One of the most enjoyable parts of my job as a product manager is launching a new product. Typically this is a shiny new widget or a great piece of software. But for a cloud-based service like Cisco’s ScanSafe Web Security solution, the infrastructure is a big part of the product.
For those not familiar with the product, ScanSafe offers web security solutions to organizations ranging from global enterprises to small businesses. The service provides multiple layers of malware protection and acceptable use controls to block users from specific websites and categories. It does this by redirecting end-user web traffic directly to the cloud where every web request is analyzed using artificial intelligence-based “scanlets” to determine the associated security risk. With such heavy processing and computation, the nature of the cloud is as important as the service in the cloud.
That is why today, I am pleased to welcome Canada to ScanSafe’s cloud with the addition of two datacenters—the first in Vancouver and the second in Toronto. Canada has been an early adopter of SaaS-based technologies, and our newest datacenters will help us serve our customers in the region. In addition, companies with branch offices in these locations will now benefit from a local internet breakout.
Think about it, when was the last time the business said “thank you” to IT? It’s probably been a while. Unfortunately, all too often we hear complaints that IT is too slow, or that IT is the department of “no”.
Deploying a private cloud is one way to help turn IT into the department of “yes”, with faster and more responsive IT service delivery. The customers of Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud have compressed the cycle time for IT provisioning from weeks to minutes. That means that project managers and application developers no longer have to wait for IT – they can speed up their projects and get business applications up and running more quickly.
And if there’s one golden rule to remember for your private cloud solution, it’s that the business wants apps. They’ll be thankful if you can provision and manage their applications in a cloud environment with consistency, reliability and speed.
So if you’re interested in on-demand application delivery for your private cloud, check out this presentation from Cisco Intelligent Automation and our ecosystem partner rPath:
Last week, we held a TweetChat with Cisco’s new Global Partner Marketing VP Amanda Jobbins.
During the hour-long Twitter session, we covered a lot of ground--Amanda’s Partner Marketing priorities, new campaigns for partners, what she heard on her listening tour with partners, and ways that Cisco is helping partners use social media.
We also learned some interesting factoids about Amanda and how she’s adjusting to life in the United States after living in the U.K.
If you missed the chat, we’ve got a recap of what was discussed, including Amanda’s answers to some great audience questions. This is the first of many discussions Amanda plans to have with partners and wants to continue the dialog to ensure that marketing programs reflect what partners need. You can send along questions and comments to her directly @amandajobbins.
We started the chat off with a few interview questions for Amanda to warm up, then answered audience questions:
Q1: What are your key priorities for Cisco Partner Marketing?
@amandajobbins: I have 5 goals: brand/value, online/social communities, marketing enablement, demand marketing, & ecosystem.
Two additional driving principles: communications & partner insight.
Q2: Cloud is the word on everyone’s lips…how are you helping partners market cloud? Read More »
Cloud Expo was indeed a very interesting juxtaposition of people espousing the value of cloud and how their stuff is really cloudy. You have a group of presenters and expo floor booths talking about their open API and how that is the future of cloud. Then you have the other camp that tells us how their special mix of functions is so much better than that. All of this is a very interesting dialog. APIs are indeed very important. If your technology is indeed a cloud operating model then you must have an API. Solutions like Cisco’s Intelligent Automation for Cloud rely on those APIs to orchestrate cloud services. But APIs are not the end all. The reality is that while the cloud discussions tend to center on the API and the model behind that API, the real change enabling the move towards cloud is the operating model of the users who are leveraging the cloud for a completely fresh game plan for their businesses.
James Urquhart’s recent blog: http://gigaom.com/cloud/what-cloud-boils-down-to-for-the-enterprise-2/ highlights that the real change for users of the cloud is modifying how they do development, test, capacity management, production operations and disaster recovery. My last blog talked about the world before cloud management and automation and the move from the old world model to the new models of dev/test or dev/ops that force the application architects, developers, and QA folks to radically alter their model. Those that adopt the cloud without changing their “software factory” model from one that Henry Ford would recognize to the new models may not get the value they are looking for out of the cloud.
At Cloud Expo I saw a lot of very interesting software packages. Some of them went really deep into a specific use case area, while others accomplished a lot of functional use cases that were only about a inch deep. As product teams build out software packages for commercial use, they have a very interesting and critical decision point that will drive the value proposition of the software product. It seems to me that within 2 years, just about all entrants in the cloud management and automation marathon will begin to converge on a simple focused yet broad set of use cases. Each competitor will be either directly driving their product to that point, or they will be forced to that spot by the practical aspects of customers voting with the wallets. Interestingly enough, this whole process it drives competition and will yield great value for the VP of Operations and VP of Applications of companies moving their applications to the cloud.
At the Cisco Collaboration Summit 2011 in Miami today, Cisco unveiled new solutions to help people collaborate more effectively in the post-PC era. This era moves past the limitations of “PC centric” communication and instead evokes a “people centric” approach where people can collaborate anywhere, anytime and on any device or application. The advancements Cisco is introducing today --from Cisco WebEx to Cisco Jabber — can change how people meet utilizing expanded cloud-based services, and can give workers an easy way to collaborate directly from Web applications they use every day, driving new levels of business productivity and competitiveness.
I sat down with Murali Sitaram, Vice President and General Manager of the Cisco Collaboration Software Group, at Collaboration Summit to learn more about these new announcements and how they fit into Cisco strategy.