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AI World Conference & Expo · Boston, MA · December 11-13, 2017

Archive for September 2016

Microsoft is well positioned to give Amazon a run
for its money in the cloud market, but it needs to
break away from its Microsoft-centric approach.

Seeing as how the cloud has been tied to digital transformation, and seeing as how more businesses are embarking on digital transformation projects, it makes perfect sense to me that cloud has been one of the hot topics at Microsoft’s Ignite conference for enterprise IT, taking place this week in Atlanta. Microsoft has an interesting position in cloud, in that it was simultaneously early and late to the market. In some ways it’s like Schrödinger’s Cloud.

Almost 20 years ago, Microsoft launched Bing, and to support it, the company had to build out a massively scalable, global cloud network. Google had done this with its search platform, and Amazon had done similar to support its e-commerce business. However, Amazon was the only vendor with the foresight to convert their platform into something on which businesses could run workloads. No one really took the cloud seriously a couple of decades ago, and Amazon’s solutions were looked at more as an experiment than as a credible business computing platform. All of the mainstream computing vendors were sitting around trying to figure out whether the cloud was real while Amazon was capturing customers.

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Alcatel-Lucent’s Neal Tilley discusses the importance
of getting Wi-Fi deployed in K-12 schools and how
new technology can transform education

Credit: Lucélia Ribeiro via Flickr | https://www.flickr.com/photos/lupuca/8720604364

It’s been about two years since the FCC modernized E-Rate, which is the funding program for K-12 schools to buy technology. Prior to the revamp of the program, E-Rate funded a number of legacy technologies, such as modems, broadband and pagers.

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SD-WAN Can Make Disaster Recovery Planning Easier

Disaster recovery is certainly an interesting topic. Prior to my analyst days, I was in corporate IT and was part of a number of disaster recovery (DR) teams. It’s my sense that most organizations are very effective on the planning side but not very effective with executing on those plans. I say this tongue-in-cheek but there is some truth to it. One of the reasons why disaster recovery is so hard to execute is because keeping the backup environment in lock step with the production environment is very difficult to do in any cost-effective way. SD-WAN can make that easier.

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Partnership includes joint development and marketing
across a number of areas, including collaboration,
Internet of Things, and the contact center.

When Chuck Robbins assumed command of the Starship Cisco (analogy to commemorate Star Trek’s 50th anniversary), he promised the company would move faster under his leadership. Cisco had been rolling along at warp 6, but the digital era required it to accelerate to warp 10. Captain Robbins understood that accomplishing this meant changing the way Cisco innovates.

Toward that end, Cisco has revamped the way it handles internal innovation, and is relying more on strategic partnerships than trying to go it alone. Historically Cisco liked to do everything itself by either building or bringing inside, the latter through acquisition. Sometimes, though, relying on a partner makes more sense.

Over the past few years, Cisco has formed strategic partnerships with Apple, Ericsson, and other companies. These aren’t just marketing announcements but real partnerships with meat on the bone. Cisco today announced another partnership of this ilk; this time with the CRM market leader, Salesforce.

Similar to the ones coming before it, this partnership includes joint development and marketing across a number of areas, including collaboration, Internet of Things (IoT), and contact center. Details of the integration are as follows:

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The spin-ins may be gone, but innovation at Cisco isn’t dead

Credit: REUTERS/Albert Gea

Late last year, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins significantly restructured the company and was quoted as saying the company would no longer be using “spin-ins” to drive innovation. Based on conversations with Robbins and other members of Cisco’s executive team, I believe the media took his comments out of context. There are no immediate plans for another spin-in, but he hasn’t closed to the door to them either.

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Dell-EMC, with its VCE group, is well positioned to
become the hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI)
market leader in a relatively short period of time

Credit: Thinkstock

It seems the topic of hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) comes ups in almost every conversation I have with IT leaders regarding their data center modernization plans.

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