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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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Evolving Beyond the PC

For at least the past two decades, knowledge workers have been firmly rooted in the PC era. Within enterprises of all sizes, that meant that the predominant operating system on the desktop – and often in the data center — was Windows.

We had unprecedented productivity gains during this time, no doubt, but I would now firmly assert that as Ray Ozzie suggested — and Steve Jobs was more than happy to reinforce — that we are transitioning to an era where PCs play a secondary role, if at all – this is the Post PC era. 

I believe we will now have more access to more information on more devices from more applications than ever before.

It’s not as if PCs are going away, so what do we mean by the “Post-PC Era”? PCs have their place. They’re still useful business tools. But it’s clear: We are rapidly evolving from a predominantly client-server world to one in which the Windows PC is just another device in a broad list of options.

We now have many choices in devices – even the option to perform the same tasks on different devices depending on our preferences at different times. Everything is anchored by persistent services that enable device portability and mobility

Once upon a time, I dreaded having to replace my mobile phone or PC. The transition invariably brought with it lost data, lost time, lost sanity… But I can now upgrade from one device to another fairly quickly without breaking much of a sweat. And I really need that ability if I want to keep up with the latest advances in technology.

Why is that? Because it’s cloud-enabled!

Although they’ve performed well for over two decades, traditional business tools and infrastructure based around the desktop PC and office-productivity software no longer exclusively fit the modern knowledge worker nor the global distributed form of 21st century work.

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Meet Stephen Speirs: Data Center and Cloud Blogger Expert

March 2, 2012 at 2:39 pm PST

Based in the Glasgow Cisco Scotland office, Stephen is a distinguished blogger from the Data Center and Cloud team in Cisco Services.  Stephen joined Cisco in the year 2000 via the Atlantech Technologies acquisition and was Senior Manager within Product Management in Cisco’s Network Management R&D team, and he focused on IP/MPLS service provider network management. 

During this time, he brought to market the unique Cisco MPLS Diagnostics Expert product, taking it from (literally) a corridor conversation through definition to launch, and on to win multiple industry awards.   He has over 20 years of industry experience in IT, Data Center, and Service Provider Network Management which he shares with the world through his writing. By keeping customers’ new technology adoption challenges at the forefront of his mind and weaving novelty into his blogging best practices, Stephen has gained the popularity of many of his readers and established himself as a role model for many other Cisco bloggers.

Stephen’s Customer-Centric Vision

Blogging is no one-way conversation for Stephen. He has the customer in mind at all times and is always conscious of their careabouts. Prior to writing, he interviews customers and partners to better understand their viewpoints and present a more well-rounded perspective.

Read More »

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User Flexibility with Mobile Cloud

In the opening of John Chamber’s keynote at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, he stated that “Cloud and Mobile will change the service provider industry” and that there will be 7.2 billion mobile devices by the year 2015. You’ll agree that with the explosion of end-devices out there combined with the need to access anything, anytime, anywhere, a mobility strategy can cut across the entire portfolio for a service provider.

Increasingly I’m having conversations with mobile operators on how Cisco can help with:

  • User presence and customized delivery,
  • Monetization and migration of existing offerings to cloud,
  • Bundling of multiple services,
  • Handling a variety of endpoints, and
  • Ensuring pervasive security.

Read More »

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Lock It Down or Free It Up?

March 1, 2012 at 12:54 pm PST

On February 29th, Christopher Young, Senior Vice President of Cisco Security, delivered a rousing keynote address at the RSA 2012 conference in San Francisco.

The title and theme of his presentation, “Lock it Down or Free it Up?”, spoke to the dilemma organizations of all sizes face every day. Read More »

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