A Game changer occurs when something that is thought about enables competitive advantages that were previously unachievable. Ideas that level the playing field or outpace the competition don’t come along every day. The Cloud is considered a game changer for service providers (SPs) enterprise and consumer customers alike. It’s a solution offering mutual advantage to all participants. There are so many people writing about it that we’re almost all becoming cloud-weary.
But like every good idea, execution is the key. If the Cloud cannot be leveraged by businesses profitably then the scorecard doesn’t go positive - and in the case of service providers the scorecard is based on new revenue generating services, faster ways to get there, new levels of customer satisfaction, new ways to trim costs and new business opportunities.
For enterprises, using an SP or hybrid-Cloud approach offers new ways to cost reduce IT budgets and concentrate limited human capital on their core business offers. Mobile workers and teleworkers, can access resources at their fingertips while branch offices are linked to scalable, virtually unlimited resource pools via the network.
Cloud offers SMBs a way to compete head-to-head with Fortune 1000s using new pay-as-you-go (or a pay-as-you-grow) business models. Applications that were unaffordable are now available on-demand.
Cisco Unified Service Delivery is helping Service Providers change their game when it comes to the Cloud. Service providers need a flexible, dynamic solution that enables on-demand service delivery. They need to integrate pools of resources within, across and beyond the data center and Cisco USD is the industry’s most complete end-to-end solution. The ability to manage a cloud solution from the data center all the way to the end point while applying the right QoS and security and meeting numerous other parameters will be critical metrics for success.
There has been a lot of buzz recently about a second OAM (Operations, Administration, and Maintenance) solution for MPLS-TP that will cause interoperability problems between MPLS-TP and MPLS. It is accurate that there is an alternative OAM based on ITU-T Y.1731 (Ethernet OAM) proposed by a number of vendors and countries and indeed, it will cause interoperability issues. As a strong believer in standards, I certainly hope that a second approach does not occur because vendors and customers do not need the additional cost burden that a lack of interoperability causes. The fact is that only the draft recommendation for MPLS-TP OAM based on Y.1731 has begun the first step in a very long approval ITU process -- but nothing more – and in my estimates will take well over a year and could easily take up to two years to standardize. IETF MPLS OAM is widely deployed in MPLS networks today and will simply be extended as MPLS-TP is deployed as a next generation transport solution. In fact, recent interoperability testing of MPLS-TP took place at the MPLS World Congress earlier this month in Paris.
I believe that after careful consideration most operators will see the benefit of having a single end-to-end methodology to operate and manage converged packet optical transport networks, which MPLS-TP using MPLS OAM provides. Operators who select another method that is perceived to meet their short term needs now my ultimately learn that it fails to provide everything they had expected, and that having multiple OAM methods (one for Ethernet and another for MPLS) is not cost effective. It will be interesting to see what happens moving forward. At the very least, operators should make an informed decision on which approach is right for them.
Have you ever wished you could watch the news on the bathroom mirror while you get ready for work? Wave your hand to order a pizza from an irresistible commercial? Not only watch shows, but smell, feel, and taste them, too? Turn your TV viewing into an immersive experience that allows you to engage with characters outside of the storyline and see additional scenes based on your profile and preferences? Well, you might be able to do these things and more in the not-too-distant future.
Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) interviewed 50 TV experts and examined three industry drivers -- technology, consumer behavior, and business models -- to paint a picture of what the future of TV will look like. Our point of view offers the first holistic vision of the future across all key dimensions of the television industry and sheds new light on the likelihood and timing of innovation.
Today, I unveiled our predictions on what the future of television might look like during my keynote presentation at OTTCon -- a trade show that hosts executives from the most innovative technology, media, and entertainment companies including PayTV operators, content producers, consumer electronics manufacturers, media aggregators and service providers.
The energy last week in Barcelona was electric. 61,000 people entered the halls of the Fira for Mobile World Congress 2011, and it was perfect timing for Cisco to unveil its Service Provider Wi-Fi solution. The critical need for offloading cellular data traffic to Wi-Fi is only growing, with Cisco’s Virtual Networking Index predicting global mobile data traffic will increase 26-fold between 2010 and 2015. In fact, Cisco provided free Wi-Fi coverage for approximately 10% of the Fira center, offloading over 1 TB of data to Wi-Fi in four days—and that was only 10% of the venue.
Convergence is everything. There were crowds of people using their smart devices – emailing, blogging, tweeting and texting between meetings. To provide seamless, everywhere connectivity Cisco announced the new Aironet 1550 Series Outdoor Access Point both with 802.11n and CleanAir technology. Interest at the show for this new product was strong. Mobile operators from around the globe stopped by the show floor to understand the solution offerings from Cisco.
Cisco CleanAir technology showcased how service providers could gain visibility into the RF spectrum to manage interference and prevent unexpected downtime. And most importantly, offers new levels of security, performance protection and policy enforcement.
Chances are you’re looking for ways to innovate, differentiate and monetize your offerings —who isn’t? Then look no further than Managed Services—Cisco’s Managed Services Channel Program can help you provide value to your customers, while helping you drive deals.
So how does that work? I got the chance to sit down with Bob Gault, VP of Worldwide Service Provider Channels, and he filled me in on what’s going on with Managed Services and Service Provider Channels as a route to market, and how you can take advantage of more deals out there today.
Here’s what Bob had to say.
Want to learn more about the details? Here’s what you need to know about the big topics and trends in Managed Services right now, and how Cisco can help you capitalize on those trends. Read More »