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Cisco CIO Summit 2012: Starting with the customer, and ending with IT in mind

We’ve all heard the sayings “put the customer first” and “the customer is always right.”  According to Forrester Research, the days of manufacturing, distribution, and information being the primary ways successful companies dominate their industries are gone, and the new “age of the customer” is here. Newly empowered, informed, and demanding buyers are radically redefining the conversations, strategies, and planning of top IT leaders around the world. This year at the CIO Summit hosted by Cisco, I had the privilege to engage with seventy-eight Chief Information Officers from large enterprises and organizations who shared similar sentiments. 

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Lost in Social Media: The Proficient Reach Nirvana [PICTURE] #lostinsm

Figuratively speaking, of course. The Proficient state is the last stage in the evolution cycle. Before diving into things, let’s quickly review the 4 social media adoption phases that come before the Pros. The Missing, which I previously introduced as the Mistrusting, represent a group that is absent from social media for one reason or another. Then come the Seekers who are all about experimentation and discovery. Up next are the Integrators who are starting to uncover the place of social media in the bigger picture and are learning to connect different tools, activities, resources and programs. In the fourth phase, the Relators are taking integration to new levels and advancing their practices far beyond those of the Integrators…until they reach a point where social media becomes a part of their DNA. Welcome to Nirvana!

Business. In its ultimate phase, social media will be Read More »

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Evolving the Data Center to Private Cloud

All too often, vendors talk about products or features when customers really want solutions and “how do I get there?” models for evolving their business. Cloud Computing is a topic that definitely falls into the latter category because it isn’t a single piece of hardware or software, but rather it’s a new way to align business needs with technology capabilities.

For many companies, Cloud Computing represents both an opportunity and a challenge. From an opportunity perspective, it potentially represents a chance to leapfrog your competition by leveraging technology as a core driver of new business models. This would create a compelling business differentiation and it’s most likely what every CIO will be talking about in 2011. From a challenge perspective, it introduces some new types of change that your company will need to address, such as:

[WARNING] It’s very possible that this post could get slightly lengthy, so if you’d like the cliff-notes version, check out Cisco’s Enterprise Private Cloud homepage and click on the short video at the top. 3 minutes could save you months or years on your Cloud Computing strategy.
Evolving the Data Center to Private Cloud

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Five Keys to a Successful Meeting with your Channel Partner

The best way to prepare for a meeting with your channel partner depends, in large part, on how long you have been working together. We’re going to look at five key points, assuming that you and the partner are starting from Square One. If you’ve been working with the same partner for a considerable period of time, you may already have done some of these. But be on the lookout for anything you might have missed.

#1: Look at your IT needs from a business perspective, as well as a technological perspective.

This is not as basic as it might sound. What are the pain points of your company? Where are your costs just a little too high? What types of functions are slipping through the cracks? As you can surmise, the true potential of technology runs much deeper than the basics around email, Internet access and whatever applications you currently may be using. Your partner may have some ideas for new software that can remove extra cycles or help your people more effectively track functions that somehow get lost in the shuffle.

#2: Provide an accurate accounting of the systems and software already in place.

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