For most manufacturing companies today, product and services innovation, the introduction of new models, and the need for flexibility and workforce engagement are some of the business drivers requiring a new way to look at factory automation. Often, the ideal opportunity to tackle these challenges arises when a company is expanding capacity or building a new production facility ‘greenfield’. The Internet of Everything plays into this opportunity perfectly as easier and more seamless ways to connect people, process and data have emerged. Mahindra and Mahindra, one of India’s leading automakers, seized just that opportunity to deploy a Connected Factory of the future, building the Chakan facility north of Pune in Maharashtra, to expand capacity on existing models and introduce brand new Mahindra model categories. Read More »
I recently wrote a blog post about Steria, one of our Cisco Prime Service Catalog customers (you can also read their case study here). Today, I’m proud to introduce another case study on an IT service provider customer using Cisco Prime Service Catalog: Atos.
Atos Societas Europaea (SE) is a global leader in IT services with 77,000 employees in 52 countries worldwide. Cisco has a strong partnership with Atos in several areas including data center, cloud, and collaboration – and they are a customer of multiple Cisco solutions.
In particular, there is a division of Atos that provides managed services for North American companies. This division of Atos offers a broad range of services for their enterprise customers including new employee onboarding, provisioning smartphones and tablets, requesting Cisco WebEx accounts, provisioning of physical servers and virtual machines for data center operations, and more.
To meet the IT service needs of their large customer base, Atos needed to speed up the service delivery process and serve more customers without adding additional IT staff. According to Atos’ manager of process automation, Kert Gilpin, “We measure success by how much we can reduce service requests by email or phone and how quickly we can fulfill requests. To continue growing, we needed to automate IT service requests. We wanted to deliver IT as a Service.”
Now, thanks to Cisco Prime Service Catalog, Atos is serving more customers, faster, with the same size IT staff. Cisco Prime Service Catalog provides the one-stop shop for Atos customers to request a broad range of IT services (with more than 1,700 service options and configurations). From 2010 through 2013, Atos used the service catalog to process more than 1.5 million IT service requests from it’s customers – including more than 250,000 approvals for more than 260,000 users.
On the front-end, employees at each customer can log into Cisco Prime Service Catalog’s web-based portal interface for self-service access to their organization’s available services. On the back-end, Cisco Prime Service Catalog is integrated with the customer’s existing systems to automate provisioning for each service request. Some of the most commonly requested services in the Atos catalog include:
- Server setup or decommissioning: Cisco Prime Service Catalog can be integrated with the customers’ data center infrastructure automation tools to enable self-service provisioning. “Before, multiple people had to perform a manual task to provision a physical or virtual server,” Gilpin said. “Now we use Cisco Prime Service Catalog to automate approximately 50 tasks in the workflow, taking different actions depending on the conditions.”
- Distribution of Windows software updates and patches: For this popular service, Atos integrates Cisco Prime Service Catalog with the customer’s Microsoft Systems Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) server. Employees receive an automated notification when software application upgrades are available. Then they just click to install the upgrade or patch.
- Employee onboarding services: Through integration between Cisco Prime Service Catalog and their customers’ Oracle and PeopleSoft HR systems, Atos has automated new hire onboarding, transfers, terminations, leaves of absence, name changes, and changes between contractor and employee status.
This combination of self-service ordering and automation is powerful – with real and tangible benefits. “Automation means customer requests are fulfilled more quickly,” Gilpin said. “The request is generally complete in minutes, compared to days or weeks when we manually provisioned services. And our IT team now has more time for activities that provide value to our customers.”
For many of us, conferences like Mobile World Congress are places where we learn about the latest technology and industry developments, network with our colleagues, and meet with customers and partners. During that time, Wi-Fi connectivity is imperative to successfully communicate with other attendees and share the latest news with colleagues back home.
The Fira de Barcelona knows how important connectivity is for their conferences. Since 1932, the Fira de Barcelona has been one of the most important trade fair institutions in Europe. Every year it organizes and hosts events spanning all aspects of the global business and social calendars. Hosting global technology shows such as the annual Mobile World Congress means that Fira has to always be familiar with the latest advanced technology. That requirement came sharply into focus in September 2013 with the 49th meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD). One of the four biggest annual medical conferences in Europe, it draws attendees from over 100 countries.
Demand for connectivity at Read More »
Nothing makes a product marketeer’s job easier than when customers send in their own video testimonials about how successful they have been using our products. Today’s video comes all the way from one of my favorite cities in the world, Buenos Aires.
Martin Cabrera and Fernando Vicens, Data Center Managers from Argentina-based service provider IPLAN share their experience with the Nexus 1000V virtual switch. Their key points are two of the things we always say about Nexus 1000V and we continually hear from our customers:
1) Nexus 1000V allows virtual network policy controls to remain with the networking team, and
2) virtual networks are easier to manage when they are a seamless part of the physical infrastructure (consistent management, visibility, etc.)
Take it away Martin and Fernando:
One of the famous axioms in business is, “It’s better to work smarter than harder.” I’ll add one for government employees, “You’d be wise to spend taxpayer money smartly.” The City of Longwood, a suburb of Orlando, Florida, which is known for its historic heritage and small-town charm is doing just that.
The challenge facing the City was its 150 employees were dispersed between ten buildings across town including City Hall, Police Department, Fire Department and Water Utilities. So, when a desktop service request came into the IT department, the IT Manager, Craig Dunn, needed to travel across town to resolve the issue.
Additionally, City employees demanded Read More »