In this episode of Partner Update, we find out what Andrew does first-thing in the morning, learn about a free new mobile app that delivers the latest partner news from Cisco, get the scoop on what kind of network can best solve endpoint and application challenges, get tips on minding your Twitter manners, learn how Cisco partners can grow cloud revenues, and figure out what Triple V means. (And a lot more.)
Tune into this action-packed newscast to get the latest news and info you need to know (in less than five minutes).
So what’s in the news this week?
Keep reading for a transcript of the newscast with timestamps so you can view the parts of the video you want to see and important links where you can find more information. Read More »
Just when we feel we are drowning in information, along comes Big Data to save the day. Big Data refers to a dataset so large it is beyond the capability of a typical database to manage and make use of the information. But a set of advances in hardware and software now allows us to rapidly capture, organize, and make sense of vast oceans of data, enabling us to apply the results to make better business decisions.
Big Data can give us a strategic advantage. For example, investors could see global trends in trading across sectors in near-real time; they could respond much earlier to a downturn in prices in a given sector, avoiding the steep losses incurred by taking later action.
Big Data can also create a richer experience for customers. Bloomberg.com gathers more than 100 data points from every page an individual reader views, processing the data with 15 algorithms to personalize recommendations. Algorithms that understand natural language and rich media and can reason make Big Data technology even more useful in decision making. Novel visualization paradigms, 3D, and gesture interfaces make Big Data understandable and accessible to everyone.
Thinking about the ICT future of the store with my colleague Bharat Popat. Doodling at the mental whiteboard.
Current state in the lower left. It’s client-server architecture. Three to six servers per store, depending upon segment and store size. Fat-client POS and desktops. Fans and hard drives. Ongoing break-fix maintenance contracts. A network pipe just big enough to each night send out batched transactions, inventory, and other performance data, and download the price-item files, promotions, and performance reports.
Now, a line from the lower left current state all the way to the upper right future. From the “as is” to the “will be.” Figuring three to five years. An assumption that a retailer will want to lead the segment and compete worldwide.
Grab the pen and draw the line, and as you do so, calculate the evolution of technology and of consumer expectations. Calculate the impact of global e-commerce, of multi-channel and omni-channel, of smart phones and tablets, of social networks and social shopping.
Calculate the impact of content clouds and IP video, of augmented reality and “mashops” of virtual into the physical. Calculate the impact of right time data analysis. Calculate dynamic video messaging.
Calculate how to cut time-to-capability down to weeks, not years. Calculate how to do more and spend less.
Now multiply it all by the demographic weight of the tech-savvy Millennial generation.
Do the math. Yes, I’m prejudiced -- I’m a proud Cisco guy. But it’s the math (not the badge) that leads me to this future state: a retail store that’s a living, breathing website.
A retail store that’s built on a lean, network-based architecture and a significant increase in network capacity to and from the store.
Lean store and big pipe.
More about these calculations in weeks ahead.
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When your customers are shopping around for the right network, it’s a bit like being on “The Dating Game.” For those who aren’t familiar with the TV show, it first aired in the 1960s and featured an eligible bachelor or bachelorette hidden behind a wall. Said bachelor or bachelorette got to interview three candidates to find out which one would be most appropriate and worthy of a date. The candidates could not see each other so had to rely on the person’s answers to determine the best fit.
Customers looking for the right network may feel like the eligible bachelorette or bachelor on “The Networking Game.” Is contestant number one trustworthy and able to meet both current and future needs? Does contestant two offer security and flexibility? What about three: is that one stable? Can one network meet really meet all of those needs?
There are quite a few variables to consider when customers are shopping for a network, especially when 20% of a typical enterprise IT network budget is spent acquiring hardware while a whopping 80% goes toward operating costs.
Yet some industry pundits and vendors look only at acquisition and maintenance costs when calculating TCO, ignoring functionality that may improve productivity or business opportunities that are lost when the network goes down. That’s a bit like choosing a date based on a single factor, like a voice, rather than looking at the entire package.
We continue our coverage of the “Good Enough Network” myth series with myth #6: Acquisition Cost. Read More »
When budgeting for equipment to run enterprise networks, buying equipment that requires the least amount of upfront capital may sound like cheapest in the long run, but what about the cost of repairs and tech support?
Settling for a “good enough” network means your customers get a “good enough” warranty to go with it. Next-generation networks offer more support staff, diagnostic tools to keep networks up and running, as well as more robust warranties.
In our continuing coverage of the Seven Myths of the Good-Enough Network, we delve into myth number five: The Basic Warranty Myth.
Most enterprise networking equipment includes limited support and maintenance. With vendors like HP, according to Michael Rau (myth dispeller and Vice President, CTO for the Borderless Network Architecture at Cisco), a warranty service call is limited to answering only the most basic questions. A support rep will typically ask, “Have you tried rebooting your switch?” If that’s not the issue, a replacement is sent with no effort made to troubleshoot the problem. If you want more in-depth support you have to purchase the extended support contract – which is not free.
Here are five things customers should consider when purchasing network equipment.Read More »