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The Story of Cisco Virtualized Managed Business Services: How Cisco Evolved its Engineering Teams To Revolutionize Service Provider Service Delivery

I’ll be boarding a flight to Barcelona for Mobile World Congress tomorrow knowing that this year’s event will be like no other for Cisco’s service provider business.

Over the past two years we’ve completely transformed our service provider engineering organization. We’ve overhauled our technology and services portfolio and, as you’ll see from a blitz of announcements we’ll make with world-leading telecommunications service providers next week, we continue to innovate, and customers really like the progress they’re seeing.

Clearly we’re building what they need, but the story of the past 24 months goes far beyond our portfolio. We’ve changed the way we operate. We have removed impediments to rapid innovation, and accelerated the creation of high-performing teams.

If those words sound familiar, then you probably know Agile software development. The principles of Agile have been applied at Cisco for a long while now.  However, what’s really changed in the past two years is summed well in something Agile pioneer Jeff Sutherland wrote in blog marking the 10th anniversary of the agile manifesto:

Individuals adapting to change is not enough. Organizations must be structured for Agile response. Failure to remove impediments that block progress destroys existing high-performing teams and prevents the formation of new high-performing teams.”

I couldn’t agree more. While Cisco was, and still is, structured well to deliver the best routing technology in the industry, we needed to improve our engineering and business structures to be able to dynamically deliver the software products and cloud services customers could use to rapidly implement new businesses models, and drive more profitable outcomes for their customers.

What we’ve done since 2012 represents a massive transformation. I give tremendous credit to Chief Development Officer Pankaj Patel and his Chief Technology Officer Dave Ward, and I’m extremely proud of the results we’re starting to achieve.

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Mobile Traffic from Wearables Explodes as the Internet of Everything Accelerates

Are you Ready?

Cisco first asked this question in a 1999 advertising campaign when the incredible potential of the Internet was just beginning to become apparent.

Our ‘Are You Ready?’ ad campaign carried a simple message to the world’s businesses, telecommunications providers, and public institutions: get your Internet infrastructure ready now or risk being left behind in a world that is rapidly moving towards online-commerce, supply chain digitization and connected workforces.

Some moved quickly, but others failed to heed the warning. 45% of the companies on the Fortune 500 list in 1999 were no longer on the 2014 list, with dozens making way for nimbler more web-savvy competitors..

Today, as Cisco publishes its latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) study, our biannual global study of fixed and mobile data traffic, I see another ‘Are You Ready?’ moment in the making.

It is two years since Cisco quantified the astonishing $19 trillion economic potential of the Internet of Everything at the World Economic Forum in Davos. Today, just twenty four months later, we’re seeing an acceleration of the impact of the Internet of Everything on global networks. Here are some of the highlights of the VNI study:

• There will be eight billion connected mobile devices by 2019
• 3.2 billion of those – 40 percent of mobile Internet – will be machine-to-machine connections, such as wearable devices
• Cisco forecasts an 18-fold growth in mobile traffic from wearable devices (most of it channeled through smartphones) from 2015 to 2019.
• Wearable device traffic growth will be fueled by a five-fold growth in the number of connected devices, reaching 578 million by 2019, up from 109 million in 2014.

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Accelerating and Innovating the Internet of Everything in Japan

After a whirlwind week in Tokyo, it’s clear that Japan – the world’s third largest economy — is embracing the potential economic value of the Internet of Everything (IoE). For Japan, we estimate an IoE opportunity of $870 million over the next decade (out of a global economic value of $19 trillion).

With its proud history of industry, technology and innovation leadership, Japan is an ideal location for Cisco’s 7th IoE Center of Innovation — a $20million investment for Cisco — which opened last Thursday with nine Japan-based ecosystem partners. The excitement is high around our open lab’s charter to bring together customers, industry partners, startups, accelerators, government agencies and research communities to collaborate on next-generation technology. Photos of the center’s opening are here.

Wim Tokyo 1

In Tokyo, we will be working with partners to develop Fog Computing solutions focused on Manufacturing, Sports and Entertainment and Public Sector. These Fog solutions extend cloud storage, computing and services to the edge of the network, a critical element of realizing value from IoE.

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Intercloud, The Next Internet Starts Here

Thirty years ago, two engineers – Cisco’s founders – solved a connectivity problem between two network islands on the Stanford University campus, and paved the way for three dramatic decades of Internet-driven innovation.

Today, there’s hardly an aspect of our lives that isn’t touched by the Internet. For large and mid-size enterprises, government and education, the Internet has forced major transitions and none has been more transformative than cloud.

Organizations are adopting cloud in all its forms – infrastructure-as-a-service to solve their workload requirements, software-as-a-service for new application needs – and they are leveraging the cloud to create new product and service innovations with mobile, collaboration and analytics solutions. According to industry analysts, the cloud market will top $144 billion in 2016 and has more than doubled since 2012. (Source: Cisco Market Estimates, July 2014)

The impact of cloud is unquestionable. Our customers and partners know they can leverage the cloud to fuel top-line growth by improving their business agility and reach, and by enabling new product service innovation for their customers and citizens. They also recognize that cloud can improve their bottom-line economics, foster innovation and drive economic growth and productivity.

But cloud is presenting as many challenges for IT departments and cloud service providers as it is opportunities.

Today, the lack of ability to connect public clouds, and to move workloads and associated policies between clouds, coupled with an inability to manage public and private clouds together as a single capability, prevents IT organizations from buying cloud services from any vendor they choose and managing these services as if they were part of their extended private cloud.

IT departments also need to enable business globally while operating within the constraints of national and regional regulations governing data privacy, security and data sovereignty. Today’s largely global (but not local) cloud solutions don’t provide this either.

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Away by the Bay at Cisco Live!

Wow! It’s been a whirlwind beginning to Cisco Live 2014. I’ve already met many partners and customers and we’re only about halfway through the week! Folks are excited to be part of such a huge event here in San Francisco.  In fact, check out this shot of folks streaming into the room for John Chambers’ keynote address yesterday.

Crowd ShotBefore John even took the stage, we’d already spent a lot of time talking with customers and partners about the new Solution Partner Program. This key piece of the Cisco Partner Ecosystem used to be known as the Cisco Developer Network (CDN). Arjun Lahiri, Senior Manager, Cloud and Ecosystem Strategy and Programs Group, took some time to really explain how CDN evolved into the Solution Partner Program and why those changes have occurred and how they affect partners. Be sure to read Arjun’s blog and get up to speed on the latest on the Solution Partner Program here at Cisco Live 2014. Read More »

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