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The Power to Say Yes

- September 16, 2010 - 0 Comments

 “Yes” is a powerful word. In our personal lives, “Yes” often connotes  acceptance, success, achievement. A pumped fist in the air when a notable milestone has been achieved is usually accompanied by a silent (or sometimes, not- so-silent) “YES!” .  Yet, often in business, CIOs and their IT teams have to say “No” a lot more frequently than they say “Yes”. And that is a problem – because a “No” from IT  often means that a company is unable to innovate rapidly, or  respond quickly to changing customer demands, market conditions or competitive pressures.

By now you must have read, heard of or seen Cisco’s Data Center Business Advantage announcement. While, as Omar said so eloquently, it “represents an architectural framework to help customers link their IT investments to tangible business outcomes”  our tag line says it even more simply: it is The Power to Say Yes.

Zenlike as it may sound in its simplicity, this is a powerful concept.

Technology companies (not unlike fine sports cars, come to think of it) often delight and take pride in showcasing their technical specifications and highlighting quantitatively how product A is better than the previous generation, or superior to a competing product B. We at Cisco are no different; we are proud of our stats  and performance benchmarks. However, what warms the cockles of our hearts even more is the fact that while our technology components have been engineered to be the finest, they come together in systems and offer solutions that directly address and deliver business outcomes, like generating revenue, supporting new business models and driving profitability.

A good example of how we do this is to take our recently announced Application Migration and Transition Service for Unified Computing System (UCS). With this service, we help customers migrate their custom/bespoke or packaged applications to UCS. While fairly technical in nature when it comes to the engagement and actual service delivery, our engineers never lose sight of the fact that this service is all about first understanding, and then ensuring, that the business benefits being targeted by the customer are achieved: whether it is reducing the costs to run the application, moving to a virtualized environment to improve operational management or simply offerring better application performance and service levels  (usually, all of the above !).

Applications can be thought of as the glue that binds technology to business outcomes. You can have the most sophisticated technology on one hand, and a band of loyal customers on the other. Yet it is only intelligently designed applications, tuned to hum operationally and be always available, that allow customers to interact and conduct business. Think of an online retailer’s website being off the air, or a sluggish online bank self service portal. You don’t need sophisticated analysis to conclude that application unavailability equals significant loss of revenue or sharp uptick in customer care and operational expenses. Ensuring that your applications can find a “better home” in your newly virtualized data centers: where they can run more efficiently, faster than before, while saving you money and providing a better experience for your customers, and in turn growing your business … now that is elegant simplicity even a Zen master can appreciate !

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