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Archive for June 2017

Cisco’s new DNA Developer Center in DevNet helps
developers and infrastructure teams derive more business
value from Cisco’s new intent-based networking solution

Earlier this month, Cisco held a media and press event to launch its intent-based networking solution. To no surprise, its user event, Cisco Live 2017 was all about the network as Cisco looks to get customers to think more broadly about the role of the network in digital transformation.

Brandon Butler did a great follow-up post to mine that talked about why intent-based networking is a big deal. He called out a number of benefits, including streamlined operations and better security.

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ThousandEyes adds SIP Server Test and Voice Call Test
to its existing RTP Stream Tests, providing complete
visibility into VoIP and UCaaS performance

Cisco Live kicked off this week in Las Vegas. The annual event is where Cisco shows off its latest and greatest innovations, such as the intent-based networking system Cisco announced last week.

However, it’s also a forum for many of Cisco’s technology partners to show off their wares in the World of Solutions Expo Hall. One of the more interesting vendors there was ThousandEyes, which demonstrated their network monitoring solution, as well as their new Unified Communications monitoring and management capabilities that provide visibility into the performance and connectivity across Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), on premises and hybrid VoIP deployments.

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In this Q&A, SVP of global support shares the
company’s journey in transforming customer service

Digital transformation and customer service improvement go hand in hand like salt and pepper or Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. Among the literally thousands of digital projects that organizations could undertake, improving customer service seems to be the unanimous choice across all industries.

Customer service needs to be front and center today because it will soon be the basis of competitive advantage and market leadership. In fact, ZK Research predicts that within five years customer experience will overtake all other attributes (price, product quality, etc.) as the No. 1 brand differentiator. The time for customer service improvement is now.

Epicor, which provides enterprise resource planning and other business software for the manufacturing, retail, and distribution industries, is one company that recently revamped the way it services its customers. I recently had the opportunity to speak with Ian Ashby, the company’s SVP of global support, about the challenges the company faced in serving its customers, which number more than 20,000 across more than 70 products in 150 countries. We also talked about the solution it chose, and the benefits gained.

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Juniper Networks’ Cloud-Grade networking combines carrier-
grade reliability with enterprise-class control and usability
for a new way to secure, deliver and manage applications

There should be no question in anyone’s mind that the cloud era has arrived. Businesses are adopting the cloud at an unprecedented rate and by 2020, the number of cloud workloads will be on par with the number of on-premises ones.

Businesses of all sizes are turning to the cloud to help them become digital by increasing the level of agility. To be an agile business, though, the entire network stack—from the network through applications must be agile.

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There’s a lot to like in automated network that delivers
insights for UC and other enterprise decision makers —
and lifts Cisco out of the switching doldrums.

Cisco earlier this week introduced “intent-based networking” (IBN) solutions at an event that had lots of flair and panache and the presence of many key executives, including CEO Chuck Robbins, SVPs David Goeckeler and Rowan Trollope, and VP and Chief of Staff Ruba Borno. Given Cisco has been the market leader in networking for decades now, does the launch of a new network system really warrant its own event, and is it a big deal? I believe it does and is… and that over time we’ll look back on this launch as a seminal moment in Cisco’s next act.

Intent-Based Networking Defined

Before I get into why I feel this way, I’ll first explain what the heck an IBN is. Today’s networks are extremely manually intensive to operate. Engineers must be familiar with a cryptic command line interface and repeat many tasks, box after box, to implement a change. Software-defined networks (SDNs) have made networks easier to manage by automating certain tasks, but engineers still need to identify all the tasks.

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Management appears committed to minimizing disruption
and delivering a long-term roadmap that leverages the
strengths of the Extreme, Avaya, and Brocade portfolios.

Over the past year, Extreme Networks has been a disruptive force shaking up the networking landscape. In March the company bid $100 million for the Avaya Networking business and, shortly after that, it dropped another $55 million for the switching, routing, and analytics assets from Brocade, which Broadcom is in the process of acquiring.

Earlier this month Extreme got clearance from the bankruptcy court to move forward with the purchase of Avaya’s networking business, but is waiting on the Broadcom-Brocade deal to close before it can proceed with the asset purchase. By the end of the summer, however, we can expect Extreme, Avaya Networking, and Brocade to become what I’ll call “ExtrAvaCade.”

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