With CloudVerse, Cisco Shows How Clever It Is

Carl Weinschenk
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Choosing Your First Cloud Application Initiative

Questions you should ask to help determine which cloud application path you should pursue.

Cisco certainly thought things through in its CloudVerse introduction.

A few weeks ago, much of the IT and telecommunications blogosphere covered its first Cloud Index, in which it essentially said that cloud was taking over the world. More specifically, the company found that more than 50 percent of data center computing will be cloud-based in 2014 which, in a few weeks, will be the year after next.


The company provides a nice thumbnail description of how it hopes to take advantage of that huge upswing in cloud traffic. It calls CloudVerse:

[a] framework that combines the foundational elements needed to enable organizations to build, manage and connect public, private and hybrid clouds.

It will combine data center, networking intelligence, applications and services to "realize all of the benefits of clouds: improved agility, better economics, enhanced security and a dynamic, assured experience."

The bottom line is that it is using the cloud as an entry point to create a unified communications presence that the company hopes will squeeze out other vendors. ReadWriteWeb and ZDNet have good takes on what Cisco is trying to do.

Cisco realizes that how a company says things is as important as what it says. Essentially, we are moving to a phase in which more vendors are struggling to integrate complex technologies into understandable groupings. For instance, online security, device management and expense management - a universe that covers a lot of ground and many vendors - is coming under the mobile device management (MDM) rubric. Likewise, vendors want to make it easier to understand the worlds of cloud and unified communications. Cisco, apparently, is gambling that it can kill both these definitional birds with one stone - or at least a ton of press releases.

Business Insiders' Julie Bort, in a column critical of Cisco's move, essentially proves the vendor's shrewdness in this paragraph:

However, there isn't a whole lot that's really new here. CloudVerse includes mostly stuff that Cisco already sells, plus some new software, stitched together with a sales pitch that enterprises should buy everything from Cisco.

The key phrase is after the last comma. While "sales pitch" is pejorative, the essence is that Cisco is taking things that already exist and putting them together in a manner that is more accessible and useful to more people. Unified communications has struggled for years. To a great extent, the problem is that it is a complex set of technologies that are hard for non-experts to grasp. A vendor that comes along and does that successfully will thrive. This is especially true if the platform is complex enough to make a single vendor preferable to a best-of-breed approach.

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