This is part 2 of the series “10 Things Vmware Server Admins Should Know About Self-Service Catalogs and Lifecycle Management” that I’ll be publishing over the next couple of weeks.
Number 2. The service catalog is the place where your user can document (communicate) their request
Let me show you an example.
If you go to an e-commerce storefront and choose to look at Cisco UCS servers, they are broken down their servers into classes (Rack, Blade, etc), which then provides different models, which can then be customized within the parameters allowed for that model. I’m not saying this makes sense for your environment, but the break down between classes, models, and then self-service configuration is a useful construct for thinking about your templates.
What are your standard classes of environment you provide? Could it be production, development, QA? What about models? Could those be on-line transaction processing, extranet, intranet HR, basic web server, basic database?
We would want to ask entirely different set of questions and configuration options for an extranet, high transaction database than for a personal development environment, wouldn’t we?
It’d also make our job much simpler and faster if we know what parameters were involved for that particular request.
The service catalog is key to enable your customers to:
Discover what’s available me
Guide me based on my high level needs,
Help me compare models, then
Assist me in customizing my configuration.
And of course all the tracking, workflow and life-cycle management that the service catalog enables. This is what makes a service catalog different from a “web form front-end” to a help desk — automation is the big difference.
If you’re like me, you’ve ignored this sage advice a time or so. Thankfully my most recent rush to a solution was remedied by a trip back to the home improvement store and $100 or so. Most IT “goofs” extract a much dearer cost. In this third installment of Cisco Insights – Cloud, Bob Dimicco profiles a non-profit company who successfully resisted the pressure to jump straight on the Cloud project bandwagon. Instead they opted for a thoughtful, measured approach. Partnering with Cisco, they first conduced a thorough strategy and business justification assessment. By focusing on their key business drivers and desired outcomes, they were able to get a complete picture of benefits, costs, and a deep understanding of where the true ROI would be. They allowed the facts, not the hype or pressure to guide their direction. Watch the video find out where they went next on their journey to cloud.
Read about two other companies’ cloud stories in my previous two blogs:
Rebecca Jacoby, Cisco Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, discusses Cisco’s journey to the cloud. Cisco is running a private cloud as a utility and is moving toward an inter-cloud approach. This capability will give Cisco the business process opportunity to source services from multiple places and deliver them seamlessly to employees in a flexible, cost-effective manner.
If you’ve ever gone fishing, then you know it requires a great deal of patience. So, what if you could fish in a barrel, and catch a lot of fish, rather than fish in the ocean and risk coming away empty-handed?
That would be great, right? Well, guess what, that ability to “fish in a barrel” is one of the advantages that is offered by Partner Plus, which was announced at Partner Summit last month. Partner Plus is targeted at partners who invest in selling Cisco to mid-sized customers, which IDC estimates as a $61B market opportunity. Aimed at accelerating business for these partners, Partner Plus provides incremental incentives, virtual engineering support, marketing, sales enablement, and customer intelligence to partners who commit to a highly collaborative selling approach with Cisco to accelerate their business more quickly than the market.
Partner Plus will bring together the power of Cisco sales and the partner sales force to go after the fast growing market opportunity with mid-sized customers. Watch this video to learn about the impact that Partner Plus can have in your business.
Read on to learn more about how Partner Plus can help you drive sales. Read More »