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

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Its Business Journeys service can help organizations make the leap to digital.

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to a group of IT leaders on the topic of digital transformation. One of the questions I received was one I often get: How does one know where to start? It’s certainly a fair question.

Conceptually, it’s easy to understand why a business must become a digital one. However, it’s unlikely that companies have the right resources or staff to go from zero to Amazon overnight. My advice is always to be much more methodical about it, applying digital technologies in a series of small “chip shots” instead of a big, scary moon shot. I also recommend finding the processes with the most human or technical latency in them, as this is where digital transformation will have the biggest impact.

The Cisco-Google hybrid cloud solution can help businesses connect on-premises data centers to Google Cloud Platform.

There should be no question that for most organizations, hybrid clouds are the way of the future. My research shows that over 80 percent of organizations either use or plant to use a hybrid cloud strategy, so it’s coming and coming fast.

However, the path to hybrid clouds won’t be the same for all companies. Some will be aggressive and migrate to a cloud-native strategy today. Others will be more conservative and will “lift and shift” a few applications at a time before rewriting them. There’s no right answer when it comes to creating a hybrid cloud world; the key is to get there.

Device Layer provides the health status of network devices, enabling network operations teams to deliver better application and service performance.

Understanding user experience is becoming critically important to the success of all companies. I’ve interviewed dozens of business leaders on their digital transformation initiatives, and I can sort them into two larger buckets: increasing workforce productivity and improving customer experience.

Those may seem somewhat unrelated, other than they used digital technologies, but there is another point of commonality and it’s that applications play a key role.

BroadSoft’s good for Cisco, and Cisco’s good for BroadSoft — which means the deal is likely good for customers.

As mentioned elsewhere on No Jitter this morning, BroadSoft’s annual Connections event started off with a bang when it was announced that Cisco was acquiring the company for about $1.9 billion, making it one of Cisco’s biggest acquisitions to date, alongside its Sourcefire acquisition in 2013 and AppDynamics acquisition earlier this year. I talked with a number of financial analysts about this deal and one point many agree on is that the price seemed relatively low given BroadSoft’s current revenue ($380 million in 2017, $431 million in 2018), growth expectations (12%), and profitability (76% gross margin; 15% operating margin).

Network engineers can use AppDynamics to quickly diagnose the cause of poor application performance. And if the network is the problem, use the tool to resolve it faster.

Earlier this year, Cisco surprised many industry watchers when it forked out a cool $3.7 billion to acquire AppDynamics, which was about 2x the valuation it had going into its IPO. Most people know Cisco as the de facto standard and market leader in networking. AppDynamics lives higher up the stack and provides a view into how applications are performing by collecting data from users, applications, databases and servers.

This acquisition adds real-time streaming view to application intelligence Cisco earlier gained with AppDynamics buy.

Cisco this week announced its intent to acquire Perspica, a machine learning vendor — the second of this sort of acquisition this year (not to mention its 200th overall).

Earlier this year Cisco dropped a hefty $3.7 billion to purchase AppDynamics, paying a significant premium over the application performance vendor’s pending IPO price. AppD, as it’s better known as, gave Cisco a view of user experience through the lens of applications. Prior to the acquisition, Cisco had to infer how apps were performing through data generated by its security, networking, and data center products. AppD gave Cisco badly needed application intelligence, arguably enabling it to deliver the first true end-to-end monitoring and analytics platform.

Success in the digital era isn’t based on the company that has the lowest prices, best products, or even the best people. Maintaining a leadership position is predicated on the ability to quickly adapt the business to seize new opportunities faster and maintain competitive edge. The concept of becoming a “digital company” can be quite intimidating for many organizations, particularly established corporations that haven’t relied on technology in the past, as there’s a perception that digital transformation requires big moonshot-like initiatives and investments.  Hotels think they need to become AirBnB and transportation companies try to follow Uber’s lead, but they don’t need to. It’s critical for business leaders to understand that digital transformation is more about “chip shot” initiatives rather than a moonshot.



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