and doing fourth-grade homework with my kid after dinner instead of chasing Skrillex. Now we have the Millennials who, according to Wikipedia, are Gen Y. (But, really, what generation wants to be saddled with a name based on the one that came before it?)

We recently invited a small group of MBA students from University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business to meet some of our customers for a grilling panel on what companies can expect from the new generation entering the workforce.

They provided first-hand perspective about what it’s like to be new on the block and work with, well, er, an older generation. Compared to our learned comfort with technology, theirs is nearly ingrained based on its presence in their lives since childhood. This difference comes through in their expectations, habits, and predictions for the wonderful world of technology in front of us. Read More »

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

October 31, 2012 at 2:30 pm PST

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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Engineers Unplugged (Episode 7): Halloween Edition Featuring Scary Architecture

October 31, 2012 at 1:56 pm PST

This week on Engineers Unplugged, we’re joined by EMC’s Caroline Yap Orloff (@cloudofcaroline) and VMware’s Massimo Re Ferre (@mreferre) as they take on the mythical single pane of glass. Can one architecture solve all of your problems? Watch and see.

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