In David Ulevitch, Cisco Has Found Its (Alternative) Rock Star Security Leader

E. Parizo

Summary Bullets:

• David Ulevitch, a seemingly unusual choice to lead Cisco’s security business, will foster ‘positive’ disruption.

• He’s the perfect choice to usher the business toward a cloud-centric future, in spite of looming challenges.

For many years, the top job in Cisco’s security business group has essentially been a revolving door. Leaders have come and gone quickly, generally in one to two year stints, with varying levels of success. It’s been a double-edged sword; ineffective leaders and misguided strategies haven’t lasted long (see: Jayshree Ullal and “Anti-X”), but innovative leaders and winning strategies often haven’t stuck (Chris Young, widely credited for the group’s turnaround, is now CEO of rival vendor McAfee). Continue reading “In David Ulevitch, Cisco Has Found Its (Alternative) Rock Star Security Leader”

I Can’t Hear Myself Think! – The Cost of Lost Productivity in Open Offices

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

  • A 2014 study by Steelcase and Ipsos found that workers lost as much as 86 minutes per day due to noise distractions.
  • Companies should carefully consider sound masking and headsets with active noise cancellation (ANC) to maximize productivity for the various environments and work styles of their employees.

In open office environments today, many workers try to screen out distractions by immersing themselves in music underneath their personal headphones in an attempt to concentrate. Office acoustics definitely influence an organization’s efficiency; a 2014 study by Steelcase and Ipsos found that workers lost as much as 86 minutes per day due to noise distractions. Unfortunately, many companies adopt open office environments, as many as 70% of U.S. offices according to the International Facilities Management Association. That equates to days of lost productivity. Why then do we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars designing offices and equipping employees with the latest and greatest productivity tools only to ignore the working environment our employees have to endure? Continue reading “I Can’t Hear Myself Think! – The Cost of Lost Productivity in Open Offices”

Enterprises Cannot Have Automation Commitment Issues and Be Successful

M. Fratto

Summary Bullets:

• Blending intent-based networking with traditional network management paradigms, while a necessary transitional requirement, is fraught with peril.
• Committing fully to intent-based networking will drive all subsequent workflow and product changes and will result in overall better IT.

I recently wrote about the nascent developments around intent-based networking (IBN), specifically, that a system can automate the provisioning of a network based on a very high-level state of what the result should look like. It’s a laudable goal and, I think, still a few years and a few iterations away from reality, but getting there – even any widespread adoption of automation and orchestration – starts with your company’s unwavering commitment to IBN and automation. Continue reading “Enterprises Cannot Have Automation Commitment Issues and Be Successful”

Does Ingenu’s CEO Search Portend Problems for Proprietary IoT LPWANs?

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

• LPWAN provider Ingenu announced that CEO John Horn was leaving the company and that it has a new strategic direction with an emphasis on partnering with leading ecosystem vendors to offer turnkey solutions

• This may portend difficulty for all the proprietary LPWAN vendors, who face imminent, highly significant competition from Tier 1 mobile operators launching LTE-M and NB-IoT networks

The sudden departure of Ingenu CEO John Horn, who was also the former head of T-Mobile USA’s IoT division, may be a signal of things to come. The flurry of network launches and service expansions from proprietary LPWAN providers Ingenu, SigFox, and the LoRA Alliance over the last two to three years have given way to more recent and frequent news about LTE-M and NB-IoT build-outs and service trials from mobile operators. 2017 has already seen the majority of global mobile operators promising or delivering on their network promises with national LPWAN networks ready to take on customers. All of these networks have a common message, to lower the price of IoT deployments for lower bandwidth use cases such as non-real-time sensor data collection, while extending device battery life – an ideal combination for long-term deployments where devices may be out in the field without much action or human intervention. A surprisingly large percent of IoT deployments today are in this usage category (often estimated at 60-80%). These are the kinds of applications that used to take advantage of lower cost 2G networks, but the LPWAN providers expect huge growth in the number of connections on their networks over the next five to ten years. Continue reading “Does Ingenu’s CEO Search Portend Problems for Proprietary IoT LPWANs?”

How Design Thinking Can Save Digital Transformation and the Tour de France

B. Shimmin
B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Technology companies like IBM and SAP are turning to the 50-year-old design and ideation methodology, ‘design thinking,’ in order to innovate more rapidly and better respond to customer needs.
  • Why is a process rooted in sticky notes and whiteboard doodles suddenly relevant for both technology providers and enterprise buyers? The reason is simple: with it, software developers can find and then answer the right questions.

