Digital transformation is forcing every company to rethink their core business strategies. As a result, IT operations and engineering departments are under more pressure than ever.  They are faced with immense expectations to drive business results, while they keep end-users happy, drive costs down, and quickly launch new service capabilities.  It’s no wonder companies are struggling to grow and transform when so much is riding on IT to just run the business. In fact, ZK Research recently reported that only 22 percent of IT budgets are focused on digital transformation, with the other 78 percent devoted to maintaining the current operating environment.

With these dynamics, enterprises and Service Providers are challenged to be a driving force of change; they would need to reallocate budgets to prioritize transformation initiatives while accepting additional risks to day-to-day IT operations.

Enter Business Critical Services
Last year, Cisco announced Business Critical Services to help our customers fundamentally shift how they simplify and manage IT operations, and empower their engineering departments to more quickly adopt trends to transform and grow their business. This is done through automating repetitive work, to enable an increased focus on innovation.

As one of the industry’s first predictive set of services powered by advanced analytics and machine learning Business Critical Services provides operational and cost efficiencies across global enterprises and Services Providers. In fact, an IDC study* reveals that Cisco customers were able to reduce downtime by as much as 74 percent, resolve issues up to 41 percent faster, and reduce operational costs by up to 21 percent when they used Business Critical Services.

Amazing results have been reported by Cisco customers who have adopted Business Critical Services, including:

  • A global financial services firm completed their technology transformation on-schedule and within budget with Cisco Business Critical Services. By enabling automated changes in the network to ensure compliance, the team of Cisco experts helped this customer reduce network vulnerabilities by 95x and improve compliance from 7 percent to 98 percent – with zero impact to the business.
  • By enabling real-time detection of problems and automatic case submissions without human intervention, Business Critical Services’ Automated Fault Management helped a large cable provider reach average time to resolution 30 percent faster and prevented an $8M loss in subscriber revenue during a one-year period.

What’s New in Business Critical Services
And we are not stopping there! To continue to drive service innovation and respond to customer feedback, I am thrilled to announce the next set of innovations for Business Critical Services.

With more predictive capabilities and customization, Business Critical Services will now enable our customers’ IT operations to change even faster and at scale. Much of this will be made possible through:

As the most advanced capability in Business Critical Services, Fingerprinting uses machine learning on a global scale. By profiling each Cisco device in a customer environment and aggregating that data with event information from Cisco’s global data base, we are able to determine the end points in a customer network that have the highest risk of failure. Insights such as risk rating, crash probability, and predictive notifications are provided to the customer through the Business Critical Insights portal; this information is used when working with their assigned Business Critical consultant to determine the best actions to prevent disruption to the production environment.

Automated Fault Management
Automated Fault Management monitors the customer network and detects outages in real-time based on signatures created by Cisco’s consulting organization. When an issue is detected, required data is collected from the device, and a Cisco support TAC case is opened automatically as a notification is simultaneously sent to the customer’s NOC.

In the updated version, Automated Fault Management has been enhanced to support complex sequences of events.  It has an API to provide customers with more flexibility with change management and can integrate with ticketing systems through APIs.

Analytics and insights are available through a rich API in addition to the Critical Insights portal. This enables customers and partners to integrate BCS data into their own in-house systems.

3rd Party Inventory
To extend the reach of Business Critical Insights beyond Cisco technology and devices, our customers now have visibility into their technology inventory over a broad range of 3rd party platforms. This new capability reports on inventory, provides compliance reports for software versions and configurations, and does automated remediation including configuration changes and software upgrades —helping customers make better and faster decisions so they can reach their availability and performance goals.

These enhancements to Business Critical Services are just the beginning. In the next few months, we will increase automation and predictive/preemptive capabilities applied across our Cisco Customer Experience (CX) product lines to help enable our customers’ transformations.

To learn more about the new features of Business Critical Services, join us for an upcoming webinar where we will discuss the latest trends and IT implications of digital transformation and how Business Critical Services can help.  A guest speaker from ZK Research will be joining us.

In addition, read Machine Learning Powers the Next Wave of Business Critical Services where ZK Research explores the importance of machine learning, automation, and services in today’s digital-first world.

For more information on Business Critical Services, visit cisco.com.


*IDC White Paper, sponsored by Cisco, IDC Business Value Analysis of Cisco Services, December 2017



James Mobley

Senior Vice President & General Manager

Network Services