Guest blog by Alison O’Brien, Marketing Manager
Following-up on the recent successful announcement of the Evolved Programmable Network Manager application (EPN Manager), we caught up with JL Valente, Vice President of Product Management for Cisco’s Cloud and Virtualization Group. He shared his thoughts on how EPN Manager can be used to manage converged, packet optimized optical transport and Carrier Ethernet networks, as well as enable organizations to address key business initiatives, including:
- Improving business agility (and responsiveness) to market changes and transitions such as explosive traffic growth, packet optical network convergence and new business models prompted by over-the-top (OTT) entrants
- Simplifying the overall approach to business operations by eliminating complex management systems and error-prone manual processes
- More efficiently managing the time and manpower required to support daily network management tasks such as network provisioning, troubleshooting, and proactive network assurance.
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Tags: agility, cloud, EPN Manager, esp, evolved programmable network, evolved services platform, JL Valente, management, Service Provider, simplicity
We are back from the break with everyone’s favorite topic, simplicity in the data center. Specifically addressed in this episode, VCE’s Jeramiah Dooley (@jeramiah_clt) and Gartner’s Jeffrey Brooks (@JeffintheFM) take on converged management.
Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:
- Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
- Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
- Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
- Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
- Practice drawing unicorns
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Tags: abstraction, converged infrast, converged management, data center, engineers unplugged, integrated stack, simplicity, VCE
Less than a Third, and Less than Half.
I was reminiscing with a friend recently about NRF shows past, and the graveyard of consumer-facing retail technology ideas.
Yikes. Lots of ghosts. Even a few zombie ideas that refuse to die (cart tablets, anyone?). The big question is why – with the exception of self-service – have so few new “breakthrough” ideas found acceptance?
Here’s a hypothesis: Caught in an ever-fast cycle of innovation, the sales and engineering departments – understandably – always seek more. More headroom. More functionality. More interoperability.
We dream of the possible. We dream of platforms, of vendor lock-in, of recurring streams of high-margin revenue, of bosses pinning ribbons to our medaled chests. Ignore the cost implications for a moment. (As grave as they may be, given the expense of rolling something out to all stores.)
Here’s what we too often forget: Shoppers dream of ease and simplicity.
A 2009 McKinsey study on consumers’ use of electronics devices sheds some light on the matter. Less than one-third of all consumers use the advanced features of any CE device – and less than one-half even know that the features exist.
Allow those factoids to simmer for a moment. Think of the hours of brilliant engineering innovation that most consumers simply ignore – that for most is too complicated, too complex. Brilliant engineering innovation that brings joy to the engineer, but immediate dismissive frustration from the consumer who simply wants to watch a movie.
Simplicity is the byword of the McKinsey paper. Simplicity in functionality. Simplicity in usability. A quick glance, and you know how to use it and what to do. A quick glance, and you know why it matters. The learning curve: a straight line north.
But it’s not just simplicity. Just as important is the usability – perhaps defined for retail as simplicity in context. Who’ll use it? When? Why? To what benefit? Consider the mother-of-two-in-a-hurry at the modern mega-grocery/mass retailer. Consider, for a moment, the value of a cart tablet to her. See wailing children pounding on the screen. Weep.
The very smart and always wise Bob Anderson, former CTO at Best Buy, points us to the “popcorn” button on the microwave as a perfect guide for consumer-facing technology. No questions. Immediate understanding of value. One push and sixty seconds equals hot buttery-salted goodness.
Food for thought.
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Tags: ease, innovation, retail, retailing, simplicity