& cplSiteName &

What Cisco Wants in a Carrier Partner

Mitch Wagner
4/10/2014
50%
50%

LAS VEGAS — Interop — When Cisco is evaluating service provider partners, it has special needs. The company looks for global reach, as well as the technology to support the company's "Intercloud" hybrid cloud strategy. Cisco's partners also need the bandwidth to carry the data explosion in the coming Internet of Everything.

Rebecca Jacoby, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) CIO and SVP, described what the company looks for in its partners in a one-on-one conversation during a reception here at Interop. During our discussion, Cisco attempted to distract me by cruelly dangling delicious hors d'oeuvres and pastries. But I remained resolute and focused.

"We're looking for service providers to be more global in nature," Jacoby said. When they don't cover a particular part of the globe, service providers need partnerships with local providers.

Cisco CIO and SVP Rebecca Jacoby (Source: Cisco)
Cisco CIO and SVP Rebecca Jacoby
(Source: Cisco)

Service providers need the technology infrastructure to support Cisco's Intercloud hybrid cloud strategy, which the company introduced recently. (See Cisco's Cloud Bet: What's in It for SPs?) When using hybrid clouds, enterprises run some applications in the cloud and others locally. Data and applications move between public and private clouds as needed. Proliferation of mobile devices and BYOD drives the need for Intercloud services, Jacoby said.

The Internet of Things (which Cisco chooses to call the Internet of Everything BECAUSE CISCO IS SUCH A SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE) will demand far greater bandwidth than currently needed, as everything from home washing machines to factory machinery is instrumented and connected to the Internet, Jacoby told me. Carriers will need to provide direct connections between the instrumented equipment and the location where the data is needed, rather than requiring the data to go through multiple hops. (See Chambers Caught in 90s Deja Vu.)

Some of the biggest challenges that Cisco faces in dealing with service providers are mundane, such as connecting billing and back-office with Cisco's internal systems, Jacoby said.

Cisco is in the process of implementing its own Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI) architecture internally, both for its own operations and cloud offerings to partners and customers. In doing so, Jacoby's department is performing a time-honored function for vendor IT departments: providing a showcase for real-world use of the vendor's own technology. (See Cisco's ACI Gets Physical With SDN and Cisco Asks the Killer SDN Question.)

Cisco values ACI internally because it provides the kind of programmability that network managers look for with SDN without placing too much of a burden on staff. Network managers want programmability, but not if it's too hairy.

"It's all really complex enough. So what we're looking for is extraction and abstraction of the policy level." ACI's abstraction makes network programmability "really practical for an enterprise IT organization." She added, "You can set policy, you can manage policy, and [ACI] effectively allows you to program the fundamentals of how you are operating and prioritizing your resources." That kind of programmability, Jacoby believes, enhances network productivity and flexibility. (See SDN Faces a Human Hurdle .)

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to mwagner@lightreading.com.


Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.


(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/12/2014 | 2:07:33 PM
Re: Partner or customer?
Steve102 - "Is "partner" another word for "customer" or is there some extraordinary business relationship here?"

In this case, "partner" means "provider" -- the people providing Cisco with connectivity for its own purposes. Complicated by the fact that these providers are also customers of Cisco's networking hardware, and partners and potential competitors for Cisco's Intercloud initiative. 
Steve102
50%
50%
Steve102,
User Rank: Light Beer
4/11/2014 | 6:23:21 AM
Partner or customer?
Is "partner" another word for "customer" or is there some extraordinary business relationship here?
Mitch Wagner
100%
0%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
4/10/2014 | 4:27:11 PM
Re: Managed services...
Cisco's relationship with its carrier partners is complicated. Cisco is a supplier of networking equipment and services, a customer of the networks, and a partner and competitor in Intercloud cloud services. Makes my head hurt just thinking about it. 
mhhf1ve
50%
50%
mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
4/10/2014 | 4:03:19 PM
Managed services...
It looks like Cisco wants to provide ongoing services to its service provider partners... so everything is now about providing ongoing support and updates (and not just selling hardware). 

Open source trends seem to point to more and more of this, as the software is free, but the ongoing service and support isn't. And SDN will likely accelerate this trend in networking equipment.

 
From The Founder
The time has come for a telecom app store to save the industry.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
Service Provider Panel: Partnering in the Digital Era

5|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Coopetition has always been part of telecom, but the ecosphere now includes data centers, vendors, apps developers, cloud service providers and Internet content providers. This BCE 2017 panel explores the new attitudes among network operators as to the value and variety of ...
LRTV Interviews
Site Demo: AT&T's IoT Flow Platform

5|19|17   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


At AT&T's R&D center in Tel Aviv, Israel, project leader Eyal Segev talks about the operator's Flow platform and how it helps to prototype IoT applications.
LRTV Documentaries
Agent of Change: A Q&A With AT&T's John Donovan

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson talks with the man leading AT&T's transformation efforts about the challenge of change.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE Service Provider Panel: The New Business Realities

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


For virtualization to happen, the telecom industry first has to grapple with key functional aspects of SDN and NFV that need to be universal, such as onboarding of virtualized network functions and federation of software-defined networks.
LRTV Interviews
BCE Service Provider Keynote: CenturyLink

5|16|17   |   22:32   |   (0) comments


Aamir Hussain leads the Product Development and Technology organization at CenturyLink, which includes the company's information technology function. He is an experienced senior technology executive with more than 25 years of proven success in the implementation of global technology operations, operationalization of complex technology, infrastructures and business ...
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink CTO on Transformation

5|16|17   |   7:43   |   (0) comments


The 50-year-old telco has already gone through several transformations, including every time it made an acquisition, but its purchase of Level 3 coupled with changes in technology and customer expectations necessitates its biggest transformation yet.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2017

5|15|17   |   5:05   |   (1) comment


Find out who made it into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Interviews
Site Visit: AT&T's Tel Aviv R&D Center

5|15|17   |   09:58   |   (1) comment


Nir Shalom, general manager and VP of application development at AT&T Israel, talks about the key service developments undertaken at the AT&T R&D facility in Tel Aviv and how the team there has adopted new ways of working.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Act on Your Intelligence With Amdocs aia!

5|15|17   |     |   (0) comments


Amdocs CMO Gary Miles explains how communications service providers can seize the AI opportunity with Amdocs real-time digital intelligence platform.
LRTV Interviews
Logtel CEO: Making Sense of IoT

5|15|17   |   09:48   |   (0) comments


Jacques Bensimon, founder and CEO of Tel Aviv-based training and consultancy Logtel, talks about the need to make IoT more than just a buzzword.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Challenges of Mobile Banking Implementation

5|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Kamal Quadir of bKash Limited explains the challenges and needs of implementing mobile banking in the Bangladesh market.
LRTV Interviews
Tel Aviv: A Hub of Innovation

5|10|17   |   07:58   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre and Dan Allen discuss the technology innovation, food and amazing sights they witnessed during a recent trip to Israel.
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
BSS Is BS, Says KPN Tech Boss
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/16/2017
AT&T's Donovan: Women Adapt Faster Than Men
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 5/18/2017
Verizon on M&A: Who Needs a Cableco?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/17/2017
Standardization Needs Room for Innovation
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/17/2017
Fright Wigs & Cocktails: BCE 2017 in Pics
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.