Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Data Center and Cloud

The Swisscom Story: “Cisco Services Always Listened to Us”

May 13, 2013 at 7:00 am PST

By Adrian Flückiger, Head of Cloud Infrastructure Services – Corporate Business, SwisscomAdrianFluckiger

 

At Swisscom, we’ve encountered a challenge that should be familiar to telcoms everywhere. As more of our customers shift from landlines to mobile devices, and as the mobile market becomes more competitive and complex, we’re finding it necessary to create new revenue streams by offering a broader range of services. Two years ago, we confronted that challenge head-on with the introduction of a comprehensive cloud offering—our Dynamic Computing Service.

We developed our own customer-facing portal for this cloud offering, but we ran into serious limitations almost right away. The billing and fulfillment processes were insufficiently automated, and customers had very little transparency into the management of their cloud data. The simple fact is this: by attempting to create our own cloud infrastructure with no external assistance, we were stealing focus from our own areas of specialization. We needed a vendor with deep experience in deploying and optimizing cloud solutions. So we asked Cisco and two other top cloud vendors to engage in an intensive proof-of-concept to demonstrate their capabilities.

We assumed that some of our use cases would be too challenging for an external vendor, but Cisco proved otherwise. They delivered a truly dynamic, customizable solution to meet our complex needs. The result? We now offer a standardized catalog of 26 different cloud-based services, all managed through Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) software.

The key to the whole solution is the level of customization provided by Cisco Services. With their help, we’ve automated some of our most time-consuming processes, and we’ve gained greater visibility across the enterprise from a single portal. We can now provision servers in minutes rather than weeks. We can also offer our customers more flexible billing options, billing them on a day-to-day basis rather than monthly or quarterly. That level of flexibility and value is a major differentiator for us, because it really highlights both the quality and affordability of our services.

For me, the best thing about this whole process is that Cisco Services always listened to us. They were open to input. We learned a lot from each other, which is exactly as it should be.

To find out more about how Swisscom worked with Cisco Services to reduce costs while achieving greater agility, read the case study

Tags: , , ,

How Can Connected Mobile Experiences Help You?

You saw the double-announcement Thursday--Not only is MGM betting big on Cisco to transform the guest experience, but we at Cisco are taking the missive of helping our customers create connected mobile experiences to the next level with Web engagement.

At this point you’re probably thinking: How exactly does this apply to me?

Good thing we have three industry-specific webinars for your convenience.

Choose the industry that applies to you and take 30 minutes to see how Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences can help YOU engage your passengers, customers, guests, and more to boost revenue and build loyalties like never before.

Intrigued? Check us out at http://www.cisco.com/go/cmx or visit the announcement of the new web engagement platform to see how we can help you transform your business engagement model.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cbeyond: Taking Our SMB Cloud Offering to the Next Level

May 9, 2013 at 5:00 am PST

By Chris Ortbals, Senior Vice President, Product Management , Cbeyond Inc.ChrisOrtbals

 

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: , , , , ,

Next Phase of Transforming the Mobile Experience

Like a lot of us in IT, I’m into electronics. I enjoy visiting stores to get the actual hands-on experience of the product – but I admit I rarely buy on the spot. Why? I want to make sure I know what I’m buying, and frankly, that I’m getting the best deal. I either have to do research beforehand – read reviews, check prices, and clip coupons -- or search on my mobile device while I’m in the store. Depending on the results, I could either be heading to another store or heading home to make the purchase online.

This week, Cisco introduced a new way to transform that in-venue experience through Connected Mobile Experiences Web engagement. This enables organizations to communicate with opt-in mobile users – shoppers, guests, visitors -- through their mobile browser, right there in the venue.

Location-aware menus, banners, and icons as well as content-aware search enable organizations to provide venue-specific information – such as nearby dining or amenities -- as well as any information the user may find valuable based on their context: where they are, how long they are there, whether they are a new or repeat visitor, or even what sites they are visiting. This customized communication can dynamically change when the user’s context changes.

Imagine merging the online with the brick and mortar shopping experience – if I’m standing in a particular area looking at a product, the location-aware menu can provide me a link to user reviews of that particular product. And if I’m searching online for the best price, imagine the store issuing a web notification for a price match minus 5% -- I’m sold! Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

MGM Resorts International Bets on Cisco; Double Downs on Wi-Fi Connectivity

Planning your summer travel and vacation destinations? Where are you headed and what kind of resort experience will you consider ideal? At this year’s Interop Conference in Las Vegas, the Cisco Enterprise Networking Group unveiled its new marquee customer – MGM Resorts International – who has upped the wireless ante to ensure its visitors have access to the information they need, literally at their fingertips.

At MGM Resorts, they continue to push the boundaries of creativity and innovation to deliver the best possible experience for their guests. John Bollen, MGM Resort’s Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer, is always looking for ways to take what they do and make it even better. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,