VMworld 2016: VMware’s Plans for Cloud Domination

M. Fratto

M. Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • One key strategy VMware employs is attempting to commoditize infrastructure through abstraction and virtualization.
  • Cloud providers need to watch as VMware’s strategy unfolds, ensuring they aren’t commoditized as well.

With Cross-Cloud Services, VMware wants to commoditize cloud services just like it sped up the commoditization of x86 servers. During the keynote demo of the tech preview, VMware replicated much of the functionality found in various cloud dashboards, but more importantly, Cross-Cloud Services consolidates the views into a consistent and cohesive dashboard. I think it’s a pretty impressive effort and I’m curious to see the final product, but as impressed as I may be, I can’t help but consider VMware’s endgame as it tries to manage all the clouds. Read more of this post

2016 Collaboration and Communications Forecast: Cloudy with Outbreaks of Hybrid?

T. Banting

T. Banting

Summary Bullets:

  • Many enterprises are so hampered by traditional, inflexible IT models that they’re eager to jump into the cloud and start reaping the benefits.
  • Some customers still have security and privacy concerns, and will continue to err on the side of caution by favoring private cloud or on-premises deployments.

Having attended two large industry events this month, it is clear that public cloud services are top of mind for many customers and a trending topic for 2016. Indeed, both Enterprise Connect and Jive World abounded with customers adopting public cloud collaboration and communication services. Cloud adoption in 2016 seems more tangible compared to the hype of last year and the momentum is staggering. While customers believe the cloud offers lower total cost of ownership, productivity improvements and increased flexibility, I also discovered two other themes worth mentioning. Read more of this post

HP Dims the Lights on Its Helion Public Cloud

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • HP’s fits and starts in the cloud continued this week with its disclosure in a blog that the company will sunset its Helion public cloud offer in January.
  • Unable to compete against the hyperscale tier cloud providers, HP is choosing to redouble its efforts in private cloud – and in selling hardware and software to IaaS providers across the public/private spectrum.

HP is making a fast exit from the public cloud sphere. Outmaneuvered by cloud behemoths like AWS and Microsoft which can outcompete HP consistently on price and agility in the IaaS realm, HP has decided to take its Helion public cloud solution off the market in January 2016. In a blog post this week, Bill Hiff, Senior Vice President and General Manager for HP Cloud, said that while HP is committed to helping customers manage their infrastructures across the traditional IT and private and public cloud spectrums, it was time to make a change. Read more of this post

Collaboration in the Enterprise Needs a Wakeup Call

Brad Shimmin

Brad Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • If we are to move forward with enterprise collaboration as something more than a cost center, perhaps our very idea of collaboration needs a hard reset.
  • It’s time we did away with the notion of collaboration as a discrete set of tools and instead explored the idea of collaboration as ambient user engagement.

I think the enterprise collaboration market is ripe for a bit of a shakeup. Somewhere there’s a wake-up call ringing right now, a signal to vendors and to enterprise IT professionals that the current swirling paradigms of thought on the matter of collaboration have slowed and are currently stymied by an overabundance of bright shiny market trends like cloud, mobility, social networking, and even big data. Of course, like many, I feel that the effective application of capabilities such as expertise location, geo positioning, and multi-channel delivery will mean a lot to the future of Microsoft Office 365, IBM Connections, Unify Ansible, Avaya Aura, and Jive Social Business Software. Furthermore, the many collaborative modalities wrapped up within these solutions (doc sharing, email, chat, voice/video, event streams, etc.) are part and parcel to their success and to our success as users and IT professionals. Read more of this post

Live from the Vodafone Industry Analyst Summit

Kathryn Weldon

Kathryn Weldon

Summary Bullets:

  • What a difference a year makes! In 2012, Vodafone was just starting to make sense of its acquisition of Cable & Wireless; it is clear that the operator has made significant progress in its aim to become an ICT provider of fixed and mobile network services and IT solutions (or as Vodafone said “an ICT transformation provider with a mobile core”).
  • Key themes and discussions during Day 1 included: a significant sales and delivery restructuring, plans to enlarge its footprint in emerging countries, a focus on fixed and mobile security, the importance of SMEs as a customer segment, a new Carrier Services (wholesale) group, the ongoing process of providing consistency across its operating companies, and Vodafone’s journey up the value chain to provide managed and transformational services.

