Customers want it fast. They don’t want to wait for human intervention to get what they want, when they want it. They want resolution at the click of a button. The pace of change is increasing and customer behavior is pushing significant transformation in business models. 10 years ago, who would have imagined that Amazon (once the biggest online bookseller) and Google (once the biggest search engine) would be among the top the online IT providers? When Amazon launched the AWS EC2 cloud computing service back in 2006, per-hour billing was a big deal. A few years ago Google upped the ante with per minute. And just a few days ago, Amazon announced that they will be charging per second. Things are moving faster and faster, due in part to how fast services can be delivered.

McKinsey recently conducted a study on the worldwide potential of automation. The study cites that the daily work activities of everyone — from auto mechanics, to farmers, to customer service rep, to burger flippers will be changed by automation. The study focused on (1) whether a previously manual job function could be automated and if it can, (2) how much work would it take to automate it? Every industry is looking at how automation can help them drive digital transformation and innovate.

Solutions like Cisco’s Network Services Orchestrator (NSO) are helping Cisco customers address transformation for the reality they are facing today — which is typically a combination of multi-vendor, multicloud, legacy, physical, and virtual. NSO brings in automation and commonality, allowing IT to define new services, regardless of the type of equipment in the background. It creates a well-defined API layer between the customer-facing views like a portal or ordering/billing system and the supporting infrastructure. Innovations in virtualization and the ability to use common server hardware to perform many networking functions enable service providers and enterprises alike, to move at the speed of software (not hardware) to deliver services and improve customer experience faster than ever before.

At Cisco, we know that many companies are hybrid, with environments that combine new technology with 20 year old optical routers and boxes that are 5 years old. That is a reality for a lot of businesses. Cisco knows those environments and we are all about helping our customers achieve digital transformation and deliver business outcomes through automation and simplified operations, regardless of where their journey begins.

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Kip Compton

No longer with Cisco