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Take Out the Stress of Choosing the Right Cloud Provider

For many organizations, buying cloud services can be stressful. After all, as your business moves more and more into the cloud, you need to know your services and cloud provider are as reliable or better than if these services originated from within your own data center.

Buying cloud services can feel a lot like buying a car. How many of us really know what’s going on under the hood? We look at a few key stats like gas mileage and drive it around the block. Yeah, it accelerates and brakes. We know we’re safe and going to get relatively good gas efficiency. After all, cars have to meet certain standards. So in the end the decision comes down to price and comfort features such as how much we like the center console and cup holder.

But not all clouds are created equal. Low pricing and a fancy user portal are nice, but they aren’t what keep your business growing. Is best-effort service good enough for your operations? Can your organization afford to experience down time? Does your provider offer the flexibility you could get from other providers? Is your service truly enterprise-class?

The good news is that, just like there are standards in the car industry, there are standards for cloud. Services that are Cisco Powered, for example, have to meet strict requirements to carry the Cisco Powered logo. These requirements include certification and a third-party audit of every service to verify they deliver as promised.

You can learn more about what it takes to have confidence in your cloud provider from our partner, OneNeck. In their recent blog, “How to Reliably Offload IT Management to the Cloud,” they share a comprehensive list of factors to consider when choosing a cloud provider.
Selecting the right cloud provider and services doesn’t have to be frustrating and arbitrary. By understanding what comprises a reliable cloud, you can ask the right questions to ensure your provider is the best partner for your business.

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Working Smarter with Cisco Cloud Web Security

We listen to our customers all the time, and what they have been telling us about cloud security over the past 18 months is intriguing. There was a time when IT security leaders were clearly uncomfortable about the idea of trusting remotely delivered security; discussions about cloud security would be met with skepticism. Over the last year and a half, this attitude has undergone a sea of change, and moved through increasing levels of interest to today, where our customers are actively leaning in and engaging in the discussion about moving security functions to the cloud. There are several reasons for this dramatic shift.

Overall, the enterprise network no longer sits comfortably within four secure walls. Extended networks and new business models related to mobility, cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Everything (IoE) are complicating network management and security for companies of all sizes. IT professionals are being tasked with supporting and protecting this ever-evolving environment with fewer resources. Hampered by tighter budgets and the IT security industry’s growing skills shortage customers need to work smarter, not harder.

Read More »

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The Rise of the “Supertasker”: Our Next-Generation Workforce

We are living in the age of the “supertasker.” At Cisco Live Cancun last week, I polled our audience and asked, “How many devices are you connected to at this moment?” The majority of the audience held three or four. However, some still had their hands up at five and six devices. Supertaskers are emerging as the next-generation workforce, integrating several new devices to increase their productivity—and they will not be the minority for long.

As the Internet of Everything (IoE) continues to evolve, we see increased momentum towards connecting the unconnected. The Fitbit, for example, reminds us that we need to achieve our daily step goal while maintaining our work-life balance. As more organizations digitize their business, we expect 50 billion objects to be connected to the Internet by 2020—and more and more of these devices will integrate into our ever-changing work lives. Read More »

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Rob Lloyd on Hybrid Cloud

Recently, Cisco’s Rob Lloyd sat down with Sungard AS to discuss how hybrid cloud services are changing the way organizations use the cloud.  As the president of development and sales, Rob understands many different sides of the hybrid cloud equation.  He talks with businesses about how they want to use the cloud to grow, as well as about their concerns regarding security, cost, and complexity.  He works with cloud providers to determine how they want to provide cloud services and what they need to achieve this.  He also has intimate access to how the cloud will be implemented at the hardware and software level.

Rob had much to say about hybrid cloud.  “It’s not just about one mega data center in Iceland that is going to solve your issues, but rather a purpose-built integration of different clouds that have been provided by value-based providers focused on enterprise-class applications and security.”  In this interview, he shares not just Cisco’s Intercloud vision and strategy but how the industry is quickly bringing hybrid cloud to reality.  You can read highlights from the interview in this blog from Sungard AS.  A link to the full interview is also available.