Day 1 of the Vodafone Industry Analyst Summit, held in London on November 6th and 7th, included deep dives on a wide variety of subjects relating to its Enterprise business. Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao kicked off the event, setting out the company vision to continue to be a strong player in the enterprise and a leader in emerging markets, with “selective” service innovation and cost efficiencies in place to help the company continue to thrive in a still recovering global economy. Presentations by Vodafone Group Enterprise, the new Carrier Services organization, a key M2M customer (BMW), Vodafone Global Enterprise, the new Cloud and Hosting services group, the M2M organization, (followed by a customer testimonial by GlobeTracker), and the Enterprise Products and Network Strategy organizations completed the plenary sessions. The afternoon was packed with “deeper dive” breakout sessions on M2M, Carrier Services, Vodafone Global Enterprise, and Cloud and Hosting Services. The discussions on the 7th will feature the Cable & Wireless integration, Vodafone’s partnership with BAE Systems for providing customers with network security, and a session on how Vodafone is “One company with local roots”. There are also demos on a number of M2M services, the One Net UC solution, and enterprise mobility management solutions. Read more of this post

Three Bits of Advice from Discussing the Impact of VMware’s NSX at VMworld

Mike Fratto

Mike Fratto

Summary Bullets:

  • Networking vendors need to embrace homogeneity and provide frictionless integration with virtual environments. Your value add occurs below the hypervisor layer.
  • Networking vendors—any vendor for that matter—should integrate with as many platforms as possible. Remove a barrier to adoption and you’ll reach a wider audience.

Embrace homogeneity. While walking the expo floor at VMworld last week, I spent a lot of time talking to vendors about software defined networking and what VMware’s NSX platform meant. There’s a surprising amount of confusion about what SDN is and how vendors can make the most of it, but the simplest way I can make sense of NSX is homogeneity. Server virtualization and all the processes make a data center dynamic like VM motions, robust storage, and scale-up/in/out architectures rely on running VMs being oblivious to what is happening underneath them. The virtual world is homogenous. It doesn’t matter if the CPU is from Intel or AMD. It doesn’t matter if the storage is FC or iSCSI based. Regardless of where a VM runs, the platform it sees is the same. That enables enterprises to swap out a FC SAN with an iSCSI array with nary a hiccup in the VM. Read more of this post

What’s in a (Cloud, Hosted) Name?

Cindy Whelan

Cindy Whelan

Summary Bullets

  • The last couple of years have brought increased visibility to “the cloud,” driven in part by the economic environment.
  • Cloud and hosted models have some similar elements; some marketers use the terms interchangeably, adding confusion to the market.

Over the last several years, the communications marketplace has been inundated with news of “cloud” services, offering businesses the promise of cost savings in a challenging economic environment.  It has been difficult to find a news article or press release from a service provider touting its latest unified communications offer without the word “cloud” in the headline, or at least in the body of the release.  Some services previously referred to as hosted are being rebranded as cloud-based; marketing collateral sometimes uses the terms interchangeably, further muddying the waters. Read more of this post

Brokering a Better Cloud Position for the Enterprise

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • With the emphasis on cost competitiveness and transparency, distinguishing features can quickly fall away in the cloud.
  • Some providers respond by stepping up to strategic roles as chief advocates for their clients, aggregating services and supplying mechanisms to streamline provisioning and management.

In an environment where providers trumpet similar pricing models and comparable feature sets based on technology from common vendors, it can be hard to distinguish one cloud service from another. Enterprise IT decision-makers tend to select providers that have earned their trust through work in other projects. However, there is still room for rival providers to compete for new accounts by offering a compelling solution. The most savvy of these service providers recognize that a change as inherently complex a change as the move to the cloud presents opportunities for them to position themselves as  strategic partners in guiding clients through this transition. Read more of this post

Vodafone Accelerates Cable&Wireless Worldwide Integration

Gary Barton

Gary Barton

Summary Bullets:

  • Faster integration will deliver quicker synergies for Vodafone and allow it to develop converged fixed and mobile services faster.
  • This is a sudden change in strategy from Vodafone’s initial slow integration approach and the MNO’s plans are ambitious.

Vodafone has set out a strategy for its enterprise facing divisions that will take it through until 2015. Effective January 1st, 2013, will launch a new ‘Group Enterprise’ umbrella (GEU) consisting of four units: Vodafone Global Enterprise (VGE); Vodafone Carrier Services, Machine-to-Machine (M2M); and Hosting and Cloud Services. Vodafone’s new strategy also involves an accelerated integration schedule for Cable&Wireless Worldwide (CWW). From the start of 2013, Vodafone will begin to integrate CWW’s UK operations with Vodafone UK – including customer service; CWW’s international business, carrier services, hosting and cloud business with the new GEU; CWW’s HR, finance and legal services will be merged with Vodafone UK and CWW’s technology division will be merged with Vodafone’s Group Technology. Read more of this post

Balancing the Need for Access and Security in the Age of IT Consumerization

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Amy Larsen DeCarlo

Summary Bullets:

  • Trends such as the ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) movement put more IT power into the hands of end users.  However, making IT resources more accessible can significantly increase the risk of breaches.
  • Having a handle on data security in what today are extremely porous environments requires more than sophisticated technology; enterprises also need to have the right policies and practices in place to avoid the most prevalent cause of incidents: human error.

Access is everything in IT today, with organizations placing a premium on the ability to tap into enterprise resources from virtually any location and a multitude of different device types.  This extensible approach to enterprise IT is meant to support more productive and agile operating models.  However, for all the potential value technologies such as mobility can bring to an organization, there is also risk associated with allowing end users and their often unmanaged devices rights to direct entry to critical resources. Read more of this post