Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:
Off the Top
As you probably saw at the beginning of the week, Cisco made a big announcement around all of the momentum we’ve seen so far on our approach to cloud. Edison Peres even came by the Partner Blog to share his insight on how partners can engage and explain the roles you can play to meet customers’ needs.
Just in case you missed it, be sure to read Edison’s blog and let us know what you think. Our approach continues to be partner-centric, and with Intercloud, you have more opportunities than ever with Cisco.
CRN – 100 People You Don’t Know but Should
In CRN’s annual look at individuals building channel programs, designing special incentives, educating solution providers and evangelizing hot technologies, Cisco had three of our very own featured! Please join us in congratulating Steve Benvenuto, Sr. Director, Business Development, Cisco Channel Partner Programs; Faisal Hanafi, Vice President of Strategy and Partner Experience; and Susie Wee, Vice President and Chief Technical Officer of Networked Experiences.
CRN itself says this list recognizes the unseen channel professionals from vendor organizations who consistently drive success for Solution Providers. These directors, vice presidents and officers roll their sleeves up and lead their channel programs with resolve, excellence and creativity. Again, we welcome you to take a moment to congratulate Steve, Faisal and Susie for being recognized for all of their hard work. Read More »
The pressure for businesses to quickly adapt and innovate—to capitalize on new market opportunities and stay ahead of the competition—is increasing to achieve their business goals. And it is being felt not only by IT organizations, but by entire companies as businesses rely more and more on technology. Cloud computing in particular has had a profound impact on businesses today, emerging as a key technology requirement to foster innovation and growth.
In March 2014, Cisco announced that it would invest $1 billion to expand its cloud business over the next two years. Today, in addition to the expansion of Cisco’s Intercloud product offerings and partner ecosystem, Cisco Capital has earmarked $1 billion in financing for Cisco customers and partners to help them adopt the Cisco technologies they’ll need to transition to the cloud.
As the financing arm of Cisco, Cisco Capital has developed a number of programs into this investment that will focus on financing Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure, facilitating technology migrations and providing flexible payment structures. As these type of transitions can require sizeable investments for companies, financing provides a cost-effective way for organizations to invest in their business.
By leveraging financing, organizations can align technology investments to the ever-evolving priorities of the business. Financing allows businesses to:
Preserve cash that can then be reinvested into the business—spreading the cost of an IT investment over time conserves funds, enabling organizations to invest more heavily in departments such as R&D and ultimately speeding the pace of innovation.
Accelerate the return on investment— aligning cash outlay to solution implementation and revenue stream generation.
Adopt new technologies faster—with the ability to implement new technologies more quickly, businesses remain agile and ahead of the competition.
“Green” the business — provides a vehicle to dispose of retired or under-utilized assets in an environmentally conscious manner with end-of-life strategies and migration programs or recycle programs.
Cisco Capital Financing the Cloud Suite
Cisco Capital creates tailored financial solutions and offerings for customers and partners that complement Cisco’s products and technologies, and are designed to support how customers and partners buy and deploy them. As a part of the $1 billion commitment, Cisco Capital is providing four programs specifically designed to address cloud adoption and migration.
Designed for both end-user customers and cloud service providers (Cisco partners), Cisco Capital flexible payment structures offer payment deferral options of up to 12 months, affordable monthly rates and structured payment streams. These structured loans and leases finance complete solutions including hardware, software and services from both Cisco and non-Cisco complementary solution providers.
Also geared towards end-user customers and cloud service providers are low total cost of ownership (TCO) offers aimed for customers looking to adopt Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure, a foundation for Intercloud infrastructure. Developed with below market payment terms, this program enables customers to keep technology up to date and refresh when needed, ultimately lowering TCO and the long term cost of maintenance.
Specifically for qualified cloud service providers Cisco Capital has developed two tailored programs including Accelerate Loans and Monetization of Managed Services. With an Accelerate Loan, no payments are required during the first 12 months in which the cloud data center is being built, allowing the service provider to align payments to the solution deployment and revenue generation.
The Monetization of Managed Services offering allows qualified cloud service providers to acquire the technology needed to deliver managed services solutions to customers without incurring up-front cost or debt through an asset light approach. Key benefits include alignment of expenses to revenue for optimized cash flow and potential relief from asset disposition obligations at the end of the term.
While there are a number of strategies businesses can employ when planning for such a large-scale technology investment, Cisco Capital is uniquely positioned to help Cisco customers and partners embrace the transition to the cloud. Because Cisco Capital has such a deep understanding of the products, services and overall solutions being offered by Cisco, we are able to create customized financing solutions that will help our customers and partners adopt and deploy technologies like Intercloud in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.
Guest Blog Post by Stephen Nola, Group Executive, IT-as-a-Service, Dimension Data
At Dimension Data we are all about accelerating ambition and this includes enabling Cisco’s ambition to build the world’s largest global Intercloud, a network of clouds to address customer requirements for a globally distributed, highly secure cloud platform. Dimension Data is partnering with Cisco to provide our cloud technology in Cisco-branded managed service offerings and the public cloud – a core component of the enterprise hybrid IT solution.
As cloud adoption is maturing, companies are taking a more holistic approach to incorporating cloud into the modern IT landscape. This transformation is increasingly application centric which means that organisations will be sourcing multiple delivery models that are best aligned to applications that are fit for cloud, born for the cloud, and not for the cloud, ever.
The formula for hybrid IT will include public and private cloud, managed hosting and managed services on and off premises. Cisco realizes that Dimension Data’s highly connected and integrated solutions leverage new and flexible consumption models for enterprises all over the world. In fact, Dimension Data offers our Managed Cloud Platform on five continents with datacenters strategically located to address regulatory compliance and data sovereignty for multi-national companies.
