By Chris Ortbals, Senior Vice President, Product Management , Cbeyond Inc.
At the company’s inception in 1999, Cbeyond saw the potential in using IP technology to deliver enterprise-class productivity enhancing communications services to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Today, as a cloud and communications services provider, Cbeyond continues to live up to its brand promise as the technology ally to small and mid-sized businesses,
As Cbeyond witnessed the business value large enterprises were achieving from cloud computing, we sought to devise a new strategy and products that would offer our SMB customers the same benefits in a secure, reliable and affordable way. Our competitors typically offer SMBs a commodity-grade or exclusively self-service type of cloud offering. However, we wanted to go further and provide a cloud service that would not only support end-to-end enterprise-grade production applications but also deliver a much superior experience for SMBs.
Our initial expansion into the cloud came with the 2010 acquisitions of MaximumASP, a hosting provider, and Aretta, a network-hosted VoIP provider. We integrated and enhanced the technologies we acquired into TotalCloud, our flexible and highly customizable cloud services platform.
We’ve had a successful relationship with Cisco since 1999, when we launched the first Cisco-powered 100% IP network delivering services to SMBs. So naturally we considered partnering with Cisco as we made the move into the cloud services market.
In the search for the right partner, we did our due diligence and evaluated three vendors. However, we found that only Cisco could help us deploy, provision, test and implement a cloud platform that not only met our requirements but that could also be launched within our aggressive timeframe.
Our TotalCloud Data Center, a service platform for public and private cloud solutions, is powered by Cisco technology, with Cisco Unified Computing System™, Cisco UCS Blade servers, and Cisco Nexus switches. This solution provides us with a repeatable, scalable architecture that can be used in our current and future data centers.
We collaborated with Cisco Services, for Data Center Optimization and Network Optimization Services since network performance is critical to running production applications in the cloud.
Other vendors would have pieced a cloud offering together from multiple sources so going with Cisco as a single vendor offered a clear advantage over using multiple vendors to accomplish the same task. Also, many cloud platforms are built like an island with limited integration into other products used by a service provider, however the Cisco offering is the complete opposite. Cisco has architected its technology in partnership with us so that their technology not only supports how we want our business to operate but how we deliver services and value to our entire customer base.
And partnering with Cisco paid off. With the help of Cisco Services, Cbeyond’s time-to-market for our cloud offering was reduced by two months, and we were able to secure new revenue opportunities earlier than expected.
Read more in this new case study: Services Provider Builds New Cloud Infrastructure for SMBs
Tags: Cbeyond, Cisco, Cloud Computing, service providers, services, smb
In the midst of tremendous disruption, it is impossible to tell where the global media industry is ultimately heading. But a recent analysis from the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) explores four possible future scenarios for the media industry. While they do not “predict” the future, the scenarios help build our understanding of possible outcomes — and how various industry players could be affected.
The Shape of Things To Come: Four Scenarios
We explored the ways certain industry developments could swing future outcomes. Combining these drivers into logical groupings (consumer behavior, regulatory requirements, technology, and macroeconomic conditions), we were able to define the following four scenarios, as shown in Figure 1. These scenarios are differentiated by consumer demand, industry structure, and content supply:
- Dark Ages — low demand, consolidated industry, and relatively low content supply
- Survival of the Fittest — low demand, fragmented industry, and high content supply
- Golden Age of Content — high demand, consolidated industry, and controlled content supply
- Wonderland — high demand, fragmented industry, and high content supply
Obviously, each of the scenarios will have different winners and losers. The financial impact and the implications for players across the industry value chain will substantially change by scenario. And in each scenario, distributors and infrastructure providers will need to consider different types of investments. Consequently, each type of player will need to adapt its competitive responses to the future scenario taking shape.
Figure 1. Four Future Scenarios Are Based on Various Groupings of Industry Drivers.
