Sunday, December 18, 2016

Perspectives 2017: Financial Agility for Digital Transformation

by Andrew Blacklock, Senior Director, Strategy and Products, Cisco Capital

Ten years ago, companies like Uber and Airbnb were ideas waiting for technology to catch up. Now, these two brands represent a shift in the global economy in what’s known as digital transformation. This evolution towards digital-everything is constantly accelerating, leaving non-digital companies scrambling for a means to kickstart their digitization projects.

According to Gartner, there are 125,000 enterprises in the U.S. alone that are currently launching digital transformation projects. These companies are of all sizes, from nimble startups to global conglomerates. Despite the strong drive to a digital future, 40% of businesses will be unsuccessful in their digital transformation, according to Cisco’s Digital Vortex study.

Many attribute the difficulties associated with the digital transition to the significant costs of restructuring an organization’s technological backbone. Because of these challenges, many companies opt for an agile approach to financial restructuring.

Financial agility allows companies to evolve and meet the rapidly changing demands of digital business through liquid, scalable options that won’t break the bank. While it is not always possible to predict changes in the business environment, agile financing allows companies to acquire the proper technology and tools necessary to plan, work and expand their businesses.

Financial agility isn’t just another buzzword – it’s a characteristic that organizations of all sizes in all industries need to champion in order to drive efficiencies and competitive advantages. It’s a way that companies can acquire the technologies needed to shift their business without having to “go all in.” This allows companies to avoid large up-front capital investment, help with cash flow by spreading costs over time and preserve existing sources of capital to allocate to other areas of the transformation.

Organizations now need to decide how they can best adjust to the transformation and transition for the next stage of digital business. With financial options that enable organizations to acquire technology and scale quickly, companies can pivot with agility to meet the constantly-evolving demands of our digital age.

Looking at the bigger picture, financial agility is a crucial piece of an organization’s overall digital transformation puzzle. While the digital landscape might be constantly changing, flexible financing helps set an organization up for a successful transformation to the future of digital business.

About the Author

Andrew Blacklock is Senior Director, Strategy and Financial Product Development at Cisco Capital. As director of strategy & business operations, Andrew is responsible for strategy, program management and business operations. He has been with Cisco Capital for 17 years with more than 20 years of experience in captive financing. He is a graduate of Michigan State University and the Thunderbird School of Global Management.

SUPERNAP Opens in Milano

SUPERNAP International officially opened "the largest, most advanced data center in Southern Europe." The new facility is built to the specifications of the company's flagship, Tier IV Gold-rated Switch LAS VEGAS multi-tenant/colocation data center.

The SUPERNAP ITALIA data center in Milano will include:

42,000 square meters of data center space with four data halls
40 mega volt amps of power distributed through two 132 kilovolt transmission paths
Proprietary tri-redundant UPS power system
Up to 40 kilowatts of power per cabinet
200 multi-carrier fiber couples with separate paths
Patented Switch SHIELD: dual independent roof decks rated to withstand 322 kph winds
24/7 on-site network operations center (NOC), fire, safety and security
On-site, on-net member resources including conference spaces

The company said 500 cabinets and more than 3.3 megawatts of power have already been sold.

"The lightning fast growth of the data that is running our planet has driven the demand from our clients who are global, industry-leading companies to be operating inside the most advanced, innovative and sustainable data center environment," according to SUPERNAP ITALIA Managing Director Luca Beltramino, a data center industry veteran who recently joined to lead the Italian operation. "They want their worldwide technology operations in the SUPERNAP International data centers."

Telia Carrier, the operator of one of the world's largest fiber-optic networks chose SUPERNAP ITALIA's data center in Milano as a key location for its expansion in Southern Europe. "Telia Carrier is expanding into the SUPERNAP ITALIA data center for many reasons, including its high standards of data center security, availability and scalability, in addition to its carrier-neutrality and key geographical position," said Davide Binaghi, managing director of Telia Carrier Italy.

http://www.supernap.com

Google Joins Cloud Foundry

The Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is now part of Cloud Foundry.

Google noted that it has been very active this year with the Cloud Foundry community, including the delivery of the BOSH Google CPI release, enabling the deployment of Cloud Foundry on GCP, and the recent release of the Open Service Broker API. The efforts have led to custom service brokers for eight of GCP services:

  • Google BigQuery
  • Google Cloud Storage
  • Google Cloud SQL
  • Google Cloud Pub/Sub
  • Google Cloud Vision API
  • Google Cloud Speech API
  • Google Cloud Natural Language API
  • Google Translation API


https://cloudplatform.googleblog.com/

DOCOMO Partners with China's CAICT on 5G

NTT DOCOMO and the China Academy of Information and Communication Technology (CAICT) agreed to jointly investigate the standardization of 5G technologies and available frequency bands.

CAICT, a national research organization directly under the Provincial Government of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, is in charge of policies and standardization strategies on information and communication in China.

Under the MOU, DOCOMO will participate in the 5G Trial launched by the IMT-2020 (5G) Promotion Group to verify 5G technologies and systems. The group is driving research and development to help standardize 5G technologies in China as quickly as possible. During the trial, DOCOMO and CAICT will also study a possible frequency bands for 5G networks.

https://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/info/media_center/pr/2016/1215_00.html

Violin Memory Enters Chapter 11, Seeks Auction in January

Violin Memory, which offers flash memory arrays, filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code.  The company said its will streamline its operations and balance sheet, while simultaneously pursuing a sale of its business. The company is seeking to hold an auction in early January for the business.

Violin Memory, founded in 2005, said its assets include annual recurring service revenue, a portfolio of 58 US Patents/24 pending, a single O/S for public, private and hybrid cloud environments, integrated hardware and software solutions, and a customer base that includes some of the largest enterprises in the world.

Kevin A. DeNuccio, Violin Memory's President and CEO stated: "We are taking this action, which should conclude by the end of January 2017, to bolster Violin's ability to serve the needs of its customers. Violin intends to continue to sell solutions to customers and prospects as well as service and

http://www.violin-memory.com

Rob Sherwood leaves Big Switch for Facebook

Rob Sherwood is leaving Big Switch Networks to take up a research role at Facebook. Sherwood currently serves as Chief Technology Officer of Big Switch.


http://www.bigswitch.com/blog/2016/12/16/and-now-for-something-completely-different

See also