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Why TCO is the Only True Way to Measure Network Costs

Cost always plays a big part in purchase decisions. It’s certainly a factor as I consider buying  a new car. As you’re well aware, purchasing a new car isn’t just about the initial cost. In my case, I’m considering reliability, speed (not that I need to go that fast carpooling my kids to school), mileage, and looks to a certain extent. (I just can’t bring myself to drive a minivan.) But what does buying a car have to do with your customers, or IT spending for that matter?

To put it simply, customers often cite initial cost as a big factor in their network decision-making, too. But if they are looking only at CapEx when purchasing new equipment, it’s the same thing as only looking at the initial cost of a car: They’re not seeing the entire picture.

Total cost of ownership, or TCO, is a better metric to assess network cost, because it considers the full impact on IT spend, including CapEx, services, labor, bandwidth, and energy consumption. And TCO is not just a measure of the initial expense, but of how much equipment will cost over its lifetime.

In June 2011, Cisco commissioned a third-party business consulting firm to analyze the true TCO of the network, comparing the quantitative costs of acquisition, support, labor, bandwidth, energy, and product longevity. The firm also assessed qualitative business benefits like network uptime, user productivity, and security.

The quantitative results alone show that a network built on Cisco’s architectural approach can yield up to a 13% better TCO, building a powerful business case for you to take to your customers about why the choice of networking gear matters.

Here are some facts drawn from the findings, which support Cisco’s firm belief that a strategic next-generation Cisco network architecture delivers superior value and lower TCO: Read More »

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Xerox Corp. and Cisco Team Up to Offer Secure, Cloud-Based IT Services

May 9, 2011 at 2:21 pm PST

It may be sunny where you live, but the forecast calls for clouds today as Cisco and Xerox Corporation announced a strategic alliance to deliver cloud-based IT services. The partnership between Cisco and Xerox brings technology solutions that combine network and print cloud services for customers, along with a host of opportunities for partners.

Today’s announcement means that customers can add managed print services to their networks, leverage cloud server infrastructure to scale their application hosting, monitor print devices, manage everything in one cloud environment — and lower IT expenses, too.

It’s a “win-win-win” as Cisco SVP Keith Goodwin tweeted this morning.

What’s not to like? Today’s announcement delivers solutions in the following major areas:

  • Xerox Corporation Managed Print Services over Cisco Borderless Networks:
    This consolidates IT and print management using the network’s embedded security, WAN optimization, and print aware intelligence to monitor print technology and operating costs, to protect confidential data from any location, and to improve employee productivity with advanced mobile and cloud printing applications.
  • Xerox Cloud ITO Services via Cisco UCS and Vblock Infrastructure:
    This accelerates the rollout of new IT services to adapt to changing needs of the workforce and reduce IT costs through a private cloud, the public cloud or through a combination in a hybrid cloud environment.
  • Xerox Mobile Print Solution on Virtual Desktops and Cisco Cius:
    Means (almost) no more worrying. Mobile workers can securely print documents from any email-enabled device – including virtual desktops and Cisco Cius tablet – to any enabled printer using the Cisco Borderless Networks and Wireless LAN solutions.

What’s in it for partners? Read More »

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How to Help Customers Plan for the Future of Their Networks

May 2, 2011 at 1:12 pm PST

The network needs to be fast, run all of the latest applications, adeptly handle video, not to mention offer stability and security. Oh, and the network should also be scalable and serve users’ needs.

Whew. Needless to say, we expect a lot from the network. And so do customers.

With all these features on customers’ network wish lists, all too often acquisition costs are the only consideration when planning for the future. But Bob Cagnazzi, CEO of Cisco Master Partner BlueWater Communications Group, says that’s a big mistake.

BlueWater provides a lifecycle suite of services around the network, including: collaboration, video, virtualization, and cloud computing for a range of clients in the tri-state New York area. We caught up with Bob on a recent trip to California to get his thoughts on why it’s important for customers to understand both short- and long-term costs associated with the network.

What questions does Bob ask his customers when they’re planning for the future of their networks? Read More »

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Top 3 Government Challenges with Cloud

As Cloud Computing gains more attention from government customers, it presents new challenges and demands a different set of skills to become successful. Having a clear understanding of the business’ challenges and the benefits that may be obtained from the cloud becomes even more important.

In my conversations with different government organizations about Cloud Computing, three distinct challenges keep coming up.

Cloud Computing Government

#1: Reducing Costs. More than ever, agencies have the pressure to reduce costs at all levels.  Dealing with shrinking budgets and demands for newer services has forced agencies to carefully look for areas that may be optimized or simplified.  While many agencies struggle to keep the lights on, they are forced to look at alternate ways to provide services. Cloud services has become an attractive way to address those demands and provide new services to its citizens.

The pressure to reduce costs has also forced agencies with common needs to work together and find ways to collaborate and simplify operations.  This is different from the past, where agencies could not justify or were not interested in combining computing resources with other agencies.

#2: Agility and Scalability. At the same time they are forced to reduce costs, agencies are also forced to achieve new levels of agility and innovation.  The constant demand for new services and deployment of new technologies have forced agencies to consider services in the cloud in order to simplify and reduce their infrastructure footprint.  While agencies may be solely focused on reducing costs, cloud applications can not only reduce the costs, but also give agencies a new level of agility and scalability.

The cloud allows agencies to pool resources to serve multiple customers using a multi-tenant model.  These shared resources give agencies a sense of independence and elasticity, since resources may be dynamically assigned according to demand.

Read More »

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Online Entertainment – What’s more important – Content or Technology?

Mary Meeker - Morgan Stanley Slide on the Online Advertising Market

At the Web 2.0 Summit 2010, internet analyst Mary Meeker presented data, shown above. The chart she offered drives home an important point to media and entertainment companies -- 28% of our time spent with media in the US is on the internet -- so we expect our media brands to deliver online. And Nielsen also released data this summer  showing 22% of the time people spend on the internet is with social media. In aggregate, Web users spend a total of 110 billion minutes on social Web sites and blogs each month. Therefore media companies must tailor and create engaging digital content to speak to the audiences who want to interact with content brands online and across social media sites. But what’s more important when trying to create appealing media experiences for socially engaged audiences who are spending 28% of their media time online: Is the technology experience more important than the content? Or is the content more important than the technology experience? Vivi Zigler, President of NBC Universal Digital Entertainment (bio link here), attempted to address this question at the Digital Media Conference West in San Francisco:

Vivi Zigler tells us in the clip that NBC Universal has to tailor and tweak existing technologies to the story lines of the NBC TV shows and to the shifting tastes of the online audiences to create engaging experiences.  How does NBC Universal adapt technology to changing television story lines and still create an engaging and quality experiences? (continued ..)
Read More »

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