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The Hierarchy of SaaS Testing Needs

Software testing. For a long time, software testing was one of those dark alleys of the software development process. Often ignored, considered as an afterthought, and staffed by “someone else” who did an important job but was outside of the core development process.

Well, that has all changed.

In the SaaS world – especially one governed by continuous delivery – testing is not just an afterthought. It’s a core part of the development process. And like many other engineering processes, there are differing levels of maturity that SaaS development shops can evolve through. In a lot of ways, these different stages of maturity are like Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. You really, really have to execute on the stuff at the bottom. As you succeed with that you move up to higher levels and achieve greater levels of happiness – in this case through greater quality of software. In the case of testing, each layer is like a filter – each of them catching bugs. The layers at the bottom catch the most basic, easy-to-find bugs. As you go up the stack, the technology helps you catch problems that are rarer and more troubling to identify, reproduce, and fix.

Here is my view on the layers of the hierarchy of SaaS testing needs:

heirarchy of SaaS testing needs Read More »

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Software and Digitization Are Leading Business Transformation

Companies are embracing the idea of the digital enterprise as an “inevitable movement toward a ‘digital center’ in which business models, offerings and value chains are digitized to the maximum extent possible.” Digitization offers promising prospects for improved customer experience, closer employee engagement, and more agile IT and business operations. And software innovation is at the heart of what makes it all happen.

Just what is digitization? At its simplest level, digitization is about bringing together connected things and processes through automation and analytics to provide new insights and value. It can be offering a traditional service in a new online and interconnected way such as mobile banking. Or it can be offering an entirely new service based on unique insight harnessed from a network of devices, or from an active series of transactions, such as an early-warning fraud-alert service. As consumers, we experience the benefits of digitization every day in the many mobile and online apps we use.

And this trend is behind the emergence of new companies built on digitization that have quickly risen to multi-billion dollar valuations. Tom Goodwin of TechCrunch writes:

“Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.”

What all of these companies have in common is a digitized business model that allows them to deliver a new level of customer experience through innovation in software. Winning companies will delight and amaze their customers. Customer experience is the new competitive battlefield.

Through software, Cisco can help companies take advantage of these opportunities. Cisco Collaboration and Cisco ONE mobility software for example can help a retailer deliver an unparalleled customer experience. Let’s say a shopper is using her smartphone to browse a retailer’s web site. Cisco software innovation enables “Click to chat” with video capabilities so she can get personalized, live help in making a decision. And with Cisco Connected Mobile Experience (CMX), the retailer can better understand the shopper’s exact preferences and profile to help them locate the closest store that carries the item, generate promotions, etc.

Shopping is just one of the many areas in which winning businesses are continually blurring the physical and digital boundaries. Please join the discussion and let me know if there are areas in your business that you’ve digitized successfully, and if you have others in the works.

JB

 

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Software Innovations for Cloud Scale Networking

Back in 2011, web pioneer Marc Andreessen wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, entitled “Why software is eating the world”. I couldn’t agree more!

First, let’s have a look at what’s going on in the industry at large. Every company in every vertical industry is facing unprecedented competitive pressure from new players making innovative usage of software and data analytics. It forces companies to embark on a digitization journey, which ends up having profound consequences on network infrastructure.

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Great, so what does it mean to the network and to you?

The network infrastructure is Read More »

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Introducing Cloud Scale Solutions

If you’ve been to an industry event over the past five years and heard a service provider speak, it’s pretty apparent that our industry can no longer continue with business as usual. Cost and agility are critical business needs driving major industry transformation. But, things are a bit different this time around, since they are being accelerated by digitization.

Based on the Cisco Global Cloud Index, digitization is forecasted to increase total data center traffic by 300% between 2014 and 2019. During that time, traffic patterns are also expected to change —- increasing processing closer to the network edge by 37% and driving traffic between data centers by 31%. As cloud-based traffic scales, there will be a need for a transformed network and IT architecture and operational model. The new measuring stick for service delivery in the era of digitization is focused on operational efficiency, optimized utilization, and service agility.

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At Cisco, we’ve been working with many large web-scale providers to develop innovative solutions to this problem. And today, we’re proud to announce cloud-scale networking for service providers, which will bring the IT operational model to the wide-area network.

We have Read More »

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Agility is the New Smart

agile businessAs businesses strive to become digital, they need to be more flexible, innovative, and agile than ever. Customers are engaging with businesses differently from how they were just five years ago, and the bulk of their interactions are not with people but with systems (think airport and hotel check-in, ordering a product, or getting a taxi).

For all this to work, it’s critical that the systems on the back end know who you are, where you are, and what you need, to connect flawlessly to the front-end device. That airport check-in app on your phone, for example, requires integration with the airline reservation system, the ticketing system, the baggage handling system and gate information in order to provide full value to you as a user.

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