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Sky Turns Its Vision of the Next-Generation TV Experience to Reality

Yves PadrinesBy Yves Padrines, Vice President, Global Service Provider EMEAR, Cisco

It’s official: Sky, Europe’s leading entertainment company with 21 million customers across five territories, is set to launch Sky Q, a next generation TV home entertainment system that will reinvent the way customers watch TV. Sky Q combines live, recorded and on-demand TV, accessible on multiple screens anywhere around the home or on-the-go, in a seamless experience Sky calls Fluid ViewingTM.

It’s also official that Cisco is Sky’s choice to secure that offering, with our VideoGuard Everywhere (VGE) video service protection solution.

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This is not the first time that Sky has innovated with a combination of broadcast, broadband and advanced video technologies to provide premium TV experiences to its customers. Nor is Cisco a newcomer to this arena. We are a long-standing technology partner, working closely with Sky to define and implement video software solutions that help turn Sky’s vision to reality.

So what makes Sky Q different?

Consider the Read More »

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Security Insights with British Telecom

The explosive growth of video, mobility, Internet-of-Things, and cloud services has brought about enormous business opportunities. Service Providers are adopting open and programmable network architectures that increase business agility and lower costs. However, adversaries are increasingly exploiting the growing attack surface presented by these new services and expanded network connections.

British Telecom, the largest service provider in the UK, has recently announced a partnership with Cisco to deliver threat-centric security solutions based on our joint expertise and leadership. By partnering with Cisco, BT will strengthen network and advanced threat protection capabilities and automate its threat intelligence to detect, analyze and remediate attacks, while providing the same security capabilities in offerings to their customers, with BT Assure Cyber, BT’s Managed Security Portfolio.

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Les Anderson, VP of BT Cyber, and ask him how BT manages security to protect their networks and their customers and to get his take on our new partnership.

Sam Rastogi – Cisco Security: What changes in the threat landscape are you observing?
Les Anderson: Over the last 13 months, BT has experienced a 1,000% increase in threats. We’ve seen our networks targeted in ways that we haven’t seen before. There is unprecedented speed in the innovation, resiliency and evasiveness of cyber attacks.

CS: How do you counter these threats?
LA: Partnership with Cisco for threat-centric security and consolidating where it makes sense for our business and our customers.

CS: What security technologies are top of mind for you?
LA: We need threat-centric technologies that are able to stop threats. We look to solutions, such as ASA with FirePOWER Services, Advanced Malware Protection (AMP), and Next-Generation IPS (NGIPS) – all, working together. They amount to a differentiated capability in the market – to see and stop more threats for us and our customers.

CS: How do you view security as a growth engine for organizations?
LA: BT doesn’t compromise when it comes to prioritizing our own cybersecurity; security can be a growth engine for business like BT to take full advantage of today’s opportunities to be more productive, make organizations more efficient and customers happier by keeping systems — both ours and our customers — secure.  By relying on threat-centric security, we’re thus able to focus on our core business goals, making security a differentiator. Investing in security in turn inspires further trust in doing business with us and with our customers.

CS: Why did you choose to partner with Cisco? And why now?
LA: Cisco has made smart security acquisitions and technology innovations that provide a significant differentiation in the market. I’m seeing that Cisco has the ability to deploy security products into SDN and virtualized environments to unlock additional value that is critical to security. Lastly our joint portfolio has allowed us to sell the largest cyber strategic security capability globally to a nation state. This is all possible with the strong partnership we have in place together.

Watch this video to learn how BT is taking advantage of security solutions from Cisco to protect its own environment and its customers:

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Cisco’s Connected Home…Reimagined

SteveGGuest Blog by: Steve Gorretta, Manager, Product Management, Cisco Service Provider Software and Solutions

When you hear Cisco leadership discuss the transformation of our business and the drive to be the #1 IT company, you will no doubt hear some recurring themes around cloud management, big data analytics, security, and Internet of Things (IoT). These themes play a major role in how Cisco drives value across every major market, and the same can be said about a space to which we can all relate: the Connected Home.

As I’ve discussed before, the home network is a constantly evolving intersection of devices, applications and content that provide both convenience and confusion for consumers. The emergence of the IOT-enabled home (or “smarthome”) means even more devices, including appliances and sensors, are now joining that landscape. Our strategy at Cisco is to provide service providers with applications that simplify and enhance the connected home experience, and allow them to monetize new opportunities that emerge as the home evolves. We already manage many millions of subscriber home devices with Cisco Prime Home, and we are expanding the portfolio with some exciting new applications that build on that strategy.

