Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Vblock Solution for Cisco Hosted Collaboration

The Market Challenge
Hosted Collaboration is a growing opportunity for Service Providers to expand their portfolio and meet customer needs. Cisco provides Unified Communications applications using the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) that enables service providers to deliver a range of services from IP telephony and voicemail to WebEx® conferencing. One of the biggest challenges facing service providers is getting services to market and meeting time to revenue goals. Revenue opportunities are missed when time is lost reviewing product specifications, testing configurations and determining the appropriate scale for a particular application.

The Vblock Advantage
The Vblock™ Infrastructure Platforms solution for Hosted Collaboration makes Cisco® Unified Communications and Collaboration applications and capabilities available in a hosted environment. Vblock™ platforms provide standardized units of best-of-breed IT infrastructure that can be managed as a single entity and easily scaled as a cohesive, multi-tenant system. With the Vblock solution service providers can bring hosted collaboration service to market rapidly and meet their time to revenue goals.

Video: Cisco HCS "As-A-Service" Offers on Vblock Platform

The Business Case
Faced with the need to differentiate their cloud service offerings in a highly competitive market and with a growing demand for unified communication and collaboration services, service providers (SPs) are looking for a comprehensive, flexible, and agile way to provide these services to their customers. Service providers are also faced with increasingly constrained operational expense budgets and are demanding greater operational efficiency from their infrastructure. To accelerate the time to market of competitive cloud-based communication and collaboration services, service providers need reliable infrastructure that is ready to go so they can turn up services on it with out needing to go through lengthy certification cycles.

The Right Platform
The Vblock solution for hosted collaboration allows SPs to create unified, standardized, subscription-based “as-a-service” packages of Cisco Unified Communications applications using the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS). A comprehensive cloud-based HCS service allows enterprises to focus on their core competencies, while SPs address the growing market demand to deliver rich media services—on any device, anywhere. HCS supports a wide spectrum of services from basic IP telephony and voicemail to advanced unified presence and WebEx® conferencing capabilities. SPs can leverage the converged infrastructure of the Vblock platform to host these services in a highly available, multi-tenant environment.

Solution Highlights
Tiered HCS services on the Vblock platform in a multi-tenant environment offer economies of scale that can be used to generate new revenue streams. Rapid provisioning of new services and comprehensive monitoring capabilities provide an enhanced customer experience. Service Providers can manage the converged compute, network, and storage infrastructure as a single entity. They can scale out infrastructure within and across data centers to accommodate growth in services as well as scale up infrastructure to deliver feature-laden services like media-rich collaboration, messaging, presence, and mobility. Integrated planning, design, and Implementation (PDI) services for the Vblock platform and HCS applications aid in speeding time to market.

Key Solution Benefits
The key benefits of deploying the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution on a Vblock platform include on-site installation, configuration, and performance tuning of the Vblock platform which speeds time to revenue. Pre-engineered, pre-configured, validated Vblock platform infrastructure components ensures successful and rapid deployment of infrastructure and HCS applications. Standardized process for HCS services enables rapid end customer turn-up. Service providers can offer tiered HCS service bundles that maximize revenue potential while optimizing CapEx and lowering OpEx. Service providers can scale the Vblock platform up and out as a cohesive system, to maintain balanced, measurable, and consistent performance as needs change and demand for HCS services grows. HCS hosted on the Vblock platform provides highly available services at a lower cost per user resulting in increased profits.

Key Solution Advantages
Customized sizing guidelines for HCS on the Vblock platform take much of the guesswork out of the traditional HCS challenges of storage provisioning, sizing, scaling, and configuration. Unique, comprehensive approach by VCE and Cisco provide services and support that enable partner SPs to deliver HCS services from the service design phase through development, deployment, and support of those services. VCE validation of Vblock infrastructure components ensures a predictable performance envelope and availability guidelines for an enhanced customer experience with significantly faster time to value.

The Vblock Platform
With Vblock Infrastructure Platforms, VCE delivers the industry’s first completely integrated IT offering that combines best of breed virtualization, networking, computing, storage, security, and management technologies with end-to-end vendor accountability. This converged infrastructure enables rapid deployment, so customers quickly see a return on investment (ROI). Vblock Infrastructure Platforms offer varying storage capacities, processing and network performance, and they support capabilities such as enhanced security and business continuity.

Next Steps
To learn more about the Vblock Solution for Hosted Collaboration and other solutions, see The Vblock Solution for Hosted Collaboration.

Backstory: Upon joining VCE I took on this project and worked with the producer to complete this video and publish the linked paper and write this blog. This also appeared on the Cisco Channels blog site.

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