Cisco this week revealed that as it relies more on machine learning algorithms to automate IT management, it will make the analytics it collects available to third parties via an application programming interface (API).
In addition, Cisco announced it is now leveraging machine learning to provide automated fault management along with creating “digital fingerprints” of customer networks that are stored within a Cisco database to improve service and support.
James Mobley, vice president and general manager for the global product management team for the Customer Experience (CX) organization, says the rise of machine learning algorithms is transforming the nature of how IT services and support are delivered. Instead of being based around a specific event or incident, services and support is now increasingly being provided as part of a continuous approach to lifecycle management based around a subscription delivered via a Cisco Business Critical Services program.
“It’s more of a lifecycle versus episodic approach,” says Mobley. “It’s much more of a customer success motion.”
Cisco has been making major investments in machine learning algorithms to automate the management of network, server and security infrastructure for several years now. The primary goal is to leverage machine and deep learning algorithms to identify anomalies indicative of a pending service or security issue. Armed with that data, the Cisco services team would issue an alert to a customer or, in those instances where Cisco manages the network on behalf of the customer, would automatically remediate the problem before the customer ever knew about it.
Service and support delivered via Cisco accounts for roughly 25 percent of Cisco’s revenues. Obviously, every support engagement that can be avoided by leveraging AI and advanced analytics improves the company’s overall bottom line. For that reason alone, Cisco is anxious to have as many customers as possible making use of machine learning algorithms to automate network and security management.
Obviously, Cisco is not the only provider of IT infrastructure making major investments in machine learning algorithms and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate IT management. But it is among the most aggressive companies to employ those technologies in a way that promises to fundamentally change how IT is managed.