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VMworld and… Customer Experiences with the Business Value of VXI

Are you making last minute plans for VMworld?  Filling out your agenda, and realizing there just isn’t enough time to take it all in?  This year like last, will be packed with valuable sessions, labs, keynotes, and the like, but before we get to the shenanigans taking place there, let me share something hot off the presses.

Just this week, we posted a brand new study, conducted by Cisco’s Customer Business Transformation Team, sharing their analyses of two customers who’ve deployed the Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) Smart Solution.  More specifically, they looked at the savings associated with the migration of user workspace (traditional desktop along with a traditional TDM phone) to a fully virtualized workspace delivered via Cisco VXC endpoints (phone replaced with VXC 6215 delivering unified voice, video and virtual desktop), underpinned by Cisco Unified Data Center.

The tangible impacts are progressively revealed in incremental stages of implementation as customers go from:

Incremental Savings Derived from Implementing VXI at Various Stages

 A big contributor to the cost savings is not just the evolution of the telephony and video solution, but also the underlying data center infrastructure leveraging Cisco Unified Data Center, built on Cisco Unified Computing System.

I was going to paste a nice graphic from the analysis here, but that would be a spoiler, and I’m so not about spoiling stuff, so download the full document >> here <<

Now onto the shenanigans, I mean, VMworld…

If you’re exploring desktop virtualization, and more closely thinking about specific use cases you’re trying to address, like mobile power users, or business process outsourcing, this year’s event will be especially valuable to your organization.

Cisco and VMware have teamed up to deliver an holistic solution approach for organizations seeking to better empower mobile users to become truly untethered from the confines of their brick and mortar office.  These users are not solely defined by the need to access apps and data on a myriad of device options, but on the ability to collaborate with peers, partners, and customers, using enterprise-grade real-time communications media.  I blogged about it here.  Similarly we’ve plowed considerable focus into the use case of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), one which bears increasing relevancy as businesses seek to leverage a global talent pool to handle functions like customer service, tech support, payroll, etc.  These environments depend on an extensive WAN infrastructure and uncompromised collaboration and communications, delivered securely.

So, what’s being served up at VMworld this year, from VMware and Cisco that will help you navigate these opportunities?  Here’s what:

Monday! 

2:30pm -- SPO3336, “A Healthcare Provider’s Perspectives on Going Beyond VDI with Unified Workspaces, Moscone West, Level 3, Room 3007 – check this session out to hear from a major regional healthcare provider who’s implemented Virtual Workspaces, reducing IT OPEX, while improving clinician workflow

Tuesday!

Are you going to the Steve Herrod keynote?  I can’t reveal details here, but if you’re not familiar with the Cisco UCS Express Solution for virtual desktops and simplified branch office infrastructure, you don’t want to miss this!  Not only that, but our own TechWise TV Guys (Jimmy Ray Purser and Robb Boyd) will be there, and to call it entertaining would be an understatement!  FYI – there’s a specially prepared music video involved, way better than Carly Rae Jepsen, so please vote for them!

All week long!

Visit Cisco at Booth 1213 – why you ask?  Well like last year I’m sure we’ll be in excellent proximity to the afternoon drinks/food reception, but besides that:

  • See the Business Process Desktop and Mobile Secure Desktop with VMware View, built on Cisco VXI, in action!
  • Learn about how Cisco Unified Data Center delivers a simplified, more scalable solution with consistent performance, for virtual desktop workloads
  • Attend our theater presentations on Cisco VXI, as well as our Ask-the-Experts whiteboarding area where you can fire-off your questions (of course with drinks and food from the reception in hand).

If you’re going to be at VMworld, definitely stop by and say hi.  (If not, it will likely be a very quiet, productive week at the office for you – so it’s a win-win either way I guess)

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3 Paths to the Cloud (Workspace)!

I’ve been spending the last couple weeks with friends from EMC, discussing what’s top of mind re: desktop virtualization and capabilities that we agree are effectively attacking the elusive ROI of virtual desktops.  So it’s no surprise that when you put Cisco and EMC solutions together, (something we’ve done well, for a LONG time) towards the common goal of making virtual desktops and applications easier to deploy, with reduced cost and improved manageability, you end up with a very compelling end-to-end offer.

