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Straight Talk About Cloud: 20 Providers and What They Think You Want

There’s a lot of talk about cloud, and for good reason.  According to a new white paper from IDC, 68% of companies with more than 1,000 employees are using some form of cloud or plan to implement cloud within the next 12 months.  In addition, these companies adopting cloud expect to spend 54% of their IT budgets on cloud in two years.

For the white paper, IDC contacted 20 providers from among the more than 200 cloud providers offering Cisco Powered services.  What makes the white paper unique is that these providers were asked to share their perspective on how their customers perceive value.  These are the companies who are investing substantial resources into building out their infrastructure to be able to offer your organization cloud services as you need them.  They make their investments based on what they believe are your primary needs and key concerns.

Specifically, the white paper explores which perceived factors are the most important to cloud providers in reaching you, their customer.  It also reveals how these providers seek to differentiate themselves and where they see the best value in their cloud infrastructure investments.

You can watch the video and read the full IDC white paper for yourself.  The white paper was also reported on by Computerworld.

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Partner Voices: TekLinks Provides Cloud-Delivered EHR

August 13, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

As we continue to expand the Partner Voices series, I get the opportunity to talk to more and more of our partners, which I love. I also get the inside scoop on some innovative solutions entering the marketplace. Just recently, I spoke with David Powell, Vice President of Cloud and Managed Services at TekLinks about their cloud-delivered electronic health record (EHR) applications.

David answered some questions I had about how TekLinks can provide doctors and their staff with a fully HIPAA-compliant data as a service DaaS solution. Of course, the TekLinks’ solution is Cisco-certified, which is why we are so interested in seeing how they implemented the solution as a stand-alone hosted app, or as a complete virtual desktop for any number of end users.

Frankly, there are times when David talks and I simply can’t follow, unless it’s around our shared tastes in music, or the few times that we might agree on a finer point of college football. In this case however, it all sounds so simple when David explains the importance and relevance of the TekLinks solution, so it’s easier if I just let him speak for himself. Read More »

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The Future of Cloud, Part 7: The Fabric Between the Clouds

(This is part 7 of a 7-part series sharing insights from Cisco partners about the Future of Cloud.)

During CiscoLive!, I had the chance to talk with Andy Bird, Executive Director, Product Management and Development at eLoyalty, a Cisco partner for more than 15 years.  “We’ve chosen to partner up with Cisco and have a Cisco Powered cloud that allows us to offer stable and scalable solutions.  We’ve built a front end around them that offers the simplicity that customers expect from a cloud-based service.”

To verify that eLoyalty would be able to deliver on the promises of Cisco Powered services, they had to achieve certifications and pass a third-party audit.  “It’s important that we’re enterprise-grade. That audit allowed us to get to that point.”

Bird described several of the complications involved in the integration of technology: multi-tenancy, permissions-based clouds, security, self-administration.  “These things become a big deal,” he said.  “Having Cisco on the back end enables us to not have to worry about the core.”

Bird also talked about the value of the Cisco Intercloud to eLoyalty.  “There are a lot of disparate clouds out there.  But imagine trying to take your data from one cloud and move it to the next.  It’s very difficult to do, because when you look at clouds, you end up getting hooked into them, just like if you were to buy premise gear.

“What Cisco has been starting to enable to happen is the idea of creating a fabric between the clouds that allows me to migrate data.  When somebody gets on my platform, they have the ability to go and leverage Cisco in other places.  So they have a different level of confidence.”

Cisco’s partner ecosystem also plays an important role to eLoyalty.  “Even though I’ve got Cisco at the core, I still have all of these peripheral, secondary, tertiary applications to make seamless and ubiquitous.  But I’m not going to build my own WFN and QM.  I’m not going to develop my own CTI integration.  I’m using that entire ecosystem that Cisco has paved the way for.

“My value is that I bring them all together.”

You can learn more about how providers are addressing the need for enterprise class services in the latest edition of Unleashing IT.

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Cisco and Salesforce.com: IoE and the Next Generation of Customer Service

The networked connection of people, processes, data, and things that we call the Internet of Everything  (IoE) continues to increase its pervasiveness in the workplace and at home. As a result, business leaders are adapting to meet the changing expectations of the enterprise, their customers and the consumer market.

This isn’t the far-off future. It’s now. Organizations are revolutionizing business processes today. The Internet of Everything is dramatically impacting the performance of innovative businesses.

IoE is real and beneficial and can take many different forms, depending on the unique issues or opportunities facing an enterprise.

In a recent post, Chris Botting talks about how Customer Collaboration connects IoE to consumers.

I had an opportunity to really look closely at some of these impactful uses of IoE as we prepared for a two-day media, customer and partner event exploring tangible examples of IoE in action in Chicago last month. Along the way, I developed another perspective about business applications of IoE. In many cases, IoE becomes the Internet of Customers.

As a panelist at the event, Daniel Debow, senior vice president of Emerging Technologies at salesforce.com, provided great insight into IoE’s role in this amplified customer interaction.  He suggests that IoE is providing the roadmap of the next generation of customer service while transforming the entire service experience.

Daniel recognizes that behind every one of these billions of connected devices, there is a customer. In the real-world, Read More »

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Latin America Insights: Keeping Your Organization Safe in a Mobile World

The power of mobility has transformed the IT landscape.

While mobility and other tech forces, such as cloud and big data, have enabled organizations to improve productivity and increase efficiency, the constant challenge of keeping data, assets and users secure continues to be a top concern for CIOs and CSOs.

And these concerns stretch across global borders. For example, Frost & Sullivan analysts predict a $1.1B investment towards IT security in Latin America by 2015.

Today, security is no longer an expense, but a necessity for moving forward. It’s an investment for the future longevity of any company. With this in mind, how can business and IT leaders keep their organizations safe in a mobile world? And what can we learn from the mobile security adoption we are seeing in Latin America?

Recently, I had a chance to participate in a new Future of Mobility podcast with Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst, Bruno Tasco, to discuss the answers to some of these questions and how organizational leaders can address security in a way to reap the benefits of true mobility. The podcast is available for download in Spanish and Portuguese and a summary in English can be found on iTunes.

Here are a couple of considerations for CIOs and CSOs as they evaluate their mobile security strategies and look to future-proof their business.

Prepare for Fast Changes

Talking about mobility or general mobility in our Latin America market is like talking about the past. According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI), Latin America is experiencing and will continue to see incredible mobile adoption. Read More »

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