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Our Ecosystem Begins Here @Ciscocloud

As Cisco prepares for Cisco Live Melbourne #clmel, I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight our @Ciscocloud Intercloud partnership with Telstra

The following Q&A session between executives of our partnered companies identifies the unique challenges of our current business environment and the rapidly changing needs of our customers. Interviewed by Stuart Robbins, the participants in our inaugural blog are Ken Owens, Cloud Services CTO from Cisco, and Tim Otten, GM Cloud Strategy and Platforms from Telstra.

Q: Cisco’s strategy is to create solutions built upon intelligent networks that solve our customers’ challenges. As a key technology partner, Telstra’s diverse customers present unique opportunities for a new generation of solutions for those customers – can you tell us about how our combined capabilities will help those customers be successful?

A:
[Otton, Tim J] Networks are increasingly important to the delivery of services as we shift to “the Cloud,” and the concurrent profusion of data, workforce mobility, distributed application environments, and the hybrid infrastructures supporting those applications. Both Cisco and Telstra are committed to delivering highly secure, high-performance intelligent network capabilities.

These networks must be thoroughly responsive to an ever-changing set of user and application requirements – adaptive, flexible, and resilient. Both companies have a rich tradition of global insight gained from a relentless focus on customer requirements.

[Owens, Ken] Telstra is one of the industry’s most advanced solution providers, with a noteworthy history of successful technology transformations in telecommunications. From the earliest days of IT outsourcing, and managed hosting, and now as we shift to the Cloud, Telstra has provided true leadership to the industry during these transformations.

Like Cisco, they view their customers’ strategic objectives as Priority 1 and will do whatever is necessary to make their customers successful. For more than 25 years, Cisco and Telstra have guided the market through each new technological shift, with exceptional people leading the way.

Q: One aspect of the changing enterprise landscape is the “blurred” boundaries between large enterprises in business ecosystems. While the basic principles remain important (resilient architectures, reliable networks, responsive applications), what are some of the emerging challenges in this “ecosystem first” world?

A:

[Otton, Tim J] The business landscape has changed. Cloud, Mobility, Social Media, advanced analytics, and open platforms are also changing the landscape for service creation and innovation. Increasingly, service creation will emerge both within and beyond (intra- and inter-organizational) boundaries to better serve a growing number of mobile users and a project-oriented workforce.

In order to support connectivity as well as enable full integration with many external partners and providers, businesses are now required to ‘open’ their IT environment. Increasingly, organizations are choosing to expose their own systems and proprietary data to third-parties, creating “greater value” by encouraging innovative use of a company’s intellectual assets. Software applications are distributed, both geographically and architecturally. All of these factors alter the connectivity/security paradigms of traditional enterprise IT.

[Owens, Ken] Tim is right on, and the exciting element of this model is that it’s driven by the customer! This is not a consumer fad or one-time remodel, this is the pace and speed by which business must adopting to the requirements of their customers and the rapidly changing marketplace. A successful business today requires a flexible set of services and capabilities to quickly adapt to this changing landscape. Together, Cisco and Telstra have a proven track record of enabling innovation to address the changing needs of the businesses we support.

Q: Providing exceptional products and services to Enterprise IT is familiar territory to both Cisco and Telstra, and this common ground is one reason why the Cisco-Telstra partnership makes great sense. As we move beyond IT, we’re also being asked to directly address the needs of business departments (marketing, product management, customer support). How do we adapt to meet those needs?

A:

[Otton, Tim J] We need to develop a deeper understanding of the different “lines of business” within the Enterprise. We need to better understand what drives their business and the market environments in which they operate. In other words, we need to become an enabler of business solutions rather than simply selling more technology. Our focus needs to be increasingly on the business outcomes we can deliver to our customers.
We need equip our sales teams to communicate those solutions, to be able to engage customers in conversations that start with business issues and proceed from there to provision enabling technologies rather than starting (and often finishing with) technology alone.
At the same time, we need to better support IT departments so that these services can be integrated into the overall Enterprise network architecture- – -ensuring that these distributed services are secure, and optimized to perform reliably. Telstra and Cisco need to be seen as enabling partners, and not just suppliers.

[Owens, Ken] The needs of the business can be vast, complicated, and rapidly evolving to meet the needs of a changing marketplace. Cisco and Telstra are leaders in business transformation. The key to success in this ever-changing environment is to provide leadership with speed, agility, innovative leadership to assist each customer’s ability to adapt to the changes. Of course, Tim’s right, we also need to help IT executives quickly transition not only their technology, but also their processes and practices.