Essentially, our joint value nets-out as follows:  i) enabling implementers to balance costs, while meeting SLA’s, ii) making virtual desktops less complex and time-consuming , especially where rapid provisioning and recovery is key, and iii) addressing the desktop management equation with a simplified approach that eliminates what used to be multiple tools

In these areas EMC and Cisco are offering an industry-leading platform with best-in-class desktop hosting density and performance, engineered solutions that absorb I/O storms and dramatically improve boot times, rapid provisioning of server infrastructure using service profile templates and self-service data recovery, and simplified desktop creation with automated deployment capabilities.

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VMware Mobile Secure Desktops – built on Cisco VXI

As I was preparing for a webinar recently, some stats came across my desk reinforcing what we’ve suspected for a while, namely that employees and the organizations they belong to, are increasingly embracing a cloud workspace -- one that’s mobile and deliverable on any device, and that this imperative is a reality that IT managers are wrestling with not months from now, but now.

These nuggets are certainly no surprise:

  • Three of every five employees believed it was unnecessary to be in the office to be productive.
  • Two of every three employees surveyed expect IT to allow them to use any device – personal or company-issued – to access corporate networks, applications, and information anywhere at any time.
  • 69% of IT decision makers surveyed (by Forrester Consulting) advise that implementing a BYOD policy for smartphones/tablets is a top priority (study commissioned by Cisco, May 2012)

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Transforming Clinical Workflows with Workspace Virtualization

August 14, 2012 at 10:56 am PST

In my previous blog, I talked about how virtualization is picking up momentum in the healthcare industry and how this is resulting in simplified clinical workflows and providing nurses and physicians with fast access to the applications and information they need to support positive patient outcomes.  In this blog, I would like to touch on one of the key areas where virtualization has made a significant impact – desktop virtualization.  

Hospitals frequently use shared dictation terminals to host their clinical dictation applications. As doctors complete multiple patient rounds, they make their way to one of these dedicated workstations, plug their personal microphone into the workstation, and dictate their notes from their previous rounds.  The delay between completing rounds and dictating patient data is inefficient, but more importantly, it creates the potential for errors.  Access through shared and dedicated workstations also tethers the clinician to specific terminals that can only be used when the doctor is in the clinic. For example, there is no easy way to access clinical reference imaging applications when the doctor is away from the clinic and wants to quickly review images for a specific patient. Instead, the doctor must either call a peer at the hospital to review the images, or incur travel time to go to the hospital. 

Finally, although the shared workstations distributed across the clinics and hospitals are centrally managed, the software operating on each workstation can quickly drift away from its original configuration as users install specific applications not hosted by the data center or use the workstation in other ways that compromise the original “golden image.”  As a result, every workstation and application that a caregiver uses can behave differently. A hospital’s IT group can potentially spend most of its time chasing repetitive workstation issues and errors, as well as managing different instances of almost applications. IT administrators constantly face the challenge of unwanted installations, as well as the incompatibility between images from one shared workstation to the next. Upgrading desktops and applications can be a difficult task, requiring many hours of effort on each workstation. 

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Quintiles Embraced VDI for Next-Gen Work Space

Change. It’s part of how we work, live, and play. Change is inevitable and often feared rather than embraced. However, change could be a catalyst for innovation, a new way of doing things faster and more efficiently. It allows companies to capitalize on opportunities, creating strategic long-term value while also meeting immediate operational needs.

The market is changing and so is the IT landscape. By 2014, more than 70 million virtual desktops will be connected and 90% of organizations will allow work applications on personal devices (Gartner, 2010). Similarly, by 2015, 1.5 billion mobile devices will connect to the network (Gartner, 2011). These transitions add intense burden to the network, from manageability to security, availability, and scalability.  IT leadership often turns to stopgap measures such as getting faster WAN links to handle increased traffic. But that doesn’t solve everything. Organizations that want to propel forward (i.e. be competitive) must change their focus – that is focus not only on bandwidth management, features, and bytes, but also on business agility – giving themselves room to grow. One pharmaceutical services company did that with Cisco Borderless Networks infrastructure.  Read More »

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