Source: Cisco IBSG, 2013
Following are examples of how two future scenarios could play out: Read More »
Tags: broadband, Cisco, cloud, cloud services, content, IBSG, infrastructure, media, media industry, monetization, over-the-top, regulatory requirements, service providers, video
Today’s world is characterized by what I call the “mobile explosion”—an environment defined by mobile cloud becoming a platform for delivering everything. It is a world of heterogeneous networks, licensed macro small cell networks, and unlicensed small cell networks (Wi-Fi for example), all seamlessly combined. In this world, however, I believe we are facing a mobile paradox: on the one hand, there is a staggering demand for data from our smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices; on the other hand, the telecommunications industry is grappling with business and monetization challenges around profitability, how to build up these networks fast enough, and competition from over-the-top (OTT) operators. But, operators are struggling with building the business case and understanding how to make Wi-Fi pay.
The much quoted Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) predicts that global mobile data traffic will increase 13-fold from 2012 to 2017, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month. In parallel, the use of unlicensed small cell networks (Wi-Fi) for Internet access is exploding as more mobile devices are Wi-Fi-enabled, the number of public hotspots expands, and user acceptance grows. Until recently, most technologists and mobile industry executives viewed Wi-Fi as the “poor cousin” to licensed mobile communications. And they most certainly never saw any role for Wi-Fi in mobile networks or their business. The explosion of mobile data traffic has changed all of that. Most mobile operators now realize that offloading data traffic to Wi-Fi can, and must, play a significant role in helping them avoid clogged networks and unhappy customers.
In the “Business Models and Monetization Video” in Big Thinkers in Small Cells, my colleagues and I discuss revenue opportunities and challenges mobile operators face today with small cells, both licensed and unlicensed. Mobile operators Read More »
Tags: Cisco, cloud, data offload, IBSG, macro small cell networks, mobile, mobile cloud, mobile operators, mobile providers, mobility, Networks, offload, operators, service providers, small cell, small cell networks, small cells, Small Cells Big Thinkers, wi-fi, Wi-Fi business models, Wi-Fi providers
Until recently, the global media industry had been relatively stable, with a robust value chain and well-defined business models.
Today, multiple factors are tearing at the fabric of those finely tuned business models: new players such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, and Apple offer consumers new ways of accessing professional video content; technology standards are in flux; and regulatory and macroeconomic factors undermine consumer and investor confidence.
Last week, more than 90,000 media and entertainment officials from 150 countries descended on Las Vegas for NAB Show, the annual National Association of Broadcasters conference. I attended to share some of predictions for the industry that we have developed in the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG). In particular, I spoke at a breakfast briefing for CxO-level executives about the impactful yet uncertain effects of four key drivers—consumer behavior, regulatory changes, technology, and macroeconomics—in an effort to better define their media-industry disruptions: Read More »
Tags: 3D, Cisco, cloud, IBSG, media, media industry, nab, NAB Show, national association of broadcasters, on-demand, service providers, streaming, targeted advertising, user generated content, video
By Uwe Lambrette and Evgenia Ryabchikova, IBSG Service Provider
Cloud is no longer a nascent market. The explosive growth of public-cloud providers —coupled with the relevance of the network in the delivery of cloud and IT services — has led many service providers (SPs) to treat this game-changing transition as a natural extension of their core business. While some SP cloud efforts have fallen short in customer demand and adoption, Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) believes there are significant opportunities for SPs in the cloud. To succeed, SPs need to tackle the cloud market in conjunction with a professional-services offer because many enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) do not have all the skills to design, build, migrate, and operate their own cloud solutions.
Based on 15 market interviews in Europe and emerging markets, as well as deep-dive project engagements, Cisco IBSG has explored why professional services are needed, what they should look like, and how they can be implemented. This FastFacts focuses on the SP opportunity to target cloud professional services to SMBs.
SMBs Have Specific Needs for Cloud-Oriented Professional Services Read More »
Tags: Cisco, cloud, IBSG, ICT, Professional Services, service providers, smb