Dimension Data has been accelerating adoption of Cisco technology for over 23 years. Inclusion in the Intercloud ecosystem is good for our clients and will enable greater reach for Dimension Data’s Cloud. As Cisco Intercloud subscribers, enterprises around the world will leverage Dimension Data’s global network of inter-connected cloud datacenters as a core component of their hybrid cloud strategy. Dimension Data is proud of our Cisco heritage and our strategic partnership that will take our companies and our clients into the future.
Stephen Nola, Group Executive – ITaaS Steve was appointed Group Executive – ItaaS in 2013. Since he joined Dimension Data in 1989, Steve has held a number of key roles in the Group. In 2011, he was appointed Chief Executive Officer, Cloud Business Unit. Prior to this, Steve was Chief Executive Officer of Dimension Data Australia from 2001. Before being appointed Chief Executive Officer for the Australia region, Steve was Chief Executive Officer for Dimension Data Integration, and Joint Managing Director of Dimension Data Australia. Before joining Dimension Data Australia (formerly known as Com Tech Communications) Steve worked for Telstra from 1987 to 1989. Steve is a member of the advisory board at RMIT for the Bachelor of Information Technology course and a member of the Starlight Foundation Victoria Board. He holds a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (Honours) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), majoring in robotics.
Just a few years ago, I’d go out for an occasional weekend drive to take in the splendor of Northern California, and leave my mobile phone and various gadgets behind.
Those days are long gone.
Over time, smart devices and connectivity have transformed my life – as I’m sure they have yours – and become essential to function in today’s modern world.
By 2020, there will be an estimated 50 billion objects connected to the Internet. Organizations and even individuals that effectively use these connections will achieve significant advantages, including more efficient and enjoyable experiences.
And service providers are in an enviable position, sitting at the center of the Internet of Everything (IoE), bringing together people, processes, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before. IoE is turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.
The stakes are high.
From smart grid and smart buildings to environmental sensors and mobile consumer experiences, Cisco predicts that between now and 2022, $19 trillion in value is at stake for organizations willing to take advantage of the immense IoE opportunity.
Today’s announcement expands the reach of the Intercloud by 250 additional data centers in 50 countries, and advances Cisco’s OpenStack based cloud strategy to address customer requirements for a globally distributed, highly secure cloud platform capable of meeting the robust demands of the Internet of Everything. Cisco’s open approach to the Intercloud is designed for high-value application workloads, with real-time analytics and “near infinite” scalability and allows local hosting and local provider options that enable data sovereignty around the world.
Essentially, there are three components to this Intercloud strategy that set us apart from other companies. It starts with Cisco’s cloud architectural solutions including UCS, our Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), and a networks functions virtualization (NFV) driven policy. The second component is network connectivity and providing the user with the right quality of service (QoS) experience for their application workloads. And the third component is our partners, who play a critical role in building out this network of clouds from a data center, network, application acceleration and compliance/data sovereignty perspective. In this blog I’d like to delve further into network connectivity and the role that our newest hosting partner, Equinix, plays in powering our Intercloud vision.
Importance of Network Connectivity in Hybrid Cloud
The role of the CIO has to move from a builder of services for the enterprise to an orchestrator of services across private clouds and various public clouds. This hybrid cloud orchestration has to be secure, hypervisor independent, manageable and compliant with all the enterprise’s IT policies across the full IT stack and across all the clouds. Cisco’s Intercloud capabilities are designed to do exactly this and will be enhanced by enabling the orchestration to be carried out in a private hosted environment where these cloud providers will be virtually located within the same exchange. This will facilitate workload interconnections between cloud providers in true hybrid cloud fashion with the lowest application latency and secure workload management for customers.
Where better to do this than in Equinix’s data centers and through the Equinix Cloud Exchange (ECX)? As the world’s largest IBX data center and colocation provider, the company offers fast application performance and low latency routes across all continents. The company provides a global interconnection platform called Equinix Cloud Exchange that hosts private clouds for enterprise customers and facilitates over 135,000 connections among more than 4,500 customers. Cisco will enable the Equinix Cloud Exchange to deliver secure private cloud access to the rich ecosystem of cloud service providers in Equinix data centers globally and to deploy Cisco Intercloud capabilities in 16 Equinix markets across Europe, Asia and the Americas. Equinix also plans to deploy key Cisco technologies and services across its Cloud Exchange, including the Cisco Nexus 9000 Series switch, Cisco APIC, and the Cisco Evolved Services Platform.
For Equinix this announcement significantly enhances their value proposition to the CIO. Their Equinix Cloud Exchange solution will now be able to guarantee full bi-directional workload portability across any hypervisor and full extensible application policy compliance across all services and clouds. This will enhance their already unique interconnect capabilities, lowest latency capabilities and extensive global footprint.
Beginning and Ending with Network Connectivity
So it is all about the connectivity, but this is not a new proposition. It’s one that has been proven consistently over the last 30 years. When networks first emerged they were proprietary, did not interoperate and as a result customers had to choose which one to use. Cisco and our partners played a major role in seamlessly connecting them together to create the Internet. As a result, business processes were transformed, billions of dollars of value was created and a large successful partner ecosystem emerged. As we look at the cloud landscape today we see several similarities – many independent closed and proprietary clouds which were designed to maximize vendor revenue rather than enable interoperability, security and compliance. The combined value of Cisco and Equinix will provide fast, open, secure connectivity and will unleash the value of hybrid cloud for enterprises globally.
Together with our partners we will connect the clouds to create the Intercloud.