Cisco IT has always encouraged employees to use the tools that help them work most efficiently from anywhere on any device.
As the range of IT services we offered has increased, we noticed that the process of acquiring the various tools became complex and confusing. We had a number of different internal sites (aka “stores”) within Cisco, each offering different systems for employees to request services. This complexity impacted the user experience and productivity of these employees.
In order to simplify the employee experience with Cisco IT, we made the decision to consolidate all these different systems into a single online service catalog – effectively a unified e-commerce storefront for our IT services – where our employees could find services they needed to do their jobs.
We thus created Cisco IT’s “eStore”.
Our goal was to improve employee satisfaction, decrease support costs, and increase employee productivity. We had to find a way to increase adoption and transparency of our existing IT services.
Cisco IT knew that a platform to consolidate these services into one unified service request system could be built on top of Cisco Prime Service Catalog, our own end-user portal and service catalog solution. This solution provides enterprise IT management capabilities that enable entitlement, approvals, service taxonomy control, and even chargeback.
The Best of TechEd 2013 awards recognize companies that offer innovative products to the industry. The judging panel reviewed more than 300 products and services and chose 33 finalists to be interviewed at Microsoft TechEd North America 2013 in New Orleans. Winners will be determined at the show by judges and an attendee choice competition (attendees can vote online here) and then announced on the show floor on June 5th, 2013. Winners will also be published online at http://www.windowsitpro.com and http://northamerica.msteched.com.
Teams from both companies are honored and excited by this recognition, the result of years of technology investment and collaboration between the two companies. Cisco’s Nexus 1000v was also named a Finalist in the virtualization category of the Best of TechEd 2013 award program. In addition to these distinctions at TechEd, NetApp was recently recognized as Microsoft’s Server Platform Partner of the Year for 2013, an awesome follow-up to winning Microsoft’s Private Cloud Partner of the Year award in 2012.
NetApp’s collaboration and partnership with Cisco on FlexPod represents a combination of industry leaders in their respective fields. FlexPod® with Microsoft® Private Cloud is a converged infrastructure platform featuring deeply integrated compute, networking, and storage as well as industry leading integration with Windows Server 2012 and System Center 2012 SP1.
At Tech Ed we will be demonstrating key technologies and solutions such as our compute platform UCS and our FlexPod and VSPEX reference architectures for Hyper-V private cloud environments. For the network platform of course Nexus 1000V will be getting the spotlight. Nominated for a Best of Tech Ed 2013 award in the virtualization category, Nexus 1000V delivers support for key advanced networking virtualization scenarios via integration with the Hyper-V Extensible Switch.
Finally, we will be making available demos of our Cisco Email Security for Microsoft Exchange offering. This Gartner Magic Quadrant leader for Network Access Control delivers peace of mind for your messaging networks.
Please visit www.cisco.com/go/microsoft to learn more about these solutions and others that help us to deliver to you an optimal Microsoft oriented datacenter environment.
It’s a complex world of ecosystem partnerships out there, and it’s important to remember that while technology providers such as Cisco and Microsoft compete in areas such as collaboration and unified communications, they’re also tightly aligned in areas such as data center, where there’s a huge opportunity for Cisco and Microsoft partners to take joint solutions to market.
Cisco and Microsoft took another step in that alignment last week, thanks not only to the integration of Cisco Unified Data Center architecture with Microsoft Fast Track solutions, but also joint marketing and other activities to enable partners that sell both companies’ data center technologies.
The integration itself is a compelling one. Microsoft customers, for example, will be able to have programmatic access to the Cisco Unified Computing System, which gives them a lot more insight and control into how their Cisco Unified Data Center assets work in concert with Windows server and application software. (Here are some more of the details, including specifics on Cisco Nexus 1000V and Cisco UCS.)
Note: This guest blog is from our partner EMC. In it Chad Dunn, Director of VSPEX Business Operations, comments on VSPEX as an infrastructure solution for Microsoft oriented I.T. environments. Rex.
Cisco and EMC Buddy-Up on VSPEX for Microsoft Private Cloud
At EMC we’re always keen on working with fellow industry-leaders to deliver solutions that accelerate our customers’ journey to cloud computing – and Cisco, the leader in fabric, is one of our most collaborative friends. In particular, we’ve focused a ton of joint effort on EMC VSPEX.
VSPEX is a set of complete virtualization solutions – integrating virtualization, servers, networking, storage and backup – that are proven and validated by EMC and delivered to customers by channel partners. That validation is extremely important too – why? Because validation = confidence. It ensures interoperability and fast deployment, and removes the complexity and risk.
Well… What’s New?
With the increasing interest in Microsoft-based private clouds, we wanted to deliver a solution to customers that was not only validated by EMC and Cisco, but also certified by Microsoft. Just like what we did with the “small” Microsoft private cloud Fast Track implementation – but bigger. So that’s exactly what we’ve done: EMC and Cisco have just certified a new VSPEX configuration as a Microsoft private cloud Fast Track solution for enterprise implementations.
The enterprise implementation along with the small implementation greatly accelerates the transformation to Microsoft private cloud environments for our customers, but also just as important is how VSPEX can help customers simplify the ongoing management of their cloud. Key to successful cloud management is delivering robust end to end orchestration and automation. EMC and Cisco’s integration with Microsoft System Center enables our customers to leverage the management tools and interfaces that they know and already utilize. Additionally, EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) provides Microsoft application administrators more self-service and management empowerment and shortens the time to do storage provisioning by 4x for Microsoft applications.
We’re very excited about these solutions as well as all of the other things that come as a result of our collaboration with Cisco around VSPEX – and there’s plenty more to come – so keep an eye out on www.cisco.com/go/vspex and follow @EMCVSPEX on twitter for the latest.