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Cisco IBSG Examines Service Provider Role in Healthcare

In 2011, the amount Americans spent on healthcare equaled nearly 18 percent of the nation’s annual Gross Domestic Product.  This huge amount – more than $2.5 trillion – greatly concerns governments, insurers and medical professionals.  And the pressures on the healthcare system will only grow, as the overall U.S. population ages.

The healthcare debate has spawned many suggestions.  One focus is making the healthcare system more efficient.  Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), in a series of projects with key U.S. service providers, explored how they can help enable more efficient delivery of health solutions. 

Details are in an IBSG-produced document titled “Service Providers: A Tourniquet for the Hemorrhaging Healthcare System”.   The paper can be found on the Service Provider Thought Leadership section of the Cisco IBSG website.  At this site, you will find many interesting, provocative papers on various subjects relating to the service provider segment.  

Read More »

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Another Mobile World Congress Wraps

Musings and mutterings from the just-completed Mobile World Congress 2012 . . .

  • Darned if this still isn’t the only place in the universe where there are waiting lines leading into the men’s rooms but not the ladies’ rooms . . . Obviously, the planners did not heed my carefully crafted suggestion for improvement made in the wake of the 2011 event.
  • Barcelona did get the weather right this year, though – Each day was darned sunny and fairly warm . . . a decided contrast to the last two Februarys.
  • The show was held two weeks later this year than in previous years, so no one had an excuse for being away on Valentine’s Day.  “Sorry, honey, but I ‘have’ to go to Barcelona this week . . .” didn’t work this time.
  • All that aside, MWC continues to enhance its position as the largest, most important service provider-focused show of the year. 
  • The projected attendance was 65,000, about 12% more than in 2011.  It will be a few days before the official figure is posted, but, judging from the traffic inside and outside the Fira de Barcelona all four days, the estimate seems reasonable.
  • The most prominent theme this year was SP Wi-Fi/small cells . . . which just happened to align perfectly with Cisco’s key messaging and announcement.  Not to mention numerous customer-focused mentions this week and last.   Cisco focused “not only on what we make, but what we make possible.”
  • Other consistent themes included monetization, optimization, reducing capex and opex, and cloud applications. 
  • ARPU continues to stagnate . . . a real problem for operators.
  • Another theme often heard is that service providers are more and more looking for advice from vendors.   There was a time when that was not true.  “They’re looking at the situation and saying, ‘We need some help figuring out what to do with all this stuff,” one analyst remarked.     Another added, “It’s VERY important for a vendor to be considered a trusted advisor.”  Hmmm – Does Cisco’s consulting arm – the Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) – ring a bell?
  • Mobile World Congress has evolved – as it must – in its approximately 15 years of existence.   Real old-timers remember when it was small and very clubby.    Particularly in the last few years, it has changed and broadened as the concept of mobility has become more ubiquitous.  “Three years ago, it was more of a pure infrastructure show with the Huaweis, Ericssons of the world holding forth,” said one.  “Last year, companies like Samsung and Google got much of the attention.  This year, it’s WiFi and small cells.”
  • “Four years ago here, a Hotspot was an oddity,” one analyst said.  “Now, it’s the norm.” 
  • In a Cisco analyst/media event about small cells, Telstra CTO Dr. Hugh Bradlaw said, “It’s the network, stupid.  That’s what makes the cloud possible.”
  • Machine-to-machine continues to grow in importance.   One analyst firm characterized it this way: “M2M = M3 . . . Make More Money”.
  • Overheard while standing in line at the men’s room: “Operators are chasing the consumer too much and not realizing that a lot of SMBs and mid-market companies are dying for solutions that are right in their [the operators’] sweet spot.”

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Operators Consider CDN Federations

As consumers continued demand more high-quality content over the Internet, service providers are finding it difficult to increase revenues while containing costs. This is due mainly to two trends: (1) over-the-top (OTT) content providers having outsourced delivery of content to pure-play content delivery network (CDN) companies and (2) traffic growth (with no resulting revenue benefit), increasing network build-out and maintenance costs.

In response, many SPs have begun to utilize CDNs within their networks.  While this approach has helped, results have been limited.   Now, SPs are exploring the potential of CDN federations, which Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) defines as multi-footprint, open CDN capabilities built from resources owned and operated by autonomous members.

IBSG has developed a paper that addresses this issue.  Titled “Content Delivery Network (CDN) Federations: How SPs Can Win the Battle for Content-Hungry Consumers”, it can be found on the Service Provider Thought Leadership section.  At this site, you will find a number of interesting, provocative papers on various subjects relating to the service provider segment.  

This paper provides an overview of the trends and challenges facing SPs today with regard to content delivery, describes a Cisco-led CDN federation pilot and results to date, and lays out the next steps for the pilot in an effort make CDN federations a reality.

Check it out, and the others, as well . . .

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Now Is the Time for Service Providers To Invest in Cloud Services for Small and Medium Businesses

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are leading the way to cloud services. In fact, SMBs represent two-thirds of the public cloud market, outpacing the growth of enterprise cloud adoption by about 10 points, according to a recent McKinsey report (“Outlook—Overcast and Bright: How the Cloud Is Transforming IT for SMEs,” McKinsey & Company, July 2011). Yet, many service providers (SPs) are wondering whether the rate of SMB cloud adoption makes it worthwhile to invest in cloud and managed services for SMBs. They are asking:

  • Is now the time to invest in SMB-focused services?
  • What do SMB customers want?
  • How do SMBs want to consume cloud services?

SMB Cloud Watch is ongoing research from the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) designed to answer these questions. Here are some highlights of our most recent findings: Read More »

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Live Webinar: Service Provider IPv6 Deployment

Please join us on Tuesday, December 6, at 8 a.m. Pacific Time (11 a.m. Eastern Time) for this live interactive event.

During the live event, Cisco subject matter expert Salman Asadullah will focus on service provider IPv6 deployment techniques in core networks, which will help network designers and administrators understand IPv6 operation and implementation options for native IPv4 and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) core environments. This session will also shed light on IPv6 multihoming and addressing and Cisco Carrier-Grade IPv6 (CGv6) solution considerations in core networks.

Salman Asadullah is a Cisco distinguished engineer and also serves as IPv6 forum fellow, Broadband Forum ambassador, and co-chair of the IPv6 Education Certification Program. He has been working with large-scale IP and multiservice networks and technologies for more than 15 years. A frequent speaker at key industry events and conferences who represents Cisco in industry panel discussions and technical platforms, Asadullah influences technology directions and decisions with Cisco business units and customers and the Internet community at large. He is a coauthor and contributor to IETF RFCs/IDs and has written three Internetworking books, Cisco CCIE Fundamentals: Network Design & Case Study, PDIO of the IPT Networks, and Deploying IPv6 in Broadband Access Networks. Asadullah holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Arizona and a master of science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kansas. He also holds CCIE certification number 2240.

You can register now at CiscoLive.com/ATE

The webinar will take place inside CiscoLiveVirtual.com

We look forward to your participation!

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