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Posts Tagged ‘Enterprise Mobility’

Today, Cisco announced AppHQ, a corporate-focused Android app store for its Cius tablet.

What makes AppHQ different from the consumer app-based open source Android Marketplace is that AppHQ’s applications will focus primarily on the enterprise market and unique corporate mobile use cases (and not just tablet versions of corporate applications). For example, many AppHQ apps will be vertically oriented, i.e., focused on medical, field service, campus workers and corporate executives – and that will be a great differentiator for Cisco and allow the company to stretch its lead over Microsoft and other competitiors.

See the Yankee Group report “Cisco Expands its Communications and Collaboration Portfolio with Cius and AppHQ” for further analysis.

I was on a flight earlier this week and watched one of my favorite movies – Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. It made me think about how the movie, and even the original TV shows that dated back to the 60, gave us a look into where technology was going and indeed has gone today.  I’d like to point out some of the more advanced technologies in Star Trek.

  • Virtual resource mobility. About a quarter of the way through the movie, the Reliant attacks the Enterprise and Mr. Scott tells Admiral Kirk that he’s diverting all power to life support.  A few moments later he diverts the power to phasers as they attack back.  Juxtapose the fluidity of IT resources that the Enterprise has compared to current IT environment.  Mr. Scott was able to move a compute resource — power — to the system that required it most, as business policy dictates from a centralized management console.  If Mr. Scott had to go manually move from silo to silo, the Enterprise could not have been agile enough to respond competitively.  This is a great example of why organizations should look to virtualization and pooling their own IT resources.
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Last week the White House announced that Vivek Kundra, the first ever federal government CIO, will leave his position in August.  Prior to Kundra, federal IT was considered about as aggressive as Lebron James in the NBA finals.  When Kundra took over that post in 2009, he became best known for his “cloud first” policy for all federal agencies, which resulted in a plan to shut down over 800 federal data centers.

However, it’s worth noting that he modernized the federal government in many other ways.  One of Kundra’s initiatives was to modernize the government through consumer technologies like iPads and Google mail.  At Yankee Group, the consumerization of IT is one of our primary research areas and Kundra’s ability to consumerize the government is taking that to the extreme.

So where does the government go from here?  Whoever is named the successor to Kundra cannot take their foot off the gas.  For the first time ever, the US government has the opportunity to show the world “what’s possible” when it comes to technology.  There will be some challenges to come for Federal IT between CIOs but that doesn’t mean the brakes will be put on.  Life goes on and so should the modernization of the Federal government.

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One of the most important changes in scaling corporate data center has been the evolution of the application delivery controller (ADC).  The ADC bridges the network and application environments together.  By having the ADC at this strategic control point, organizations are able to scale their data center infrastructure without disrupting the service to the user.

As we move more and applications and infrastructure to the cloud, the ADC will play a similar role in scaling the cloud.  As more traffic moves to and from the cloud, the ADC will play an increasingly important role in ensuring that this can happen without degradation of performance.  That much is well understood.  What’s not well understood is what the form factor of the ADC should be.

Many of the data center appliance vendors have shifted their strategy to build virtual versions.  The thought being that if the server and storage infrastructure is virtual, and then so should be all of the appliances that sit around it.  This would include ADCs, WAN optimizers, security devices and other functions that surround the server infrastructure.

However, before the industry proclaims, “All hail the virtual appliance”, it’s important to understand there are some limitations to the model of the virtual appliance.  With the ADC playing such a key role, it’s critical that cloud providers understand where these limitations are.

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This week at Google’s I/O developer conference, the company announced the general availability of two Chrome OS Laptops.  Both Best Buy and Amazon will be selling the devices made by Acer and Samsung.  The Samsung “Chrome Book” will have a 12.1 inch display and have integrated WiFi and Verizon 3G and will be priced at $429.  The Acer device will only be $349 but will be WiFi only and have an 11.6 inch screen.  Both devices tout long battery life and are optimized for accessing content out of the cloud.

Google also announced a very compelling business package where organizations could lease the Chrome Books for $28 per month per user.  The $28 price tag includes the laptop, full warranty, support, service, end of life replacement and a device called the Chrome Box to allow companies to connect the Chrome Book to the corporate file systems.

In my opinion, this is an important evolutionary step for the device market, for both consumers and corporate workers.  Almost every part of technology has transformed to be web optimized.  To quote my colleague, Sandra Palumbo, “we access what we want, when we want” because we’re always connected.

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The struggles at Cisco have been well documented over the past year or so.  Much of the reason for this is large number of executive departures that have left Cisco over the past few years.  Here is a list of the more notable ones in recent memory:

  • Tony Bates, SVP of Cisco’s enterprise, commercial and small business division is now CEO of Skype
  • Debra Chrapaty, SVP of Collaboration became Zynga’s CIO
  • Dan Scheinman head of Cisco’s media business resigned when Cisco shut down Flip
  • Nawaf Bitar, VP of Security is now a GM and SVP of Juniper Networks Emerging Technologies division
  • Jayshree Ulall, SVP of the Data Center, Switching and Services business unit is now CEO of Arista Networks
  • Doug Gourlay, VP of Data Center Marketing joined Jayshree at Arista to become VP of Marketing at Arista
  • Jeff Hirschman, engineering manager of Cisco’s Gigabit Switching Business Unit also joined Arista to be VP of Engineering
  • Ben Gibson, head of Cisco’s enterprise mobility solutions marketing business is Chief Marketing Officer of Aruba Networks
  • Dayle Hall and Chris Kozup, both marketing managers that worked for Ben at Cisco joined Aruba shortly after
  • Joe Burton, CIO of Cisco’s Unified Communications group is now Polycom’s CTO and GM of Enterprise and service provider

But the churn in executive talent started when Mike Volip and Charlie Giancarlo left several years ago.  Those departures coincided with Cisco’s implementation of its “boards and councils” management style.  The boards and councils approach isn’t the sole reason Cisco has had people leave.  The lack of growth in Cisco’s stock price has been an issue for some as well.  Looking at the list of places where the execs have landed, other than Bitar, it’s all start-ups or high growth companies.

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