I’ve become an avid reader of Geoffrey Moore’s books on how companies should strive to adapt and survive in the technology industry.  Starting with “Crossing the Chasm”, which describes a product life cycle more appropriate to what we see in the technology business, I learned the hard way when a previous product program I ran “fell” into the chasm – and as many innovative and disruptive products find, it’s a struggle to get out of that chasm.  Consequently, when “Dealing with Darwin” came out from this author a few years ago, I knew I had to read and learn from this new book.

Moore recognized that the technology companies had lessons to learn from Darwinism, stating that “Evolution requires us to continually refresh our competitive advantage, sometimes in dribs and drabs, sometimes in major cataclysms, but always with some part of our business portfolio at risk and in play. Innovate forever, in other words, is neither a slogan nor an aspiration; it is a requirement.”

Dealing with Darwin on your Network

Service provider networks are no different.  If you allow me to show my age here, we’ve seen networks evolve from Frame Relay and ATM to MPLS and more recently to SD-WAN.  We’ve seen the introduction of mobile network from “1G” to “5G” with “6G” being discussed. We all know it: change in networks is continuous – which I’m sure is no surprise to you.  Extrapolating, then, if you don’t change and evolve your network, your company will go the way of the dinosaur, as Moore’s book cover above suggests.

This discussion also suggests that the term “network transformation” is really a mis-leading term.  Network evolution is more appropriate and it’s a journey, not a destination, because next year, like Darwin recognized, our species of network will evolve further.

Innovating – In Each Phase of Your Network Lifecycle

Applying Moore’s “Dealing with Darwin” recipe, you can innovate in all stages of your network lifecycle.  There will be more mature parts of your network, using technologies that have been deployed perhaps for a good number of years.  Are you considering the implications of upcoming product “End of Life” schedules?  Have you applied the latest patches and – perhaps more critical – security advisories?  Have you considered how you continually optimize those parts of the network?  Have you considered how you can reduce your power consumption and contribute more to your organization’s “green strategy” objectives?

At the same time, you may be challenged with rolling out 5G “non-standalone” (NSA) to more cell sites.  While at the same time, planning your ongoing adoption of cloud native 5G “standalone” (SA), and figuring out your plan to introduce Open RAN cell sites into your network.

This amounts to quite a “To-Do” list.

Do you do all of this with internal resources?  Or do you look at leveraging what needs to be a wide range of different experts, appropriate to each stage of your network lifecycle?  Did you know that you can engage Cisco expertise and guidance via two different mechanisms, each with a different commercial transaction: First, a point project manner (a “transactional” Statement of Work, or SoW); or alternatively, via a simpler approach where you can tap different experts, as needed, on an ongoing basis, for this myriad of innovation projects that constitute your network lifecycle?

Why Cisco Business Critical Services is your Trusted Advisor Network

If you recognize the ongoing network lifecycle challenges, and you feel you would benefit from a simple “expert on demand” type approach, Cisco Business Critical Services could be the answer you are looking for.  Cisco Business Critical Services gives you the flexibility to apply additional resources, tools and methodologies to your existing network, while at the same time, giving you experts – and not just one expert, more like a network of advisors and experts, versed in leading edge network architectures and technologies – to drive forward your network evolution.

For example, with Cisco Business Critical Services, you can rely on insights powered by analytics and automation, coupled with Operational Insights Review, Change Window Support and Expert Workshops, each of which will help take some of the load off your current network and current network operations teams, to help free up resources to drive your next generation projects, while at the same time increasing your customer experience with your existing networks.  Furthermore, for your next generation projects, you can call on what we call “Scrum Services” and Expert-as-a-Service to deliver an adaptive network workforce to generate focus and accelerate progress on significant new project initiatives.

Figure 2: Insights Powered by Analytics and Automation

Regardless of whether it’s service provider mobile technology, core routing and optical technology, data center and cloud, security for provider networks, or automation, the one “package” of Cisco Business Critical Services gives you access to tools and expertise across each of these areas and more.

Finally, let us consider the benefits of Cisco Business Critical Services. The benefits are indeed substantial, as the following diagram shows, ranging from faster and more reliable software upgrades, to reduced downtime and faster time-to-market.

Figure 3: Benefits Resulting from Cisco Business Critical Services

In Conclusion: The One-Stop Shop for your Network’s Evolution

Net-net, then, leveraging Cisco Business Critical Services can be your one-stop shop to help ensure network’s ongoing evolution.  Watch out for future blogs that give you a deeper dive into aspects of Cisco Business Critical Services, to understand in detail how you can leverage Cisco’s expertise and advanced network analytics toolsets to be your trusted advisor, not just for one point projects, but rather to be your answer to network Darwinism.

Visit Cisco Business Critical Services or contact your Cisco Account Manager

to learn more about our Business Critical Services.



Stephen Speirs

SP Product Management

Cisco Customer Experience (CX)