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Mobile Cloud Accelerates the Pace of Change

As organizations seek ways to maintain real-time connections with their workforce and customers in an increasingly digital and mobile-centered world, the growth of mobile cloud will be a major force in shaping the business landscape and future tech decisions. This blog series will explore how the convergence of mobility and cloud will deliver unprecedented transformation for all organizations. This post will highlight the growth of mobile cloud and how any business in any vertical stands to benefit.

Mobile communications have fundamentally changed the way business works. At the same time, cloud computing has become the new way of delivering and charging for IT services and functionality. This collision of technology -- the “mobile cloud” – stands to significantly increase the overall value of mobility, as well as radically alter the way employees work and businesses operate.

In short, what we know about mobile cloud today can be summed up in three parts:

1. Mobile cloud is growing. A leading industry report estimates mobile cloud services will increase at a staggering pace from $500 million today to $4.4 billion in 2017, a scant three years away. It’s also important to note that hybrid cloud environments are a major force in mobile cloud growth. By connecting private and public clouds, organizations can deliver the mobile, collaborative and rich video cloud services that enable today’s new connected experiences.

2. Mobile cloud is the beginning of an evolution – and it’s being driven by cloud-based applications. Mobile cloud will change not only where employees can work, but this convergence of two technology tools will completely change the way business works. A key component of this is the growth of applications in the cloud, with personalized experiences delivered in real-time, everywhere and anywhere. According to a recent Cisco study, 96% of IT decision makers said that collaboration apps are primarily accessed on mobile by employees. This behavior also supports the prediction that the percentage of enterprise apps adapted for mobile will grow from 31% to 42% in the next year.

3. Mobile cloud is a significant part of moving the Internet of Everything (IoE) forward. As people, processes and things become connected and always on the go, more data will be communicated through mobile cloud. For example, Cisco VNI data predicts that mobile cloud traffic will grow 12-fold from 2013 to 2018, a compound annual growth rate of 64 percent.

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Why CXOs Must Get Moving When It Comes to Mobility

With the frenzy that comes with new phone releases, the excitement that new app launches cause, and our increasing ability to establish connections with anyone virtually anywhere, it’s safe to say the Internet of Everything (IoE) is changing everything about our global network.

And while the Internet of Everything describes the connections that link people, places, process, data and things, the convergence of all of these elements is the source of its growth.

On their own, increased mobility, enhanced cloud and Fast IT are changing the business and IT landscape. A new model for IT that accounts for the convergence of these technologies is essential to accelerating the trajectory of the Internet of Everything to new heights.

Mobility has especially emerged as a key factor, with 25 billion devices estimated to be connected to the Internet by 2015. For this reason, tracking (and staying ahead of!)  top mobility trends remains a priority for every organization. Read More »

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Virtualization Technology for the Real World, Today

A few years ago at Mobile World Congress (well more than a few, perhaps…), I was speaking with the CTO of a top tier Mobile Operator about a newly emerging technology called IMS.  It seemed that every vendor was promising how IMS was going to change the world.  This very wise CTO stated that he needs to see a tangible benefit or value from a new technology to be interested.  “I will only buy a new technology if you can show me how it can (a) do something I cannot do today, or (b) improve the way I am doing something today.  I will not buy technology for the sake of technology.”  This simple axiom is a great lens to look through as one views all new technologies – and that is certainly the case for the current industry discussion around Virtualization – or more accurately from Cisco’s perspective on the topic, Virtualization and Orchestration.

But instead of joining in with the multitudes talking about the wonders of the technology, arguing around technical specs or nomenclature, the lesson from the CTO instead guides me to talk about what it can do for the service provider business.

That’s why our announcement today of the Cisco Evolved Services Platform has a decidedly business bent.  Yes, it is a Read More »

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How Service Providers Can Capture Seven Times Their Mobile Investment

By Henky Agusleo, Vertical Manager, and Neeraj Arora, Director, IBSG Service Provider

With nearly a billion smartphones and tablets in use today, the time is ripe for service providers (SPs) to invest in cloud-based Connected Life services for mobile devices. The Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) projects a direct mobile cloud service opportunity of more than $60 billion worldwide by 2016. So far, the first-mover advantage has gone to over-the-top (OTT) players such as Google, and device makers such as Apple. However, service providers (SPs) are well positioned to capture significant revenue in the growing market for cloud-based mobile services. With the right investment and implementation strategies, they can more fully realize this crucial avenue for growth and cost savings.

Cisco IBSG sees consumers demanding mobile-cloud services that fall into four key categories:

  1. Learn and Play: Gaming, video, information, productivity-enhancing services
  2. Communicate: Video calls, social networking
  3. Shop and Pay: Payments, healthcare, travel, location, context-based ads, mobile retail
  4. Monitor and Control: Home automation, surveillance

Sevenfold Revenue Return on Investment

Despite the $60 billion opportunity, mobile operators have been slow to make the investment necessary to develop these cloud-based services. One reason for this lag could be concern about profit margins, which tend to be significantly lower than for traditional mobile services. A number of factors could explain the lower profit margins, including: Read More »

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The Mobile Paradox

Today’s world is characterized by what I call the “mobile explosion”—an environment defined by mobile cloud becoming a platform for delivering everything. It is a world of heterogeneous networks, licensed macro small cell networks, and unlicensed small cell networks (Wi-Fi for example), all seamlessly combined. In this world, however, I believe we are facing a mobile paradox: on the one hand, there is a staggering demand for data from our smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices; on the other hand, the telecommunications industry is grappling with business and monetization challenges around profitability, how to build up these networks fast enough, and competition from over-the-top (OTT) operators.  But, operators are struggling with building the business case and understanding how to make Wi-Fi pay.

The much quoted Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) predicts that global mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold from 2012 to 2017, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month. In parallel, the use of unlicensed small cell networks (Wi-Fi) for Internet access is exploding as more mobile devices are Wi-Fi-enabled, the number of public hotspots expands, and user acceptance grows. Until recently, most technologists and mobile industry executives viewed Wi-Fi as the “poor cousin” to licensed mobile communications.  And they most certainly never saw any role for Wi-Fi in mobile networks or their business. The explosion of mobile data traffic has changed all of that. Most mobile operators now realize that offloading data traffic to Wi-Fi can, and must, play a significant role in helping them avoid clogged networks and unhappy customers.

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In the “Business Models and Monetization Video” in Big Thinkers in Small Cells, my colleagues and I discuss revenue opportunities and challenges mobile operators face today with small cells, both licensed and unlicensed. Mobile operators Read More »

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