Cisco Live 2012 has been another great opportunity to show the power of the partner ecosystem that Cisco built to provide compelling solutions to the IT organizations, interested in deploying a Unified Data Center, and a private cloud infrastructure.
I invited this week VCE Tom Chatham to blog about the collaboration between VCE, Cisco and EMC to support workload mobility and business continuance, and EMC Brian Gracely to write about VSPEX. But I also took advantage of the presence at Cisco Live of EMC Parmeet Chaddha VP Partner Solutions and VCE Jay Cuthrell, Office of the CTO, to invite them to a short video panel with Cisco Senior Director Data Center Cloud and Enterprise Solutions Shashi Kiran to talk about the different architectures that can simplify, automate and transform IT while helping customers accelerate the journey to cloud computing.
There is no doubt that the collaboration between our 3 companies over the past years has been very productive , and today this "triad " is able to offer to the customers 3 clear options depending on their unique business IT needs:
Build Your Own—Solutions built using tested and proven products and services
Reference architectures through VSPEX—Pre-packaged reference architectures
Converged infrastructure through joint venture VCE—Vblock
It’s almost Summer—the season of road trips. And recently I had the privilege of driving across the country. While some might fear loss of productivity with a trip like that, I was actually able to work quite productively, mile after mile—thanks to a WiFi hotspot, Cisco’s VPN, and a laptop charger that plugged into the cigarette lighter. Of course, it helped having someone else do the driving. From Oakland, California to New York City, I participated in Webex meetings, wrote and edited documents, and generally got stuff done. But enough about me.
In Salt Lake City, I met up with kindred spirit Mike Sumsion, chief information officer for iTransact, which helps businesses accept customer payments via credit, debit, and gift cards, as well as electronic checks. “I’ve spent the last 10 years making sure our company could be productive from anywhere,” said Mike. Clearly, he’s one who likes to stay ahead of the curve: A blog post from last month cited a Cisco report that said 46 percent of people surveyed expect to be able to access their corporate network from their personal mobile devices.
Mike’s company employs 50 people. While it keeps customer service employees onsite, sales people can work from home with their same IP office phones and computers that they use in their cubicles. The company is also looking to extend this flexibility to other employees.
In a nutshell, iTransact offers services that let merchants accept transactions without a lot of heavy lifting. Its service is offered directly to customers and their trusted advisors, like accounting firms, banks, and others. A dashboard interface lets them log in to check on the status of accounts billable, as well as manage real-time interactions remotely.
Given the sensitivity of the information that’s exchanged with each transaction, iTransact’s top concerns are compliance and security. So when it comes to working in the Cloud, things are still evolving. As an interim measure, the company uses Dropbox to make sure employees have updated documentation to share with everyone in real time. Each new employee is set up with a Dropbox account, providing instant access to all necessary documents for his/her role. Since Dropbox is Cloud based, employees who are traveling or working remotely can access the documents from wherever. Plus, it simplifies the information management. Even though the document repositories are managed by a single individual, all employees receive instantaneous updates.
Looking ahead, iTransact does see more Clouds on the horizon. “We’re building a gateway 2.0. that will absolutely use the Cloud. We’ll be able to drop a node anywhere in the world, fire up a virtual machine and have it accept transactions,” notes Mike. “We’ll be able to scale geographically, and offload geographically as needed, to the server that makes most sense,” he adds. And the icing on the cake: All the databases and self-contained software will allow for 100% uptime. This becomes especially important as they cater to smaller businesses, with transactions and updates happening constantly.
So what does a fast-moving small business see for its future? “It’ll be more mobile,” says Mike, without hesitating. “Look around you—increasingly, anyone can buy anything from anyone at any time. We need to manage the data, accordingly. The dashboard we built—that will become a mobile app; our internal employees will update records via their phones and customers’ transaction processes will become more mobile than they are now,” he adds.
Amen to that. As one who thrives on traveling—and getting stuff done regardless of where I am and regardless of whether I’m a customer or an employee—I think the future looks absolutely sunny. With a few clouds, of course.
To learn more about how Cisco can help your small business, click here.
It’s that time of year again when we all gather for Cisco Live US to share the latest and greatest in the world of IT and networking. This year the event is being held in San Diego, and there are 17,000 in-person attendees—a new record! One of my favorite things about Cisco Live is that I have a chance to interact one-on-one with customers, partners, and analysts. When I do, the topic of the cloud invariably is on their minds.
Of course many already know about the Cisco CloudVerse strategy and solution set, which is based on the Unified Data Center, Cloud Intelligent Network, and Cloud Applications and Services, all of which are supported by Cisco and partner professional services. What they might not know about, however, are all of the advancements Cisco has made to make cloud networks truly intelligent since last December when we originally announced CloudVerse.
Yesterday here at Cisco Live, we announcedCisco Cloud Connected Solution as the latest innovation in the Cloud Intelligent Network. This solution adds a host of capabilities to your already existing network infrastructure, allowing you to take full advantage of cloud computing. A number of new capabilities were introduced, but my personal favorites are the Cloud Connectors and the new Read More »
Are you ready for the biggest Cisco event of the year? We’ve been working on demos, speaking sessions, and social events for the conference – and it’s finally here.
The Intelligent Automation team are converging in force on San Diego for Cisco Live. Our solutions will be covered in more than a dozen conference sessions and several theater presentations – featured in topics ranging from cloud management and big data to BYOD and VXI.
And here are our demos featured in the Cisco data center booth at the World of Solutions expo:
Our cloud solutions will be featured in theater presentations at the VCE and NetApp booths, as well as a demo in the VCE booth. Some of our other Intelligent Automation technology partners like Comptel, rPath, and Zenoss – as well as channel partners including Presidio and WWT – will also be at the event showcasing our collaboration. See VCE’s press release featuring Intelligent Automation for Cloud.
To make it easy for you to help you pinpoint the Intelligent Automation team and navigate through the conference, here are some tips for your agenda: