WHO DO YOU TRUST? Private clouds, managed cloud services, and hybrid cloud environments are not created equally. Learn why.

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1 CLOUD SPECIAL EDITION Unleashing IT VOLUME 4 / ISSUE 3 WHO DO YOU TRUST? Private clouds, managed cloud services, and hybrid cloud environments are not created equally. Learn why. PAGE 6 Financing the cloud PAGE 10 Greenfield growth PAGE 16 Real-time pricing

2 NOT ALL CLOUDS ARE EQUAL When it comes to placing your missioncritical systems and applications in the cloud, do you know what s behind the scenes? Do you know if your data is secure? Who do you trust? This edition of Unleashing IT highlights the best of the best: The strategies and Cisco Powered services providers that deliver on the promise of enterprise-class clouds. You ll learn how spinoff-turned-startup Bioventus stood up a cloud-based infrastructure for its global operations in just five months (page 10). You ll see how GoodMills is using the cloud to advance its vision of a real-time pricing model (page 16). You ll learn how cloud services have helped U.S. Auto increase its sales by 20 percent (page 14). And you ll hear how a prominent law firm turned a $3 million fire disaster into a host of cloud-based business opportunities (page 20). These companies found trust in Cisco Powered clouds, managed services, or a hybrid of the two with validated architectures, open standards, and third-party audits that ensure enterprise-class performance. For more information, follow the links inside or contact Cisco at For more information on Cisco Powered services visit cisco.com/go/ciscopowered. We welcome your feedback on the articles in this publication at UnleashingIT.com. Sincerely, Unleashing IT VOLUME 4 / ISSUE 3 STRATEGIES CHOOSING THE RIGHT CLOUD MODEL PILOTING CLOUD SERVICES FINANCING THE CLOUD EXPERIENCES BALANCING CAPEX AND OPEX VIRTUAL DESKTOPS INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY SETTING THE STAGE FOR INNOVATION EASING THE TRANSITION TO THE CLOUD FIRE IGNITES CLOUD JOURNEY CONSOLIDATING TELEPHONY PLATFORMS PAYS DIVIDENDS Ellen Berlan Director Cloud, U.S. Cisco Systems, Inc. Unleashing IT is published by Cisco Systems, Inc. To receive future editions of Unleashing IT and provide feedback on the articles in this edition, visit UnleashingIT.com. Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon Inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Cisco, the Cisco logo, Cisco Capital, Cisco Powered, Cisco SMARTnet, and Cisco WebEx are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. To view a list of Cisco trademarks, visit Third party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. (1505) Agility, faster time to market, scaling up and down, ease of deployment, and capex/opex reduction. Every company needs these things, and enterprise-class cloud technologies and services deliver. Ellen Berlan, Director Cloud, U.S., Cisco

3 STRATEGIES CHOOSING THE RIGHT CLOUD MODEL Options, considerations, and advice for deploying and maximizing private cloud technologies. What if you could supercharge your business? What if you could boost the agility and effectiveness of your employees and partners and the satisfaction of your customers with self-service, automated IT capabilities? And what if you could do all of this while reducing capital and operating expenses? Private clouds can help achieve such gains, but many companies still struggle with the sheer volume of deployment options and variables. There are a variety of private cloud consumption models, including internal private clouds, hosted private clouds, managed private clouds, and even internal private clouds operated as a service, explains Enrico Fuiano, senior product marketing manager at Cisco. Each of these deployment options has very different financial, organizational, and technological implications. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the essential elements of any cloud deployment Unleashing IT 3

4 include on-demand, self-service access to IT services, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, measured service, and broad network access 1. Beyond those elements, there is no clear blueprint for private cloud success. Every organization and every cloud is different. It s important to remember that private cloud is, in essence, an IT automation and deployment model, says Fuiano. When your employees and other users access services and applications, they aren t thinking about what kind of infrastructure they are using. They re thinking about the applications and services they need to do their jobs. Ultimately, user expectations define how you think about the role of your IT organization. And these expectations will only continue to escalate. MORE CHOICES THAN EVER BEFORE It s clear that private cloud deployments are gaining momentum. But do they make sense for every organization? And with a variety of deployment and consumption models, what is the best strategy for success? Fuiano says the answers should be based on a well-defined strategy and set of governance principles. Business objectives absolutely must come first, he insists. Consider what are you trying to accomplish with your private cloud deployment. Do you want to modernize your IT organization? Do you need to accelerate the delivery of IT services? Or are you simply trying to increase operational efficiencies and lower TCO (total cost of ownership)? Once overarching goals have been established, specific use cases must be defined. After all, not every IT service requires scalability, self-service access, and fast, elastic availability of the underlying resources. People and processes must also be considered, with analyses surrounding financial, cultural, and organizational implications of moving to a cloud model. Ultimately, private cloud is not a one size fits all approach to IT service delivery. It s a journey, Fuiano says. Cloud strategies are best developed on a case-by-case basis. You also need to consider whether you will want to extend your private cloud services and applications to the public cloud. And you must identify the enterprise and security policies you will need to maintain across a hybrid cloud environment. While the number of deployment models and variables may seem overwhelming, Fuiano says they help deliver a critical element of the cloud paradigm: flexibility. Choice enables organizations to find the solution that best aligns with their specific business objectives and use cases. If you re considering a private cloud deployment, you have more choices than ever before, Fuiano says. But to make the most of the cloud, a comprehensive and incremental strategy is key. It starts with a close look at your business processes and evaluation of whether a public, private, or hybrid environment will offer the best results. With the right strategy and solutions, you can set the stage for a fast, agile business that can succeed in an increasingly competitive world. 1 GET CLOUD ADVICE To see which cloud approach is right for your business, get a personalized Cloud Flight Plan at UnleashingIT.com/Ciscocloud. 4 Unleashing IT

5 STRATEGIES PILOTING CLOUD SERVICES CIOs take their cue from the evolution of flight. With all the talk about cloud technologies, it s interesting to think CIOs can learn from those who actually fly through clouds every day. Yet there are many lessons to be learned from the airline industry, says Rick Hamilton, Cisco s vice president of cloud managed services. In 1936, for example, a flagship DC-3 carried 20 passengers at speeds of 200 miles per hour with two pilots in the cockpit. Today s Airbus 380 carries 850 passengers at more than twice that speed, but the cockpit crew remains at two. The only way this is possible is through an amazing array of complexity now built into the aircraft, says Hamilton, referring to autopilot, Internet-based navigation, and real-time engine monitoring systems. In other words, it s accomplished through automation, which is very similar to what we re doing in the cloud. With IT operating budgets shrinking to one to seven percent of revenue, CIOs need to deliver more value without increasing spend. Cloud services do this by automating routine, highly manual, and even highly intellectual tasks in a consistent, scalable way that introduces efficiencies. MOVING PAST THE COMPLEXITY Automation isn t without its hiccups. Early attempts to do more in the airline industry carry more people at faster speed came with a great deal of complexity, involving more people but resulting in less efficiency overall. It s a familiar scenario for anyone who lived through the transition from centralized mainframes to distributed clientserver architectures. IT organizations often mushroomed from a handful of IT administrators to thousands. The industry said, Wow! This is really punishing from an economic standpoint. What do we do? reflects Hamilton. He points to the example of a large bank that was having difficulty maintaining compliance while delivering new customer services. Technology and infrastructure changes needed to occur quickly, but manual processes spanning a large, diverse IT environment resulted in mistakes, outages, and compliance issues. Using an automated cloud solution, the bank brought its system configuration back into compliance within a matter of months. A manual fix would have required two years or more, and would have remained susceptible to the same human errors that caused the problems in the first place. Instead, it was done in a predictable, automated way without the nuances of having an entire department of people making changes, says Hamilton. They responded to their regulatory issue with a plan, and they did it without disrupting business. Zeus Kerravala, principle analyst at ZK Research in Westminster, Mass., calls it a shift in control. I ve always said you re only as agile as your least agile component, he says. With cloud services, control is shifting. We re automating a lot of things we used to do manually, and that s driving better agility. While traditional outsourcing models asked enterprises to relinquish control, cloud services give it back, adds Kerravala. The difference lies in what IT is now controlling. Using the airplane analogy, pilots today focus on different tasks than they did years ago, he says. The same could be said for IT. The more that s automated in the cloud, the more IT leaders can control usage, consumption, new product delivery, or whatever it is that matters most to them. GET CLOUD ADVICE To see which cloud approach is right for your business, get a personalized Cloud Flight Plan at UnleashingIT.com/Ciscocloud. Unleashing IT 5

6 STRATEGIES THE EMERGENCE OF THE MOBILE CLOUD Industry analyst and AT&T executives discuss the increased alignment of mobile and cloud technologies. TAP THE MOBILE CLOUD Mobile and cloud technologies are teaming up in new ways, delivering applications and information wherever and whenever they are needed. For additional cloud resources and guidance, including white papers, videos, and solution briefs, visit the resource center at UnleashingIT.com. 6 Unleashing IT

7 Mobile and cloud technologies are intrinsically linked. Designed to give users easier, more flexible access to information and applications, the two share similar roots. And they are now being aligned in new and impactful ways. We live in a mobile plus cloud world, says Maribel Lopez, founder of Lopez Research and contributor to Forbes 1. While each of these technology trends has its own challenges and merits, companies are increasingly thinking of how the intersection of mobile and cloud will change their business. Sales representatives, installers, service and maintenance professionals, auditors, and other remote workers have relied on Internet-enabled mobile devices for more than a decade. The cloud simply expands the possibilities for what can be accessed and what can be accomplished with those devices. BLURRING TRADITIONAL LINES Going mobile isn t just a matter of selecting devices and operating systems. The shift to mobile is about creating application, data, and services portability across locations and devices, Lopez explains. A truly mobile company will also take advantage of all of the new data sources and features location, image capture, and sensor data, for example that mobility provides. ALIGNING PEOPLE AND THINGS Some of the most impactful opportunities come when mobile things are aligned with mobile workers and functions. Sensors on garbage and recycling bins, for example, can alert waste management companies when they are full, allowing dispatchers to send a truck for collection on an as-needed basis versus weekly routes to gather half-filled bins. Also, auto insurance companies can use the mobile cloud to amass a wealth of details including photos, witness accounts, and location, weather, and traffic data to construct claims immediately following an accident instead of trying to compile the facts after everyone has left the scene. The opportunities are endless, spanning every industry and many business functions. The way we work and collaborate will be very, very different in five years, says Gopalakrishnan. The lines that we see today between voice, video, applications, and data will be completely blurred. DEVELOPING A UNIFIED STRATEGY Cloud computing provides a critical role in helping mobile achieve its ultimate value proposition, says Lopez. Cloud is at the core of enabling new service innovation. Many of today s most highly regarded mobile services, such as file sync and share and streaming content services, couldn t exist without the cloud. That s why companies need a unified strategy. And they need to develop applications and services that are network, device, sensor, and identity aware. Only then can the mobile cloud be fully realized. Rather than building a mobile strategy and a cloud strategy, a company should be thinking of these things as combined, Lopez suggests. Others may call this the next generation of IT, but this transition expands far beyond a shift in infrastructure. The mobile cloud world changes the fundamental fabric of a business, she continues. The mindshift is that business leaders will use these technologies to change the customer and employee experience with contextual data that makes the end user smarter, not just more efficient. That s where things get interesting. The mobile cloud isn t just for mobile workers. It s for everyone. And everything. The Internet of Everything is certainly enabled by the mobile cloud, says Vishy Gopalakrishnan, associate vice president of unified communications at AT&T. Sensors, automobiles, machinery, asset tracking devices all of them are capable of gathering, crunching, and distributing data over cellular networks. Mobility is no longer just an extension of business functions. It s becoming the primary platform, says Doug Jones, executive director of conferencing at AT&T, noting that he does most of his work from his smartphone. Every situation can be a mobile first situation, and the cloud helps make it possible. 1 Unleashing IT 7

8 STRATEGIES FINANCING THE CLOUD Extrinsica Global and Fusion Networks are taking advantage of Cisco Capital financing to build and grow their cloud portfolios. 8 Unleashing IT

9 Establishing a new business or new product line, or new service offering takes time. And it takes money. But what if those two limiting factors were removed, or at least mitigated? Wouldn t that new organization or offering get off to a better start and have a greater chance to succeed? That s the assertion of Cisco Capital, which offers asset-backed lending and financing options to Cisco customers and partners. And the innovative financier is betting heavily on the cloud. The cloud is a business model changer, says Kristine A. Snow, president of Cisco Capital. There s significant opportunity for everyone, and we re committed to helping. Committed indeed. Cisco Capital has earmarked $1 billion for financial solutions that help accelerate the adoption of cloud technologies. These financing options allow customers and partners to preserve cash by removing onerous, upfront capital investments, while reducing the time and risk of cloud deployments. TCO [total cost of ownership] and upfront investment are two of the biggest inhibitors of cloud adoption, and we help remove those barriers, says Snow. We believe in our customers and partners, and we believe in the transformative value of the cloud. EXTRINSICA GLOBAL: GENUINE RISK SHARING Based in the United Kingdom, Extrinsica Global was delivering applications via the Internet before the cloud became a defined and meteoric trend. As bigger players and bigger opportunities came to the fore, company leaders realized a new strategy was needed. One that elevated Extrinsica from a boutique shop serving small businesses into a midmarket cloud leader. We needed a different model, and decided to build our own cloud infrastructure and cloud fabric, says Simon Smith, chief executive for Extrinsica. We had the experience, the knowledge, the strategy, and the potential customers. We just didn t have the financial means. Enter Cisco Capital, which offered an innovative financing arrangement that includes leased equipment at a significant discount, 1 million of debt financing, and revenue sharing. Soon thereafter, Extrinsica received a metric ton of Cisco hardware and quickly started building a robust cloud fabric that can deliver anything-as-a-service. According to Smith, Extrinsica is now at the leading edge of what can be designed for and delivered through hybrid cloud environments, and customer demand is growing exponentially. Cisco has genuinely shared the risk with us, Smith says. They took a bet on us, and things have progressed astonishingly well. FUSION NETWORKS: MEETING A DEADLINE A New Zealand-based systems integrator and networking services company, Fusion Networks wanted to grow its services portfolio and become a cloud provider. With government and enterprise customers being the prime target, company leaders knew they had to deliver the very best and highest quality cloud services. We had two options: tap a third-party cloud environment or build our own, recalls Andrew Gurr, managing director for Fusion. Building our own cloud was the only way we would have ultimate control over quality and the ability to adapt the environment over time. But that requires a lot of upfront cost. Cost wasn t the only concern. Fusion had won a large enterprise contract for cloud services, which required those services to be in production within three months. We had a deadline, says Gurr. Finding new business has never been a problem, but growing our capabilities and getting funding can be a challenge. Cisco Capital jumped at the opportunity, he says, financing a full cloud infrastructure in a lease to own model. Instead of a prohibitive, lump sum payment, Fusion is paying for the equipment and Cisco SMARTnet Service, which helps with infrastructure maintenance and quality management over 36 months. Cisco was the only provider who understood our vision and potential from Day One, and they moved very quickly, says Gurr. We were surprised by their level of comfort in taking on the risk, being relaxed with the partnership, and trusting our business. We ve been thrilled with our relationship with Cisco Capital. Fusion s cloud business went live in April 2014, and more than doubled in the first year. By preserving cash, the company was able to hire nine additional staff members to help support the influx of new clients. We are open for business, says Snow. Anyone wanting to adopt Cisco cloud technologies or advance their cloud capabilities should contact us. We have flexible financing options and tailored financial solutions that can help across the Cisco cloud portfolio. NEED CLOUD FINANCING? It can take time for new technology deployments to provide operational cost savings or new revenue. With Cisco Capital, payments can be made over time, aligning your investment with the resulting technology benefits. To learn more about Cisco Capital and cloud financing opportunities, visit cisco.com/web/ ciscocapital/index.html. Unleashing IT 9

10 EXPERIENCES BALANCING CAPEX AND OPEX Cloud-based infrastructure allows a spinoff biologics company to focus on business opportunities, not technology. GET A CLOUD ASSESSMENT While cloud experiments and greenfield projects may be easy, moving business-critical applications and entire data centers can put a strain on resources. If not properly evaluated and planned, cloud migrations can have undesired ripple effects. For a complimentary assessment that helps you understand and prepare for complex cloud migrations, visit UnleashingIT.com/assess. 10 Unleashing IT

11 A greenfield environment is the ultimate blank slate for a corporate IT department. Unlike an upgrade or expansion, there s no existing hardware to leverage, no application alignment, no architecture conformation. It s an opportunity to solve business and IT challenges with innovative approaches. Bioventus faced just such an opportunity when global medical technology company Smith & Nephew decided to spin off its biologics division as a new company. Bioventus had to stand up an IT infrastructure for its worldwide operations on a limited budget, within five months, and with only one person of a five-person IT department devoted to infrastructure, says Greg Lamm, director of IT infrastructure operations and vendor management office at Bioventus. COMMON VISION Lamm and other Bioventus IT leaders envisioned a small IT shop leveraging cloud-based services for a technology infrastructure, leaving day-to-day operations and management in the hands of trusted vendors. It was a vision Lamm had advocated at other companies, but there was always too much invested in legacy hardware and software to turn it into a reality. Bioventus presented a greenfield opportunity. I walked in the door, and, without exaggeration, we owned nothing technologically, Lamm says no phones, no computers, no network, but 475 employees. I had a big wish list that got narrowed very quickly. LESS WORRY, MORE GROWTH Shifting technology costs from a capital expense (CAPEX) to an operating expense (OPEX) model gave the executive team one less thing to worry about come budget time. They had a degree of cost certainty year-over-year, something that s uncommon for a new company. To a chief financial officer and a board of directors, that s no small thing, Lamm says. As Bioventus deployed its cloud-based infrastructure and saw rapid business growth, additional opportunities arose. With a solid and scalable foundation on which other cloud services can be quickly rolled out, Bioventus is in the process of evaluating NWN s backup-as-a-service, disaster recovery-asa-service, and desktop-as-a-service. The infrastructure-as-a-service strategy offers more flexibility as opposed to a platform-as-a-service strategy. Lamm feels that Bioventus doesn t have to bend to fit the provider s platform. We weren t necessarily locked into doing it their way, he says. COST AND PERFORMANCE CERTAINTY That cost and performance certainty has already paid off for Bioventus. Technology initiatives are synchronized with a global company calendar. In 2015, the emphasis is on honing an already-tight security regimen. We can tweak it at a more granular level, Lamm says. We can come back not so much with an axe, but with a scalpel. And the approach has allowed Bioventus to focus on business issues rather than the underlying technology. But Bioventus had something many spinoffs and startups don t have a flagship product with a revenue stream. Its Exogen product, a non-invasive treatment to accelerate the healing of broken bones, had a ready worldwide market. A cloud-based infrastructure hosted by NWN Corporation, a Cisco Powered service provider, made the most sense with the company s capital situation. In the last year, two of its most critical applications its human resources application and its travel and expenses tracker have undergone complete revamps. Managing those upgrades on-premise would have taken the company about a year, by Lamm s estimate. Instead, Lamm s team spent the year working on a tablet rollout for the sales crew. After having the tablets online for a month, Bioventus had its best sales period by far, recording an increase in the seven-figure range. That s the value of hosted infrastructure allowing an organization to focus on business issues and growth instead of technology. Unleashing IT 11

12 EXPERIENCES A MORE EFFICIENT WORKSPACE Research shows that designing workspaces around activities, not traditional corporate structures, pays off in better productivity. Projects aren t forever. So why are workspaces? Consider a typical project. How many disciplines from within the company are involved? Engineering provides the infrastructure; IT does the development; quality assurance makes sure it s bulletproof; marketing manages the launch; distribution, sales, logistics the list goes on. And in a traditional enterprise environment, each of those contributors will be working from their own organization, meeting periodically for updates and progress reports. We need to work across boundaries that were traditionally more separate, says Peter Gahan, director of the Center for Workplace Leadership and professor at the University of Melbourne in Australia. According to Gahan, the Center s goal is to provide the kind of management training that accelerates innovative and productive practices for Australia s workforce. An important part of that concept is recognizing the way technology is transforming the way we can work, says Gahan, adding that this is particularly true of virtual environments. Gahan also suggests that building workspaces around the activity that s taking place, rather than around a corporate hierarchy, makes much more efficient use of valuable real estate. And, he s quick to point out, the University of Melbourne is itself an excellent example of how the workplace can evolve. If you look at a standard university workplace setting, it has barely changed in the last 500 years, he says. Rather than traditional arrangements of buildings and corridors and offices, Gahan says the University of Melbourne has moved to open-concept, flexible, activity-based, technologically-driven environments, which have become a showcase for the center s industry clients. They often find it hard to imagine what these forms of innovative workspaces might look like, says Gahan. And thanks to technologies like videoconferencing, IP telephony, and wireless connectivity, it s now easier than ever to transform open-concept workspaces to suit various styles of work, from colocation to isolation. Telework becomes more practical, team-based collaboration becomes easier, and the use of space is maximized. Better by design: Transforming workspaces improves employee productivity and performance. BETTER UTILIZATION If you were to undertake an audit of workspaces at any particular point in time, you would see that large swathes of space are not utilized or are underutilized in the course of the day, Gahan says, adding that activity-based working, with the right design and technological tools, can ensure all spaces are allocated more efficiently. One company Gahan works with is a workplace blank slate, with open concept offices and all its furniture on wheels. As needs change, the space is reconfigured and the technology moves with the employees, he says. Wireless and cloud-based technologies are all central to enabling that type of work design. The result: Better productivity and employee performance, easier collaboration, and more efficient use of expensive real estate. All of which make the ROI case for an activity-based workspace. Get a personalized Cloud Flight Plan at UnleashingIT.com/Ciscocloud. 12 Unleashing IT

13 BUILDING ON CLOUD TELEPHONY When the University of Melbourne s voice-over-ip platform was reaching end-of-life in October 2014, the school didn t just see the challenge of replacing a phone system, but the opportunity to provide a platform for state-of-the-art collaboration. Our backend was quite old, and it was due both for software and hardware upgrades, says Niranjan Prabhu, the university s acting CIO. We wanted to enable many future collaboration applications, like instant messaging, presence, click-to-call, soft-phone, videoconferencing, and so on, that a cloud solution offers. With 13,000-plus endpoints, a call volume of 30,000 per day, and about 100 moves, adds, and changes every month, the system was approaching its design capacity. With almost eight full-time equivalent (FTE) staffers devoted just to maintaining the system, the Information Technology Services (ITS) department didn t have the resources to implement the advanced desktop and collaboration features that an IP telephony infrastructure enables. With a cloud-based telephony solution and a cloud-first strategy for adding new services the university saw it could free up at least three FTEs to provide more value-added IT services, reduce its power consumption and carbon footprint, and reduce maintenance costs. Just as important, though, was a seamless transition for the university s users. Throwing technology at people doesn t work, says Brett Looney, head of innovation at Amcom, an Australia-based information, communication, and technology services provider. Under the plan developed by Amcom and the university built on the Amcom Cloud Collaboration platform and delivered as a Cisco Powered cloud service reception and contact center employees would experience no impact to their user environment as the backend transitioned from a physical environment to a cloud-based virtual environment. University and affiliate staff would simply have to re-record voic greetings. Other unified communications (UC) and collaboration features, including high-definition video, would be made available on demand. Foundation services dial tone, as Looney puts it cut over in April Phase 2 started the day after migration, Looney says. The strategy involved a service catalog grouped by foundation services (telephony and desktop features), advanced collaboration features, support for mobile collaboration (including call forwarding, messaging, chat, and conferencing on mobile devices), and premium support packages for university leaders. Moving these services to the cloud allows ITS to focus on supporting business outcomes rather than maintaining on-premise hardware and software. The university s current investment in the new project is roughly $1.422 million USD. Given hardware, software, data center, and people costs, that s a projected savings of about $1.5 million over three years, Prabhu says. And the university stands to save more money when Amcom Cloud Collaboration is integrated with AARNet, which provides communications and collaboration services to Australian universities and vocational colleges. AARNet connects more than a million faculty, staff, students, and researchers across Australia and the Asia Pacific region, allowing cloud-based access to a spectrum of research resources that range from genomics to radio astronomy over a free network. In a competitive international education market, those capabilities are critical. Collaboration is a key aspect of universities strategies, Prabhu says. Ease of use and digital experience make that strategy a reality. It s not necessarily about the numbers. It s about the people communicating to serve students better. To learn more about collaboration in higher education and research, visit amcom.com.au. Unleashing IT 13

14 EXPERIENCES VIRTUAL DESKTOPS INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY U.S. Auto Sales business is booming, thanks in part to a variety of cloud services. Car sales tend to surge during the tax season in the United States. For dealerships like U.S. Auto Sales, with 17 locations in Georgia and South Carolina, it s a fantastic time of year. That is, until potential buyers get tired of waiting and walk out the door. Dealerships survive on slim margins and technology budgets are often kept to a minimum. But that hasn t stopped Travis McKeone, director of IT and facilities for U.S. Auto, from advancing his company s technology capabilities. Our sales personnel were sharing one or two PCs at each location to close deals, but that created a lot of waiting and frustration, he explains. The question became: How do we increase sales efficiency without spending a fortune? McKeone found the answer in the cloud. With the help of Atlanta-based technology partner BlueWave Computing, U.S. Auto recently virtualized its desktops and put them in a Cisco Powered Cirrity cloud. The dealership is also utilizing the cloud for telephony, data backup, and disaster recovery purposes. We view the cloud as a productivity engine and insurance policy, says McKeone. In many ways, we feel safer in the cloud than we did with our former systems. If our building burned down, we could be up and selling cars somewhere else in 48 hours. All I need is an Internet connection with a firewall and a switch. TESTING THE CLOUD U.S. Auto s journey to the cloud was not without thorough research and a pilot project. My team is used to working with iron and racks, so we spent a lot of time considering traditional IT versus the cloud, McKeone recalls. And we had to wrap our heads around the payment model and cost comparison. After an intensive hardware evaluation, U.S. Auto tested virtual, thin client desktops and phone systems with its collections staff. The cloud-based systems were a wild success, allowing collections personnel to work from anywhere and saving the company $20,000 a month on long distance calls. We handle one to two thousand payments each week via phone, says McKeone, so the lack of long distance calling expenses has been huge for us. Based on the success of the pilot project, the virtual desktops were rolled out to the dealership s sales staff, and the results have far exceeded expectations. The total cost of PC ownership has dropped from $1,500 to $500 on average, IT maintenance headaches are things of the past, and business is booming. In fact, McKeone reports that sales are up 20 percent across all U.S. Auto locations, thanks in part to the technology improvements. With sales staff now working one-on-one with customers to close deals at their desk instead of the extended wait times and back-and-forth to shared PCs, the sales process is faster and more intimate. And it is reflecting on the bottom line. We recently opened a new dealership in South Carolina, and our projection was 20 car sales in the first two months. We sold 60, says McKeone. We re breaking every sales record we have ever set, and the productivity gains are a big part of it. We re running out of cars to sell. That s a new problem, but not one that McKeone needs to solve. To test drive Cirrity s secure Desktop-as-a-Service solution, register at cirrity.com/solutions/daas/ciscoproof-of-concept. 14 Unleashing IT

15 RELIABILITY TRANSLATES TO SUPERIOR TECHNOLOGY AT PURDUE Purdue University, located in Indiana, is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. Its community includes nearly 75,000 students and just over 5,000 faculty members, plus approximately 4,000 administrative staff and 3,500 clerical and support staff. It has six campuses, a statewide technology program, numerous extension centers (U.S. and abroad), and continuing education programs. stuff working, they believe it. When they see it break while it s doing something important for them, it makes them question whether they even need the technology. McCartney believes that if people don t adopt the latest collaboration technologies, it s because the tools are either too complicated or too unreliable. With so many people and places to connect, the university needs a reliable web conferencing system for its members to collaborate. Numerous programs and lectures at Purdue are delivered online from practical nursing tutorials via webcam to agricultural extension programs for students in Guinea and Columbia to the Dean of Engineering s fireside chats with students before they arrive as freshmen. But until recently, the university had reliability issues with its web conferencing software, which was never designed for a widespread community of users. A deep log of user complaints about bandwidth and connectivity issues caused Purdue s CIO, Gerry McCartney, to investigate better options. After reviewing six or seven different solutions, he chose Cisco WebEx. My rule of thumb for rating any widely-used technology is it must work reliably. Superior products are reliable products, McCartney says. WebEx won out because it s a dependable service that people at Purdue are comfortable using. Most of our technology users don t want or need all the bells and whistles, they just expect the tool to work when they need it. During Purdue s migration period to Cisco WebEx, the university ran both collaboration environments to accommodate users who were in transition. According to McCartney, people who preferred Purdue s original solution for its rich feature set quickly converted to WebEx because it s a reliable product. Economists call it revealed preference : people will often say they prefer fancy feature sets but in fact, when you watch their behavior, they value reliability more, he says. If people see People don t want to worry, Do I need a squad of engineers standing by to make it work? when they go to use communications technology, he says. The first time they use it and it doesn t work, they re far more inclined to refuse to use it again. THE ENDPOINT OF A LONG ARC Cisco s overall investment in cloud architecture particularly its Unified Communications System was another deciding factor in the university s selection of WebEx. It made McCartney confident that Purdue was getting a professional, reliable, secure, and scalable environment on which to build. In fact, the university recently followed up its WebEx Enterprise Agreement with a Cisco Unified Communications Enterprise Agreement. The ultimate vision is to enable users to collaborate from any device by clicking a single button. I see the Cisco Unified Communications System as the endpoint of a long arc, McCartney says. At some point in the future, years from now, most hardware on campus will disappear and everything will be cloud provided. We re not sure what the exact timeline is, but if Cisco can keep it simple and reliable, they re going to win. For additional cloud resources and guidance, including white papers, videos, and solution briefs, visit the resource center at UnleashingIT.com. Unleashing IT 15

16 EXPERIENCES SETTING THE STAGE FOR FUTURE INNOVATION Leading European grain processor eyes real-time pricing with IoT. SAP CLOUD SOLUTIONS Freudenberg IT (FIT) is an SAP-certified provider of businesscritical hosting and cloud services. FIT delivers an all-in-one DC + IaaS + SAP Basis managed cloud service via five global locations. To learn more, visit freudenberg-it.com. For additional cloud resources and guidance, see the resource center at UnleashingIT.com. GoodMills Aurora Mill in Hamburg: The company produces close to 20 percent of Germany s domestic flour. 16 Unleashing IT

17 In the milling business, many elements factor into an ideal pricing model. What s the long-range climatology forecast? What quality of grain are farmers reporting? How are commodities markets trending? Get the formula right, and you lock into a 15- to 24-month deal at the perfect price. What if you could get it right in real time? That s the aim of Karsten Roesener, chief information officer for GoodMills Germany, the largest supplier of flour to the European market. GoodMills Germany produces 1.4 million tons of flour annually, almost 20 percent of Germany s domestic demand. Every fifth bun in Germany is made with GoodMills flour. Internationally, the company operates more than 25 sites across Europe. That real-time pricing model is still a vision, not a reality. You can t do everything at once, Roesener says, and there were more urgent priorities. But the foundation has been laid with the company s recent move to a cloud infrastructure. NEW APPLICATION STACK Roesener was appointed GoodMills first CIO in the summer of His highest priority was a complete renewal of the IT infrastructure, including both hardware and software, for the company s German operations. The existing infrastructure ran on reliable but aging minicomputers on a site-by-site basis. The enterprise resource planning (ERP), client-server, electronic data interchange (EDI), and document management solutions were proprietary. , messaging, customer relationship management (CRM) applications, and others numbered about 30. Improved supply chain: Processing customer orders at the Aurora warehouse. With limited time, budget, and resources, along with an increased emphasis on business outcomes, GoodMills chose a managed services platform hosted by Freudenberg IT (FIT), a Cisco Powered service provider specializing in SAP implementations, manufacturing execution systems, and managed hosting. A cloud-based infrastructure offered GoodMills a number of advantages over an on-premise solution, says Denis Reinartz, operations director for SAP private cloud services with FIT. There are many big advantages, beginning with the re-focus on business processes and application development instead of basic infrastructure maintenance, Reinartz says. In the cloud, applications can be provisioned in days instead of months, and GoodMills can take a software-as-a-service (SaaS) approach for certain applications, with FIT handling licensing and asset management challenges. OVERHAUL PAYS DIVIDENDS The vision of GoodMills IT department is to support the business, instead of offering facility management and focusing on legacy infrastructure, Reinartz says. The application stack built around the core ERP services includes Microsoft SharePoint and Exchange services for , messaging, and collaboration. Videoconferencing services are also on the roadmap. The overhaul has already paid dividends. Data duplication spanning a number of disparate systems has largely been eliminated, reducing 70,000 customer and supplier records down to 6,000. Next up, Roesener says, is harmonizing material numbers. There are currently about 2,000 per plant; Roesener figures they need about 25 each. After an intensive software selection process, Roesener was charged with the task of creating an entirely new application stack built around SAP. But rather than build it on-premise, Roesener opted for a cloud implementation of the ERP system. We could have built it into our existing structure, but we would have needed two full-time administrators and a lot of hardware, Roesener says. We needed a simplified IT department. We wanted to focus on business processes, not infrastructure. The next step for GoodMills and FIT is to bring the vast network of sensors and data feeds the Internet of Things (IoT) into the equation. Production facilities will be integrated with core ERP services. GoodMills plans to leverage FIT s expertise with manufacturing execution systems in an SAP environment to simplify production processes. And the GoodMills vision drawing all the relevant data together in real time to craft the perfect deal at the perfect price with the click of a mouse may be in the future, but it s certainly within reach. Unleashing IT 17

