Let’s face it: Providing quantifiable value and cost savings while convincing customers of their return on investment, can often make or break a deal. However, the advent of architecture-based solutions and the increasing need for consultative services are helping drive partners’ success and growth. But in the negotiation phase, how can partners think creatively to help provide analysis and assessments to customers?
As you look for new revenue opportunities, what helps propel you ahead of the pack and helps differentiate you from the competition?
Cisco Gold partner Presidio completed an RFP for Tyler Independent School District in Texas and was competing for the business with another solutions provider. What helped to win Tyler’s trust was the ROI analysis they shared with the district’s superintendent.
Tyler Independent School District has 18,000 students, but only had a 4:1 student to desktop ratio. Additionally, thousands of the district’s PCs were seven, eight, or nine years old – completely incapable of running Windows 7 or new applications. IT was struggling to keep up with management and maintenance issues, as well as security challenges. Additionally, the district wanted to enable a BYOPC (bring your own PC) policy but lacked the equipment, tools, and bandwidth to do so.
So how did Presidio solve the district’s IT problems and save the schools money, too? Read More »
Tags: Cisco, IT, partner, presidio networks, school, UCS, virtualization
Its hard to believe that almost an entire month has gone by since the beginning of the year. The year has been off to a great start for Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) now serving 10,000 customers. Reaching the 10,000-customer milestone is an achievement for relatively new and innovative platform.
Generally asset management implies financial management but this discussion is focused on operational management of the data center components. Typically, in Data Centers, different teams manage servers, networks and storage. These teams have cursory knowledge of each other’s domains. This organizational structure hinders data centers from obtaining higher efficiencies and agility. Data Center Management tools that allow automated workflows with enforcement of policies set by domain experts reduce time needed to effect changes and hence increase agility. Unified server, network and storage infrastructures with proper management capabilities improve overall efficiency, reduce data center complexity and promote better resource utilization. With Unified infrastructures the server management teams can make informed decisions on application workload placement based on their visibility into the network setup and policies set by the Network domain experts. For example, a server administrator could place more sensitive applications on servers that are connected to very secure network segments, or place bandwidth hungry applications on network segments with spare capacity. If network managers need to move network segment capacity around they would need the equivalent of network hypervisors. These decisions which affect multiple domains could be manually executed or orchestrated with systems management tools. The crowning glory would be for the end customer of the IT service to request infrastructure services from a catalog and get access to it instantaneously. A Forrester Research paper that Cisco sponsored even shows a maturity model for service orchestration within a data center. Where do you think your organization is on this maturity model?
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Tags: UCS, unified management
by John Rollason, Senior Manager Product, Solutions & Alliances EMEA, NetApp
For many years the server market was dominated by the likes of IBM, HP/Compaq, Fujitsu, Dell, Sun and characterised by small market share shifts. True the market changed as rack and blade servers became popular, but most of the players recognized the shift and adapted. Then Server Virtualisation technologies changed the market and Cisco disrupted it completely with the launch of the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) in 2009. Today Cisco’s vision for server virtualization has been proven successful with more than 10,000 UCS customers and 54 UCS world record results. Customers obviously see the advantage!
Cisco’s innovation, vision and leadership are an ideal match with NetApp, a recognized leader and innovative in the storage industry. Over more than a decade of collaboration our companies have achieved a number of milestones including first native FCoE SAN storage solutions and first certified end-to-end FCoE solution for VMware environments.
Just over a year ago NetApp and Cisco introduced FlexPod, a pre-designed, pre-tested and validated Data Centre cloud solution built on modular and unified architecture composed of Cisco UCS servers, Cisco Nexus switches, and NetApp unified storage systems running Data ONTAP. FlexPod components are integrated and standardized to help you eliminate the guesswork and achieve timely, repeatable, consistent deployments. FlexPod has also been optimized with a variety of mixed application workloads and design configurations in various environments such as virtual desktop infrastructure and secure multi-tenancy environments.
Today more than 500 customers across 33 countries are seeing the benefits of Cisco UCS + NetApp. In fact, I”ve blogged about European FlexPod customers including Accenture, Börse Stuttgart, Computacenter, Terremark, Guiness Partnership, Loughborough University, and many more.