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At CES this January, we will be demonstrating the entire suite of Cisco Connected Home software applications, which are geared towards helping service providers and their subscribers gain better visibility, security, and reliability from their digital home. One new offer, Cisco Home Guard™, provides complete cybersecurity protection for all devices in the home, and perfectly complements the monitored home security offered by some ISPs. We are also launching Connected Analytics for Home, part of Cisco’s broader Connected Analytics initiative, which enables real-time and historical analysis on a wide range of connectivity and security issues within the home.

In addition to these applications, Read More »

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Succeeding in the Age of Digital Disruption & Complexity

This year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), 3rd Platform technologies (i.e. cloud, analytics, mobility, social) have been responsible for one-third of all IT spending and account for virtually 100% of all IT spending growth.

As more enterprises engage in digitally collaborative partnerships, we’ll see more dollars being allocated to ensure companies can keep up with the diverse and ever-changing technology of the day. With greater collaboration comes greater complexity.

Think about it. Every time an enterprise adds a new service provider or the service provider adds new partners the dynamics of the support ecosystem changes. The ability to actively track provider performance for service level agreement (SLA) adherence and vendor management becomes more and more difficult. But, enterprises can’t be expected to manage this multiparty dance alone.

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Service Providers Are Part of the Equation

That’s why today enterprises are looking at IT differently and rightfully so. In this age of 3rd Platform technologies, enterprises want and need their IT departments and service partners to operate seamlessly while supporting overall business goals. This requires an effective service integration and management (SIAM) system that, at a minimum does three things:

  • Remove silos. The infrastructures of today and tomorrow are interconnected. Therefore, it is vital for support processes to be holistic to achieve end-to-end visibility.
  • Automate. Given the speed (e.g., cloud provisioning, deprovisioning of compute power) and scale (212 billion devices connected by 2020, according to IDC’s latest Internet of Things research) of change, the SP has no choice but to automate processes to ensure service-level agreement (SLA) consistency at scale.
  • Facilitate decision making. Next-generation IT infrastructure should make it simpler for managers to make informed business decisions in real time.

According to an IDC technology spotlight report, Automated Service Management: Accelerating Enterprise Insight, Efficiency, and Action for Service Providers, there is opportunity for service providers to become strategic partners and trusted advisors to enterprises by leveraging these three pillars. Furthermore, research has found that service providers who are integrated with their customers enjoy loyalty ratings 25% higher than those that are not.1

Case in Point: ServiceGrid in Action

December 2015_photo3Swissgrid, a service provider of Switzerland’s energy company, was in search of a solution that would allow automated and accelerated service management processes. They wanted to integrate their internal service management, CRM systems, and service partners on one central platform to ensure efficient collaboration across the service chain.

The use of Cisco ServiceGrid enabled Swissgrid to automate processing of service requests, which improved the service quality and the efficiency of troubleshooting. But the benefits didn’t stop there. They were also able to:

  • Automate complex and manual provider relationships
  • Enable end- to-end SLA governance and automated reporting across the ecosystem
  • Drive faster incident resolution

“We recovered our investment within the first year and we will continue to benefit from Cisco ServiceGrid capabilities in our current ecosystem and will look to ways to expand,” said Hans Roth, Head of Service Management, Swissgrid.

Where could you see improved results in the integration of your support services? Let’s talk about it. You can reach out and learn more about ServiceGrid via email or by visiting our ServiceGrid website.

1Source: The Outsourcing Institute

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Anywhere, Anytime Mobile Enterprise Access Using NFV and Policy

 Maywun Blog_25NOV2015I remember when I started working, laptops were something that executives could borrow from the company.  Those laptops were clunky and connected via dial-up to the company’s modem banks, but they allowed us to continue to stay productive even when we traveling to visit customer sites.  Over time, laptops became more prevalent, allowing us to work from anywhere with the click of a simple virtual private network (VPN) client and an Internet connection.  And now, that VPN client is available on mobile devices to enable me to connect from anywhere, at anytime, on any device.

Enterprises are taking the next step beyond VPNs and are purchasing dedicated mobile network services from their Mobile Service Provider partner.  With the emergence of such private enterprise virtual mobile networks and the increased prevalence of hetnet services offerings (corporate Wi-Fi, community Wi-Fi, and cellular), Cisco Policy Suite, with such capabilities like access selection, can be delivered in such virtual corporate networks.  Therefore, corporate devices and private devices can always benefit from always-best connected experiences.   Any enterprise-issued device can easily connect to the enterprises’ mobile network and access internal information and applications quickly and securely, and with the appropriate Quality of Service in line with their SLA with the Mobile Operator.  At the same time, employees can purchase their own device, following the trend of bring your own device (BYOD) and connect to the private mobile network using a VPN client and an access network discovery and selection function (ANDSF) client.  Read More »

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