18 EXPERIENCES RISING ABOVE THE ALASKAN WILDERNESS Starting with desktops, Usibelli Coal Mine is putting its technology resources in the cloud. While the remote, mountainous Alaska Range is the perfect location for coal mining, it is not ideal for running a data center. Power outages are common. The weather is as unpredictable as a wandering moose. And dirt is absolutely everywhere. It s not a great environment for technology, that s for sure, chuckles Bruce Dunkle, IT manager for Usibelli Coal Mine, which is located near the isolated town of Healy, Alaska. And yet, Dunkle is responsible for keeping nearly 100 workstations running in five far-flung sites. To improve business continuity and reduce technology maintenance headaches, he decided to put the company s desktops in the cloud. There aren t a lot of cloud providers in Alaska, Dunkle explains, so we had to look for help in the lower 48. He eventually found Quest, a technology management company recently named to CRN s Managed Service Provider 500 list. The two companies conducted a Desktop-as-a- Service (DaaS) pilot project, but the distance between Quest s Sacramento data center and Usibelli s Alaska operations resulted in latency and performance issues. It was too slow, and some of our database applications wouldn t even run, Dunkle laments. I asked if we could put the DaaS host appliance in our rack in Healy, and to my surprise, Quest agreed to it. It works like a charm. is the biggest hurdle, he adds, with more data than all of Usibelli s systems combined, including payroll, customer billing, and computer automated design applications. If pushing desktops to the cloud is the first step for Usibelli, servers will be the second, with other applications and data to follow. If I can offload and backup to the cloud, it will free up a significant amount of storage and time, Dunkle says, and I can work on stuff that has a greater impact to the business. THE FIRST STEP OF A LARGER TRANSITION Usibelli now has an on-premise DaaS solution that is remotely managed by Quest and accessed through the Cisco Powered Quest cloud. While it doesn t solve every IT challenge the servers are still susceptible to power outages and exposed to grime the managed service is the first step toward a larger transition to the cloud. We re such a small operation. Why do we need a server room? Why do we need an IT guy? Dunkle opines. I want to put everything in the cloud and make it all subscription based. TRY DESKTOP- AS-A-SERVICE For a complimentary, 14-day DaaS trial that allows you to use your own endpoint devices from any location, call Quest at Unleashing IT

19 EASING THE TRANSITION TO THE CLOUD Moving to the cloud can deliver a host of technology and business benefits, but according to industry experts, the journey is not without obstacles. Cloud migrations typically require a substantial amount of manual intervention, says Michael Ritchken, principal consultant for cloud services at Dimension Data. That can slow things down and create the potential for human errors. Manually migrating workloads necessitates planning and setup, he explains. Templates must be created and software agents must be installed on each origin server prior to the transition. When dozens or hundreds of servers are involved, it s a lengthy process that increases the possibility of mistakes. What s more, the servers often have to be rebooted after the agents have been installed, taking the applications down and potentially impacting business-critical services. For a cloud provider like Dimension Data, protracted migrations that take applications offline are not good for business. We need to remove roadblocks wherever and whenever we can, Ritchken says. Moving to the cloud should not be a painful or risky process. Dimension Data is in the process of deploying RiverMeadow software-as-a-service (SaaS) to ease cloud transitions. Fast, secure, and automated, the solution leverages application programming interfaces (APIs) to mirror server environments and move them into Dimension Data s Cisco Powered cloud without interrupting workload function or performance. It s a more direct transfer, says Scott Colgan, vice president of marketing at RiverMeadow. Our SaaS solution acts as an intermediary between the origin servers and cloud platforms, so the origin servers don t need to be affected. In fact, they don t even know it s happening. FASTER MIGRATIONS WITHOUT DOWNTIME Through a series of mouse clicks, you identify the servers you want to migrate, you identify the destination, and off you go, Ritchken adds. It s less intrusive, automated, and much faster. This means less upfront planning, less manual intervention, less time, and less risk for Dimension Data customers moving to the cloud. And zero downtime for the applications and workloads being transferred. It takes about 30 minutes on average to deploy a software agent on a server, Ritchken says. If you re moving 100 servers to the cloud, that represents 50 hours of manual work. And that s just setup. You haven t moved anything yet. Using traditional methods, it could take as many as 17 days to move those 100 workloads. Dimension Data anticipates it will take as little as three days using RiverMeadow software. Some organizations avoid the cloud because of the time, cost, and complexity involved, says Ritchken. We re removing those barriers. For a complimentary cloud migration assessment, visit rivermeadow.com/migration-assessment. Unleashing IT 19

20 EXPERIENCES FIRE IGNITES CLOUD JOURNEY AT PARKER HUDSON Boutique law firm finds disaster recovery efficiency in hosted service from Windstream. 20 Unleashing IT

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