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Delivering IT-as-a-Service with Cisco Prime Service Catalog and FlexPod at Steria

I’d like to share with you some insights from the recent deployment of Cisco Prime Service Catalog from one of our customers: Steria.

Steria is a leading provider of IT-enabled business services with 20,000 employees worldwide. Steria serves private and public sector organizations across the globe – with operations across 16 countries throughout Europe, India, North Africa, and Southeast Asia. With their expertise in IT and business outsourcing, Steria provides innovative solutions to help their clients improve efficiency and profitability.

One of Steria’s recent challenges was how to satisfy its clients’ desire to improve employee productivity and enable employees to work from any device. While IT-as-a-Service is becoming an increasingly competitive market in the Americas, offerings in Europe are still sparse – so this was also an opportunity to provide competitive differentiation for Steria’s services. Steria turned to Cisco to solve 3 key problems:

1. Providing employees with instant on-demand provisioning of desktop software and easy access to workplace IT resources,
2. Enabling employees to work from any device anywhere, and thus optimize computing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO),
3. And providing a simple, user-friendly portal and service catalog to make software offerings easily accessible.

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Enhancing the MSE User Experience: Backup & Restore, Menu-based Device Setup

Following the last MSE blog on CleanAir, today I wish to explain how we prioritize the Mobility Service Engine’s user experience.

Listening to customers and implementing changes/features based on customer feedback has been a great strength of Cisco products. We from the Mobility Services Engine team strongly believe in this principle and make sure that we reach out to each and every customer who has provided a feedback on Cisco MSE and take their experience with MSE into consideration when designing future features and enhancements.

After analyzing the feedback we received during the MSE 7.4 release, I am pleased to announce that we have decided to implement the following two features as part of series of enhancements that we believe will improve the customer’s user experience with MSE.

Convenient Backup and Restore

Until the 7.4 release, MSE users had limited options in backing up their MSE data. The only supported option was to use the NCS FTP server as the destination for MSE data backups. Due to the limited disk capacity on NCS, as well as sharing of the disk space with other network elements, disk space limitations prevented MSE users from regularly backing up their data. If you are one of those users who always wished you could regularly backup MSE data without running into NCS disk space limitation, or if you wish you could back up your MSE data to non-NCS devices, we have some good news for you.

In the latest MSE 7.5 release, we have added the option to backup and restore your MSE data on remote FTP servers, provided there is connectivity between the MSE and the FTP server.  Similar to NCS Backups, MSE data can be backed up to configured repositories (internal or external FTP servers).  Love the command shell? We will also be coming up with CLI to backup MSE data. You can now start MSE backup using just a single command.

msecsat1 Read More »

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The Customer is King at Cisco Live

Last week, I was at Cisco Live in Orlando, Florida where I experienced first-hand the magnitude of opportunity and marketing value that lies in interacting with the customer.

This year’s Cisco Live theme is “What You Make Possible,” and this relates well to today’s B2B marketers and their customers. The message that resonates with customers today is not what “we the company” do, but how we help our customers succeed and thrive long term. As marketers, this means exercising foresight on our customers’ behalf, as well as advocating near-term solutions to help drive their success.

As a marketer, implementing these B2B best practices is the best way to enhance this focus on customers: Read More »

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A Mobility Guide to Cisco Live! Orlando Part II

We’re just a few days away from joining the record-breaking attendance at Cisco Live! in Orlando!

It’s been a busy week with the Internet of Everything and Connected Mobile Experiences project launch in Nice, the SITA Air Transport IT Summit in Brussels, and the recent news that our very own Cisco Aironet 3600 Series AP is the first publicly announced WFA 802.11ac certified commercial enterprise access point--that was a mouthful! Next week is busy too: ISTE in San Antonio, HITEC in Minneapolis, and, of course, Cisco Live! in Orlando.

This is Part 2 of the Mobility Guide to Cisco Live! Orlando:  Whether you’re in person or not, follow the whole thread on Twitter at #CLUS and follow @Cisco_Mobility for specific coverage.

In part I of the mobility guide, I gave a laundry list of some very special mobility-focused sessions in Orlando--here they are split out by days, plus some fun activities you should make sure not to miss!

Monday, 6/24
8:00 am RF Standards Update, Brian Hart

10:00 am Beyond BYOD, One Policy, One Management, One Network, Prashanth Shenoy

10:00 am AND 1:00 pm CCNA Wireless, Master the 802.11 protocols, Jerome Henry

3:30pm Solutions Keynote: Enterprise Networking presented by Rob Soderbury [editor's note: it's MONDAY not Tuesday--corrected in the last post] Read More »

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The Evolution of Immersive Video in the Retail Bank Branch Series (2): Bring an expert to any branch

June 20, 2013 at 12:30 pm PST

In the first part of the “Evolution of Immersive Video in the Retail Bank Branch” series, I discussed how the retail banking industry is currently undergoing organizational changes that are affecting customers’ banking experience, including the knowledge and interaction they receive upon entering a bank.

Through these new organizational changes, banks are integrating new technology as part of their business processes to attract the more tech-savvy customers that desire choices and convenience when banking. Through Cisco’s Remote Expert solution, banks can meet these customer needs while making their business processes more cost and time-efficient and improving the customer experience. The Remote Expert solution enables virtual face-to-face meetings with high-definition audio and video.

RE Expert

Through Remote Expert’s integration with Cisco’s contact center, retail banks can leverage their existing database of enterprise-wide, skills-based information on the organization’s experts and make it available to customers at any time during business hours. Remote Expert allows a customer in the branch to find the right banking expert to meet their needs, including inquiries about annuities or questions specific to mortgage brokers.

Not only does Remote Expert enhance the bank’s existing channels and provide convenience for banking customers, it also reduces costs for all parties involved. Read More »

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