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How Are Large Enterprises Utilizing Collaboration in the Cloud?

Today, we ‘re featuring a guest post from Brian Blatnik, a senior manager within Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group:

In the month since our CloudVerse announcement the notion of a world of many clouds – public, private, and hybrid – has resonated with our customers, partners, and industry analysts. I’d like to share some perspective on how those types of clouds address different customers in the collaboration cloud services market. Since last month’s announcement highlighted our private cloud model in that market, Hosted Collaboration Solution for Large Enterprises, I’ll focus on that model. As a reminder, the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution gives partners, including service providers and integrators, the ability to deploy multiple collaboration applications on one server in a virtualized environment and then host those applications for multiple client organizations. The solution is designed to be run from partner data centers.

I’m often asked, “Haven’t enterprise voice and other UC services always been delivered from what we now call a private cloud?” It’s true that IP PBXs and other UC servers, like their PBX predecessors, provide services to users from a remote room or facility via a network. But there are two ways in which today’s cloud service delivery differs. First, there is the efficiency of pooling computing, network, and storage resources across multiple locations and services. Second, the services can be delivered in an on-demand fashion with elastic scaling.

The financial and strategic benefits deriving from these two factors are leading many businesses to consider consuming collaboration services in a utility model from Cisco’s partners in the Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS). But the same drivers can result in substantial benefits to businesses that aren’t looking for services from a third party’s public cloud. Read More »

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Cisco Releases the 2011 Annual Security Report

December 14, 2011 at 11:06 am PST

Organizations are faced with providing security for employees that are rapidly adopting new technology in their personal and professional lives and expect their work environments and employers to do the same. As the data from the new Cisco 2011 Annual Security Report and the Cisco Connected World Technology Report Chapter 3 show, organizations that do not or cannot provide that type of environment are at risk of losing the ability to compete for those employees and business opportunities. If employers attempt to block, deny, or forbid mobile devices, social networks, instant communications, and new technologies in the work place employees will likely ignore the policies or, even worse, find ways around them that open your environment to unrealized risks.

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Next generation of Cloud Applications

According to Friday’s Dec 2, 2001,  Wall Street Journal , Google will have a 1-day shipping service to challenge Amazon’s Prime service . The news reminded me of some great talks I was able to attend at CA World 2011 in Las Vegas.  One of the talks was by Dr. Timothy Chou of Stanford University on Cloud computing applications. Another was by Cisco VP Marie Hattar on the impact of an intelligent network on our lives. The third was on the future of application development by CA Technologies CTO Dr. Ferguson, who I knew from working in the WebSphere organization at IBM.

Dr. Chou’s talk was in three parts -- namely the economics of the Software business, kinds of applications possible with cloud computing, and the new generation of cloud applications. The service Google is embarking on is precisely the kind of application we can expect where software provides a context sensitive service while understanding the customer’s needs.  Dr. Chou illustrated the evolution of software delivery starting with the traditional license model to open source software, then to outsourcing and finally Software as a Service. He showed the economic efficiency of Cloud computing (Software as a Service).

He went on to state that the ad-based revenue model that Google has embraced allows them to deliver the search software to users at a fraction of the cost of the traditional license model.  In the second part of the talk, Dr. Chou described how cloud computing innovation lies in the business model and not just technology.  He identified application services that can benefit the most from the cloud model, namely high growth applications and those that have highly variable demand characteristics.  He speculated that cloud services would be specialized and differentiated based on location, performance and innovative business models such as spot pricing.

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Collaboration in the Cloud: Here to Stay

This certainly has been a monumental year for Cisco’s Hosted Collaboration Solutions (HCS), as many service providers such as Verizon and Orange Business Services, embraced the cloud and the potential services that can come with it. In the case of  their business customers, these service providers now offer them a slew of unified communications tools (such as video conferencing and mobility solutions ) through the cloud to allow  their employees to communicate and collaborate wherever they are and on whatever device.

Even our partners are seeing the value that collaboration via the cloud can offer its customers; as one of our channel partners, Neutral Tandem, announced yesterday. As an expert in operating and managing IP networks, Neutral Tandem introduced the first cloud-based collaboration service in the United States specifically developed to be resold by Cisco’s Value-Added Reseller (VAR) community and System Integrators (SIs). The service, based on Cisco’s HCS, will enable VARs/SIs to deliver a full suite of unified communications and collaboration applications.

I guess you can say that cloud collaboration is in full swing as it continues to gain traction steadily in the market. Read More »

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The Status of Cloud Adoption in the UK – CloudWatch Market Research Report

November 4, 2011 at 11:47 am PST

A few weeks back, Cisco in  the UK released a report on the status of cloud adoption in  the UK -- based upon market research by an independent market research consultancy.  This report covered multiple customer segments, including retail, finance, public sector, service provider and others. I though many people across the world would be interested in some of the fascinating fact and figures, and conclusions, from this report.  Market research is a key part of my role, and last year I blogged on some market research I did on cloud a while back (here and here).  As a result I’m always interested in good pieces of market research, of which this “CloudWatch” report is an excellent example.

In this blog, I’ll point you to the full report and summarise and comment on some of the key conclusions.

If you’ve read some of my previous blogs, you’ll have seen that I work on our Cisco Cloud Enablement Services, our family of professional services offerings that have and are helping many customers across the world develop their cloud strategies, and realise their cloud computing architectures.  These services are illustrated below, and include the recently announced Cloud Optimization Service.

Cisco Cloud Enablement Services - including the recently announced "Cloud Optimization Service"

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