This week at Cisco Live London 2012 you’ll have the opportunity to hear directly from several organizations transforming their infrastructures and businesses on FlexPod and talk with variety of partners activity selling and developing solutions built on FlexPod. NetApp is a Platinum sponsor of Cisco Live and I’ll be at NetApp Stand P1 with the rest of the team for the 4th year. Highlights include:
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Tags: Cisco, cisco live, Cloud Computing, data center, FlexPod, netapp, UCS
In December, Cisco introduced Cisco CloudVerse, a framework and set of solutions that combines the foundational elements needed to enable organizations to build, manage, and connect public, private and hybrid clouds. Cisco CloudVerse combines these key cloud elements – Unified Data Center, Cloud Intelligent Network, and Cloud Applications and Services – enabling businesses to realize all of the benefits of clouds: improved agility, better economics, enhanced security, and a dynamic, assured experience.
As a leading technology company, Cisco pushes the envelope in our traditional industries with innovative business transformations, as we did by entering the server market in 2009 with our Unified Computing System paired with our Nexus data center switching family. Competition in the marketplace is good for customers as competition accelerates innovation, creates new opportunities as old problems are attacked from new angles, and creates incentives for the various players in the industry to work together–and separately–toward better solutions.
But achieving the promise of this progress and innovation comes with a necessary step that I feel is often overlooked, rushed, or ignored: Testing. At Cisco, we perform intense testing as we develop our solutions whether the testing is in-house, with partners and customers, or via third-parties.
Over 70 percent of leading cloud providers are using Cisco CloudVerse on their journey to the cloud, and–in the latest example of our commitment to testing–third-party testing firm EANTC has validated those cloud providers’ commitment by affirming “Cisco has all the components one would need to offer cloud services”. For coverage, Light Reading has published the first report of the Cloud Mega Test results done by EANTC.
But let’s talk more about what was behind the test.
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Tags: cloud, cloudverse, customers, EANTC, light reading, Mega test, nexus, Testing, UCS
This week we are celebrating a milestone by announcing that 10,000 customers worldwide have deployed our new Unified Computing System. In just over two years UCS has captured the attention of data center managers and CIOs alike, despite skepticism from industry observers that a new computing technology could take hold in this highly competitive market.
According to a recent Servers and Virtualization Study by TheInfoPro,™ Cisco took the lead among server vendors in vision, technical innovation, product performance, and sales force.
Many have asked “how did UCS become successful so rapidly?” The answer lies with our customers: they selected UCS because the architecture drove a transformation of their data centers, while delivering advantages for their business and lowering IT costs. And we see a growing number of these customers, including half the fortune 500 companies, using UCS as the foundational building block to move towards private and hybrid clouds.
We hear from our customers on a daily basis that UCS is transforming their IT practice and significantly contributing to their business. Thanks to all our UCS customers– may you continue to grow your businesses in 2012!
Here’s a small sampling of the passionate testimonies we receive:
Steven Senecal, manager of Global Server Engineering for Travelport
“Although we were successfully meeting customer needs, the infrastructure needed to be much more scalable and resilient to handle the demand expected to occur in the next few years. For example, the Cisco Unified Computing System service profiles are a benefit to data center IT managers, allowing us to create and store a unique identity for every blade. Our team can query this information for asset management and it enables us to truly rip and replace a blade in minutes if necessary.”
Travelport, a global leader in transaction processing for the travel industry supporting transaction services in 160 countries and over 60,000 travel agencies, deployed UCS to increase business agility, scalability and efficiency for its primary data center.
Dan Hein, director, Global Shared Services, Columbia Sportswear
“The integration of compute, network, and storage into a single stack is transforming the way we, as IT professionals, view these environments.” We anticipate a significant reduction in the overhead required to manage the Vblock platform environment, because we’ve taken three separate disciplines and combined them into one. Because Vblock is preconfigured and pretested by VCE, we can move forward with our SAP deployment quickly and with confidence that the infrastructure will deliver the robust performance and availability we need out of the gate.”
Columbia Sportswear, a global leader in the manufacture and wholesaling of sports apparel and outdoor clothing with offices in 45 countries worldwide, selected VCE Vblock Infrastructure Platforms to support a new deployment of SAP to run its most critical business applications, including financial, product development, manufacturing, and shipping.
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Tags: data center, UCS, unified computing system