In addition to the interview with Rob Lloyd, Sungard AS has a number of useful resources to help organizations better understand how cloud can transform their business.  For example, the whitepaper, “Building a Better Cloud”, explores what to look for in a cloud provider and how to build a partnership with your provider to meet your business goals.  If you’re interested in learning more about hybrid cloud, “The Compelling Business Case for Hybrid Cloud Services” offers key insights on questions you should ask providers before signing with them.  You can also find the best practice guide “4 Things to Look for in a Cloud-Based Recovery Solution.”

All these resources and more are available from the Sungard AS Resource Page

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Lunch is on Us – Unlocking the Potential of a Well Balanced Secure Hybrid IT Strategy

Much like the MPG argument when comparing diesel engines versus regular gas engines, and hybrid gas/electric versus pure plug-in electric vehicles, similarly valid arguments can be made for any combination of IT strategies: the traditional on-premise data center and private clouds, versus IT out-sourced. What IT strategy you chose will no doubt come down to what your mission is and how IT can best support business growth, outcomes, etc.

hybrid IT

We’re seeing increasingly more interest a combination of traditional and out-sourced IT models: a well-balanced hybrid IT strategy.

Ideally, this hybrid IT environment is one where you maintain control, security, and data sovereignty as offered by private clouds, while achieving the speed, agility, and scale at a price point offered by the provider clouds, right?

Lunch Is On Us

To help you make informed decisions on how you can build such a highly secure hybrid cloud strategy and extend your existing data centers to public clouds as needed, on demand, with consistent network and security policies -- we’re coming to 16 locations in the USA to tell you about it.

Hope to see you at one of these locations. Lunch is on us.

USA North East Dates & Locations

Date Location
02-DEC-2014 Herndon, VirginiaCisco Office13600 Dulles Technology Drive Register
04-DEC-2014 Washington, District of ColumbiaCisco Office601 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.,

North Building

Register
03-FEB-2015 New York, New YorkCisco Office1 Penn Plaza,

9th Floor

Register
05-FEB-2015 Boxborough, MassachusettsCisco Office1414 Massachusetts Ave. Register

USA South & South East Dates & Locations

Date Location
20-JAN-2015 Richardson, TexasCisco Office2300 East President George Bush Highway Register
22-JAN-2015 Houston, Texas, UNITED STATESCisco Office10111 Richmond Avenue,

Suite 450

Register
24-FEB-2015 Miami, Florida, UNITED STATESCisco Miami Office8200 NW 41st Street,

Suite 400

Register
26-FEB-2015 Atlanta, Georgia, UNITED STATESCisco Atlanta Briefing Center500 Northridge Road,

Suite 700

Register

USA West Area Dates & Locations

Date Location
13-JAN-2015 Centennial, ColoradoCisco Office9155 East Nichols Avenue, Suite 400 Register
15-JAN-2015 Seattle, WashingtonCisco Office2901 Third Avenue, Suite 600 Register
17-FEB-2015 Irvine, CaliforniaCisco Office130 Theory, Suite 100 Register
19-FEB-2015 San Jose, CaliforniaCisco HQ Campus San Jose3600 Cisco Way, Building 18 Register

USA Central Area Dates & Locations

Date Location  
09-DEC-2014 Bloomington, MinnesotaCisco Bloomington Office7900 International Drive, Suite 400 Register
11-DEC-2014 Southfield, MichiganCisco Office2000 Town Center, Suite 450 Register
10-FEB-2015 Chicago, IllinoisCisco Office9501 Technology Blvd, West Office Ctr Register
12-FEB-2015 Chesterfield, Missouri, UNITED STATESCisco Office16401 Swingley Ridge Road, Suite 400 Register

 

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