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Use SDN Strategically – and NOT as a “Band Aid”

December 17, 2013 at 10:55 am PST

hammer nut

The other week I attended the “Software Defined Networking 2013” conference in London.  This is a UK-based event for the discussion of SDN, OpenFlow and Network Virtualisation Solutions from a strategic perspective.  There were quite a few interesting perspective s I picked up at this conference.  In particular, the conference for me reinforced the potential of SDN – but if you apply it to the wrong problem, you may not get the return you hope for!

Top of mind for me, then, coming out of this conference was a demo of “What SDN Can Do For You” from one of our competitors.  At best, the phrase “using a sledge hammer to crack a nut” comes to mind.

The demo came from our friends in Palo Alto, who once (boldly but incorrectly!) predicted  that “Cisco UCS would be dead a year after launch”. They gave a SDN-focused demo that, when I “peeled back the onion”, didn’t demonstrate a compelling SDN use case.  Rather, it convinced me that if you have this particular problem as illustrated in their demo, you don’t need SDN: you need a new vendor!

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ACE Network: My Calls are now HD Video with the Cisco Jabber Client

It used to be that a video call meant going to a special room for a high-end video conference or putting up with the small webcam image on a laptop. Today, nearly all of the calls I handle at my desk are video calls because of the mid-range but very portable video meeting experience in the Cisco Jabber client.

ACE 5 - Pradeep_Jabber Video blog jpeg

Cisco Jabber Clients use the same video engine from Cisco Jabber Video for TelePresence (Movi). I use Cisco Jabber on our internal ACE network, where Cisco IT has been testing it as a new product before supporting it in production.

Being able to join a high-definition video call instantly, without having to schedule and wait, is more than just a convenience. It is becoming a necessity to conduct business these days and sometimes it’s the only way you can reach some people.

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Telepresence…It Isn’t Just for the Boardroom

The number of innovative ways video can be used these days is astounding. I advocated in my last post the benefits telepresence can deliver for remote workers, but it is extends much further— it is transforming how we communicate, collaborate, educate, provide healthcare, service customers, and more!  The days of low resolution video conferencing or video only in the executive boardroom are long gone.

A recent CIO slideshow did a great job at highlighting the innovative use cases for video conferencing and telepresence  – all the way from 3D holograms to Cisco’s own Jabber. The technologies CIO references show the vast ways these solutions  are transforming the way we work, communicate, and collaborate.

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