A few weeks ago, a colleague passed me a link to an interesting live data dashboard for the Tour de France. Built by Dimension Data, this interactive, live view into the yearly bicycle jaunt about the French countryside was for me both fascinating and frustrating. As an IoT problem in action, the live tracking and comparative bar charts for various cycling groups (breakaway pack vs. Peloton, for example) provided an absorbing array of data points to ponder. Yet, I found myself looking for and failing to find answers to my own questions, like where are the current outliers and how does today’s stage compare with those in the past? Nitpicking, I know. But as an enthusiast of both data and cycling, I would have jumped at the chance to work with the team designing this app. Continue reading “How Design Thinking Can Save Digital Transformation and the Tour de France”

Intent-Based Networking: Nascent but Hurdles Remain

M. Fratto

• Intent-based networking (IBN) promises to optimize network operations by shifting IT from a configuration focus to an outcome focus.

• The promise may be a stretch today but IBN is evolving as a technology and a practice and improvements will come from early adopters.

IBN faces significant technical and operational challenges in gaining market acceptance within enterprise IT. The challenges start with defining and understanding what IBN is, but then quickly progresses to include things such as organizational and technical implementation.
Continue reading “Intent-Based Networking: Nascent but Hurdles Remain”

Managing Hybrid Cloud Complexity: A Battleground and Differentiator

C. Drake

Summary Bullets:

  • For enterprises of all sizes, the need to manage complex hybrid and multi-cloud environments is fueling demand for integrated management solutions.
  • Solution vendors will respond by continuing to expand their portfolio capabilities, the range of cloud platforms supported and the choice of consumption and delivery models.

It is now widely accepted that the future of enterprise cloud will be hybrid, as enterprises of all sizes look for ways of harnessing the benefits of both private and public clouds. Indeed, the perceived opportunity to deliver hybrid cloud solutions to enterprises is encouraging both public cloud service providers and private cloud infrastructure vendors to evolve their existing solutions and introduce new ones – with the latter often involving the formation of new strategic partnerships. Continue reading “Managing Hybrid Cloud Complexity: A Battleground and Differentiator”

Salesforce DX Democratizes Coding via Heroku Tools and Einstein AI-Powered CRM Apps

C. Dunlap

Summary Bullets:

  • The Trailhead training program continues to play a big part infiltrating AI into app development.
  • Salesforce DX represents a leveraging of Heroku tools to a broader audience of developers to achieve continuous integration.

At its recent TrailheaDX conference, Salesforce provided further insight into its efforts to train more developers on its high-value services, including AI-powered CRM apps, and increase the competitive threat it poses to software platform rivals Oracle, Microsoft and Amazon. Continue reading “Salesforce DX Democratizes Coding via Heroku Tools and Einstein AI-Powered CRM Apps”

Is Cloud Still an Exciting Technology in Asia Pacific?

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

• Overall cloud adoption in Asia Pacific is still low. As the region is very diverse, cloud adoption of a country can vary significantly.

• Despite playing in the market for many years, majority of providers are still struggling to find the right formula to win in this region.

Is cloud no longer an exciting technology? It is true to a certain extent. Cloud has been around for many years. With a matured ecosystem today, service providers are well aware of their positions and competitions in the market while businesses are already seeing both technical and business benefits from their cloud implementations. The conversations have changed from ‘moving to cloud’ to ‘cloud enabling digital transformation’. This is at least how cloud appears to be in the industry. Continue reading “Is Cloud Still an Exciting Technology in Asia Pacific?”

Chinese Operators Ally with U.S. and European Operators and Technology Vendors to Expand Their IoT Reach

K. Weldon
K. Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • China already dominates the world in numbers of cellular IoT connections; Chinese operators are set to plumb the LPWAN opportunity as well.
  • Recent announcements highlight the importance of U.S. and European IoT alliances to Chinese operators, with opportunities on both sides of the globe.

Over the last several weeks (which included the MWC Shanghai trade show), there have been a sizeable number of announcements relating to IoT initiatives and alliances by the three main telecom operators in China: China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom. The announcements were focused on LPWAN rollouts, alliances with other operators for reciprocal footprint expansion, and technology enhancements/vendor alliances for connectivity and subscription management. China is already a powerhouse in IoT, at least in terms of the number of connections already in use. For example, China Mobile has about 120 million connections, while China Unicom had about 20 million a year ago (and China Telecom hasn’t disclosed numbers). In comparison, Vodafone has about 50 million, while AT&T and Verizon have about 65 million connections jointly. All three Chinese operators are also actively deploying LPWAN networks, focusing on the standardized 3GPP technology, NB-IoT. Continue reading “Chinese Operators Ally with U.S. and European Operators and Technology Vendors to Expand Their IoT Reach”