When I ask IT executives how happy they are with their external support providers (outsourcers, vendors, etc.) invariably they express deep frustration. They look to these vendors to be real partners – to collaborate effectively and seamlessly, to do their job efficiently and transparently, and to bring real innovation to the table. Instead, they feel like they go into combat every day with these supposed “partners”. And, they say, it’s getting worse. But what has changed?
Over the past several years the number of support providers IT organizations deal with has increased exponentially (one analyst firm estimates a 400% increase over five years). Moreover, the complexity of the relationships is growing – no longer are support transactions limited to just one partner, in many cases incidents bounce between several different partners before they are resolved. Then there is cloud. Cloud makes consumption easy, but hidden behind this “easy on” experience is a highly complex support reality. Cloud services might look like one unified solution when they’re purchased, but in reality cloud services incorporate software, hardware, data centers, and networks from dozens of providers – when something goes wrong, it isn’t easy to even figure out where the problem is – let alone get it fixed.
But the paradigm for managing these relationships has stayed basically the same for decades. At the end of the month vendors provide reports on their own performance. Most IT organizations have teams of people that sift through these reports, consolidate them into spreadsheets, summarize and analyze. This reactive, long lag time model doesn’t support the business need for flexibility and agility.
Cisco believes what IT needs is a “dynamic support network” – whereby IT organizations have real time connections to support providers – all linked back to the system of record IT relies on to manage support. It shouldn’t be sufficient to find out at the end of the month that target SLA’s have been missed – IT needs to know if the SLA on the incident that is open NOW is going to be missed, allowing it to proactively ensure it meets the SLA.
Interestingly, when I talk with external support providers like outsourcers or managed service providers, they have exactly the same requirement. They want to see the incident they are working on from the point of view of the person who originally opened the ticket, not just from when they were brought into the process. They truly do want to partner – and in fact to delight – their customer. They recognize the customer is ultimately the end user, and it is the end users expectation they want to manage to. To accomplish this, they need to be integrated with their customers – their own dynamic network – with real time visibility and transparency into when the incident was raised, the original SLA, what has already happened on that incident, etc.
Cisco ServiceGrid is designed to solve this problem. With a “connect once, connect all” approach, ServiceGrid integrates all participants in the support process to the cloud platform only once, instead of integrating everyone one at a time. It allows companies to collaborate in real time to deliver services to a single customer. All information, data and workflows are shared in an automated way, eliminating manual practices and bottlenecks. From a customer perspective it looks like one company, even if two or more companies are working together to solve a case.
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Tags: Cisco, cloud, dynamic support network, IDC report, outsourcing, ServiceGrid
With all the talk around virtualization in our industry, it’s easy to get a bit confused. Between our industry’s love of acronyms and passionate evangelism of technological specs, it can be far too difficult at times to determine what’s really important, what is real, and what is just talk. Our announcement of the Cisco Evolved Services Platform today is meant to address these very points. It represents the progress we’ve made on our provider virtualization strategy and, unlike many others in the industry, orients the talk of virtualization around real business benefits and customer deployments.
The Evolved Services Platform represents a fundamental shift in the way service provider networks will be built. It not only has the industry’s broadest, most comprehensive range of virtualized functions, but it also orchestrates them to create, automate and provision services in real time, across compute, storage and network functions across the entire architecture. As the middle layer of the Cisco ONE SP architecture which works in conjunction with the infrastructure layer – the Evolved Programmable Network which we announced in September – the ESP ensures the right type of experience for subscribers regardless of how or where they connect to the network. And it does this while also delivering both significant operational cost savings and the ability to more easily and quickly pursue new revenue generating opportunities. In essence, the ESP does the equivalent for a service provider business as a retail storefront, factory, and tool kit would do for a manufacturer. It allows them to “manufacture” network experiences quickly, efficiently, and in a customized manner.
Those experiences can be many and span the entire provider’s existing services portfolio, plus an ever increasing array of new services that are now or will be possible in Internet of Everything. But to help keep the business orientation of this announcement, we’re announcing the first two service modules, complete with business models that can help quantify the benefits to the providers that are interested in or already deploying them: Read More »
Tags: Cisco ONE, cloud, epn, evolved programmable network, evolved services platform, mobility, Service Provider, video, virtualization, virtualized
Selecting the right cloud service provider for your company requires more than just browsing through prospective cloud vendors’ websites and reading about them online.
How do you decide which vendor to trust for the performance, reliability, and security you need?
Whether you are in the process of migrating to the cloud or a current cloud adopter, a recent Business 2 Community article provided the acronym, “PERFECTION” to remember 10 important technological and business considerations when choosing a cloud service provider.
Finding this perfect cloud service provider can seem like a daunting feat, right?
In this post, I’ll discuss how organizations can have confidence in their cloud vendor decisions. They need to be assured the technology powering their services leads the industry in performance and scalability. And most importantly, the vendor they choose should not only act as a cloud provider, but also as a cloud partner.
Here’s a deeper look at the top 10 considerations for selecting a cloud partner and how Cisco, through Cisco Powered, is able to help you with your cloud strategy.
Tags: Cisco, cloud, Cloud Computing, Cloud Management, data center
Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:
Off the Top
Bruce Klein offered us his thoughts on the Internet of Everything (IoE) opportunity and how Cisco’s evolution of its partner ecosystem supports “connecting the unconnected.”
With a look back at John Chambers’ keynote at CES 2014 in January, and some great examples of using Cisco technology to change the conversation with your clients, Bruce provided fabulous insight on how partners can claim their share of the IoE opportunity just by taking a different approach.
Be sure to take a look at Bruce’s blog and join the conversation on IoE. Read More »
Tags: bob gault, Bruce Klein, Cisco, cloud, IoE, partner, partner weekly rewind, raja sundaram
Mobility and the cloud have changed how we work, transforming pockets of downtime into bursts of productivity, with easy access to our most valued information and people. But this transformation has unleashed havoc. Security practices built on decades-old assumptions of placing controls at key points in the infrastructure won’t work in today’s hyper-connected application and data-centric world.
Mobility and cloud have shifted the power balance from IT to users. Business units and workers are embracing public cloud services for everything from document sharing to payment services. Most CISOs cannot state with confidence that their organization’s information assets are secure.
The industry needs to embrace innovative security and identity architectures so organizations can protect their users’ identities, devices, and data, wherever and whenever they are. Now is the time for InfoSec pros to embrace CHAOS and enable the business to move forward quickly and securely.
Tags: Big Data, byod, CHAOS, Cisco, cloud, Control Havoc, data center, mobility, Overhaul Security