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.
When was the last time you turned on your new gadget, opened an app, or logged onto a website and found that you needed to attend a training course before you could use it effectively?
At times, we in the IT industry fall into the trap that we need the most advanced technical capabilities. After all, this is the great force that has produced numerous inventions and has made our lives better. However, when we focus too much on technical details rather than meeting our users’ needs, we fail to deliver not only for our customers but also for our business.
The IT team at a major global manufacturer recently told me about their company’s major investment in user experience design, because it is important for their brand image and business success. They are applying user-centered design not only to the products they make, but also to the IT systems they implement in-house. Even the U.S. government has a usability and user-centered design practice under http://www.usability.gov/basics/ucd/.
This year, our software development team embarked on a user experience update for our IT service catalog software by applying the user-centered design principle. We are showcasing this new user interface and introducing a new product name for the software – Cisco Prime Service Catalog – at Cisco Live Orlando this week.
Here is a preview of the next-generation user interface for Cisco Prime Service Catalog:
This new user experience highlights the services that end users may be interested in, with lists like “Most Popular Services”. If a user has a certain model of IP Phone, the service catalog may feature associated items such as a compatible headset. This familiar ecommerce experience is still governed by the service catalog’s entitlement and approval process, so the service owner has full control over service consumption. User experiences like this will help transform employees’ impression of their IT department. Service providers will also find that they can configure this new user interface to portray the brand image and customer experience they want to project.
I introduced the Cisco Domain TenSM framework for data center and cloud transformation back in December, and after my previous blog discussing “Domain 4: the User Portal“, it’s now time to discuss Domain 5, which considers Service Catalog and Management. In this post, I’d like to illustrate the important, central role the service catalog has in data center transformation, and also discuss some of the key challenges, considerations and deliberations you should go through as you specify the requirements for, and ongoing evolution of, your IT service catalog. I’ll also point you to a free white paper from our Cisco Services experts.
Cisco Domain Ten -- Highlighting Domain 5: Service Catalog and Management
This week at the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas, Cisco Services is unveiling Cisco Domain Ten(SM) – Cisco’s Framework for Simplifying Data Center and Cloud Transformation.
Cisco Domain Ten can be applied to a diverse range of data center projects -- from cloud and desktop virtualization to application migration and is equally applicable whether your data center is in enterprise businesses, public sector organizations or service providers. The video here describes how we apply the Cisco Domain Ten to the private cloud use case, as one example. We’ll discuss additional use cases in future blogs and associated collateral that I’ll point you to.
Born from our extensive experience over the past years in helping customers transform their data centers, based upon the many cloud deployments -- private and public, enterprise, public sector and service provider -- that we’ve enabled over the past few years, we’ve formulated this comprehensive framework to help you transform your data center and guide new initiatives including cloud, virtual desktop, application migration, and data center consolidation. The Cisco Domain Ten framework covers ten key areas -- domains -- that -- based upon our experience -- are critical to consider, plan for and address as part of your data center and cloud transformational journey, and is illustrated in the diagram below. Relating this framework to other key components of Cisco’s data center strategy, you can think of the Cisco Unified Data Center as the what of the data center, whereas Cisco Domain Ten complements this by guiding you on the how (to transform).
Cisco Domain Ten - Simplifying Data Center Transformation
In my journeys of talking to IT organizations I come across individuals who really stand out in their drive and passion to transform their organization and achieve a pragmatic cloud for their stakeholders. This is the third in a series of Blogs on the Superheroes of the Cloud. What makes these individuals and their organizations special is that they distinguish their organizations by having a unique angle to their Journey to the Cloud. I won’t spell out the exact formula but I will offer some tidbits on why I am impressed by these superheroes.
Who said that building a cloud operating model is easy? It is not. It takes complete focus on the end goal and a systematic approach to defining the many levels and subsystems of the cloud management and automation framework. It takes lots of time learning from missteps and successes. You are pressured to hasten the timeline and deliver under budget. You have to be a visionary and yet be the most pragmatic individual on the block.
When Cisco Intelligent Automation added Cloud Automation to our core DNA, we looked for individuals in our services organization who would stand up and be the original builders and architects of the pragmatic clouds for our customers. They would train an entire group of people within Cisco and at our partners to build those clouds. Their students became teachers in their own right.