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Software-Enabled Services Create Lucrative New Partner Opportunities

When I meet with partners around the globe, I hear a steady drum beat that sounds like this: Customers are shifting their focus from “make my network work” to “give me operational outcomes.” This is a clear sign that customers are moving from an IT-centric view of networking to a business-centric view of the value that networking enables. In short, customers now expect services tied to business outcomes.

This is good news for several reasons. First, this outcomes-based market is much bigger than the support market. Second, services delivery will increasingly rely on centralized, non-labor-based tools and assets. (My boss likes to remind customers that we can no longer service a car without software.) What do these changes mean for those of us in services? The answer is clear: From here on, success in network life cycle services will require tools, resources, and intellectual capital-based assets.  And I assure you that there are many lucrative services opportunities worth exploring. This is especially true for those of you willing to expand your services practice with software-enabled services. – which is exactly what I want to take up in this second installment of my blog series. Read More »

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CMX Analytics: An Inside Scoop on CiscoLive! Milan #CLEUR

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Today is the final day of a very busy and successful Cisco Live Milan 2014. Read my initial observations from the event earlier this week.

As the event draws to a close, lets look at some of the location analytics available via Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences solution (CMX) and perhaps try to answer some of the following questions about the event.

For this I will just focus on the World of Solutions Show floor -- approximately 800,000 sq feet in size, and containing all the Cisco Booths and the partner displays.

  1. How many people actually visited the world of solutions?
  2. How many people did  the different Cisco Booths attract?
  3. Where was the busiest part of the show floor?

These and other insights can be derived from looking at the business intelligence that emerges from CMX. Read More »

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Looking for Santa? Use Cisco Location-Based Wi-Fi!

As children all around the world are eagerly anticipating Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve, children in hospitals around the Americas were able to get their wish list in before the big day. This month, Cisco teamed up with several children’s hospitals with a Santa Connection project, which allowed children not well enough to visit Santa onsite to still communicate their wishes to him from their bedside using Cisco video.

I was able to work with one of these hospitals, Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore, to augment the Santa Connection experience with a ‘Santa tracking’ app, which allowed children to know how close Santa was to making his virtual appearance to individual rooms in the hospital. An elf traveling ahead of the Santa Video team carried an iPad displaying a live webpage showing the location of the much-anticipated video visit. Here is a screenshot of the app experience:

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Utilizing the Connected Mobile Experiences solution, which includes the REST APIs provided by the Mobility Services Engine (MSE), we were able to show the children where the Santa team was in relation to them -- with a Santa icon where Santa’s video crew was and a smiley face showing the child’s current location. Read More »

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When Your Collaboration Infrastructure Starts Making Odd Noises

December 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm PST

If your car is overdue for a tune-up, it may let you know in unexpected (and unsettling) ways — rough handling, sluggish acceleration, and even an odd (“that can’t be good”) noise from under the hood. If you’re like me, you don’t want to find yourself waiting on the side of the road for a tow truck. You schedule your car for regular tune-ups to make sure your tires aren’t worn, the wheels are aligned, no fluids are leaking, and the engine is performing to the right specifications.

Just like your car, a collaboration infrastructure needs regular tune-ups. In fact, just like your car, a collaboration infrastructure will let you know that it’s not running optimally. But by the time you actually notice the performance problems with collaboration applications, the odds are that those problems have already started causing issues with your end-users.

Traditionally, optimization has been looked at (even by Cisco in the early days) as the final step in the deployment cycle. But IT projects queue up so fast that optimization for the last project may not happen because the next project is already underway. Today, however, we look at optimization in an Read More »

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Cisco Partner Weekly Rewind – November 22, 2013

November 22, 2013 at 9:15 am PST

Partner-Weekly-Rewind-v2Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:

Off the Top

As the Vice President of Worldwide Services Partner Organization at Cisco, Raja Sundaram’s team develops and executes Cisco Services partner programs, go-to-market strategies, and sales engagement models. This week on the Channels Blog, Raja started a new series of blogs about the huge industry disruption taking place and how partners can capitalize on it through professional services.

Raja realizes there are big challenges around cloud, virtualization, big data, programmable networks, new consumption models and changing buying centers. He takes a look back at Partner Summit 2013 and how everything must come together to deliver the Internet of Everything (IoE). Read More »

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