Q: The recipe seems simple enough = one part: exceptional technology with the associated expertise, and one part: an evolved partnership methodology (i.e., Partnership 2.0) that will serve as the foundation for what our companies can accomplish together.

One last question. Imagine what success looks like for the joint Cisco-Telstra effort in two years: what are the core behaviors/values that we’ll be most proud to have embraced, when we glance back? In other words, what are the central organizational principles that will serve to anchor this new style of ecosystem development?

A:

[Otton, Tim J] My vision for the partnership is that we have developed an advanced understanding of the requirements of stakeholders – whether it be IT, LOB, or end-users – within the customers we served and are singularly focused on the business outcomes that we can jointly deliver for our customers.

[Owens, Ken] The demands of Enterprise 2.0 require an infrastructure that is both elastic and reliable, flexible yet secure. Organizations, too, will require those very characteristics. To accomplish this,“Governance 2.0” and “Partnership 2.0” become framework components of that new ecosystem in service of our customer’s transformed world. As Tim stated, the business outcomes and continuously delivering business value are the key principles.

Thank you Tim for you time to discuss the joint journey we are embarking on.

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Ready for Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015!

Brian's GarageIn just a couple of days, many of you will be taking planes, trains, and automobiles to sunny Barcelona. I see that the weather forecast is for 65ºF / 19ºC for the opening day of Mobile World Congress. I really appreciate how the MWC timeframe has gradually crept closer to Spring over these past few years. Maybe you are not paying attention to the weather as much as me. You would if you had the same view that I have out my window, where it is currently 20ºF / -6ºC. Yes, I should clean off my roof. But I do like that my garage roof serves as an historical record of the unmerciful winter we have had here in Boston in northeast U.S., where we have had over 100 inches / 250 cm of snow so far.

So my main point is, if you don’t go to MWC 2015 next week, you are going to miss Read More »

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Cisco Cloud Security Architecture: Un-Cloaking Invisible Threats

In the more than ten years, I have worked in developing security solutions, I have witnessed the steady evolution of security threats and the incredible strides made to combat them. Recent high profile security breaches have shown that a breach in security can have serious consequences.. It can lead to loss or destruction of business assets, bad publicity and its associated effect on a company’s brand, hefty regulatory fines, disruption of services and costs associated with numerous lawsuits. The main task of a hacker is to access business assets through the network without being detected. The threats are normally cloaked within ubiquitous traffic flows such as web or email. Whatever the nature of a threat, an attack leaves signatures behind that can be used to “un-cloak” the threat. Threat defense and visibility is the watchword.

It has been exhausting to many of us, to be constantly engaged in the never ending cat and mouse game we play to manage and detect cyber threats. When it comes to securing private and public clouds, a new generation of Read More »

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Carrier Wi-Fi: Consider More Than Speed

By Vince Pandolfi, Consulting Systems Engineer, Service Provider Vince Pandolfi The latest Wi-Fi physical layer standard 802.11ac, has been ratified and is enjoying widespread adpotion in the client device marketplace. The hype has been with us for a few years now proclaiming tremendous gains in throughput. The mechanisms 802.11ac uses to gain these speed improvements can also be used to improve client quality of experience and not necessarily just be used for higher data rates. The three key elements of a connect include distance, speed and reliability. These are in most cases mutually exclusive or at least have inverse relationships. You gain distance by trading throughput and reliabilty and gain Read More »

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Milan, Please Meet Open Network Architecture for Service Providers

By Igor Dayen, SP Product and Solutions Marketing

Igor-Dayen

When I look at the sky, I see an infinite number of stars. It is a moment of inspiration when I gaze at the sky in hope of spotting something miraculous. Looking at the Telecom industry and its new innovations, I feel the same. A new star is rising almost every day. Well … to find Cisco innovations and its stars look no further: the Service provider booth at Cisco Live Milan 2015 is bringing everything that you every wished to see under the stardom of the service provider. Please let me take you through the “starlog” of innovations and demos that will be available for you to engage in and learn about how they advance your business.

Stardate 2015. You may know that the Cisco NVI forecast predicts significant traffic growth and Moore’s Law has never failed us. Therefore Cisco’s service provider strategy is to stay ahead of the curve and deliver SP solutions to Read More »

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