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Monthly Archives: July 2013

Working with Your Mobile Rebels

Driven by an unprecedented pace of change and choice in applications, devices, and access, workforce mobility now ranks as a top CIO priority. And, the growing diversity in devices and applications is making it harder to make decisions, knowing those decisions will also impact the culture and character of your company.

Jason Hill, head of EMEA EUC Advisory Services at VMware, shares some of his tips in this Q&A on how to work with your mobile rebels and implement an effective BYOD policy.


Happy 10th, VMworld!

Author: Ed Hoppitt

I’m heading into my seventh year presenting at VMworld, and it’s hard to believe that this is the event’s 10-year anniversary. I’ve been with VMware for a year now, with over 14 years in the IT service industry, and VMworld gets more exciting every year. This year VMware will show attendees how to extend the benefits of virtualization to all data center services—and I can tell you that those that I’m working with love the idea of moving away from their legacy data center architectures towards the software-defined data center.

If you’ve already registered to come and find out how to accelerate the agility, reliability, and savings that you can get from evolving to the software-defined data center then welcome on board. If you haven’t already registered, there’s still time. Along with me, there are several other Accelerate consultants who’ll be presenting. Below are abstracts with links to their sessions and panels so you can easily add them to your VMworld Schedule Builder, which is now available to help you plan your time effectively.

You will also find us in the VMworld demo grounds, where we’ll have an Accelerate booth staffed with consultants who will demonstrate how data center virtualization examines much more than just the traditional view of server virtualization.

Can’t wait to catch up with you in San Francisco—make sure you come say hi !

Ed

Ed Hoppitt is an Accelerate business solutions architect based in the U.K.

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Ed Hoppitt, VMware Accelerate Business Solutions Architect with Phil Richards, CTO Global Markets , BT Plc
OPT4689 – Operations Transformation – Expanding the Value of Cloud Computing
 — Cloud computing is a forcing function for change. It is helping IT organizations move away from focusing on siloed technology challenges, towards driving business transformation through IT agility. But that change is also transforming the way IT approaches Service Operations Management.  In this session, consulting professionals from VMware and BT Global Services will share real world transformation stories about a range of customer engagements, as well as BT’s own vCloud deployment on multiple vBlocks. Learn key insights and lessons learned to optimize cloud era operations. Also avoid common mistakes and stumbling blocks. And, understand how to determine if you’re at risk for an “All the gear, no idea” cloud strategy.

Eric Ledyard, VMware Accelerate Chief Technologist
VSVC4509 – SDDC is Here and Now: A Success Story 
 — We partnered with one of the largest financial companies in the world to design an actionable plan around SDDC and study whether or not it was feasible in 2013, what the impact would be to the existing organization, and what the value would be of moving forward with an infrastructure built on a SDDC architecture. Coming out of this, we have an incredible success story for them and have proven the feasibility and tremendous value that SDDC brings to one of the toughest companies in the world.

Rich Pleasants, VMware Accelerate Architect with Rich Bourdeau, VMware Group Marketing Manager
OPT5474 – The Transformative Power and Business Case for Cloud Automation
 — While the cost savings of virtualization are substantial and undeniable, the savings and service delivery improvements of deploying on-demand self service and scalability in a private or hybrid cloud environment are also compelling.  But all three require automation to deliver full opex and agility value potential.  But what do we mean by automation? Scripting, workflow, and orchestration are all types of automation.  Some are a better fit than other for specific use cases.  And each have different short term and long term costs and benefits. If you’re like most companies, you may struggle to develop a cogent automation strategy that quantifies costs and benefits with your cloud deployment project.   Attend this session to understand the terminology and the key success factors behind the concepts.   Well explore different types of automation and look at specific use cases that are a great fit for each. And we will also offer proven approaches for articulating the value of IT automation in terms of operational efficiency and resource utilization savings, improved service quality, and increased agility and responsive to business needs.

Rich Pleasants and Heman Smith, VMware Accelerate Architects with Paul Chapman, VMware VP of Information Technology; Kevin Lees, VMware Principal Architect; and Jeffrey Ton, SVP Corporate Connectivity & CIO, Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana
OPT5315 – Transform IT Into a Service Broker – Key Success Factors
— The IT service broker concept is compelling. IT takes a portfolio view of workloads and capabilities, and brokers the right “fit for purpose” solution for each service. IT may move applications to SaaS, build and deliver services on-premise, or subcontract depending on circumstance. But it takes more than a “cloud” or fielding a new team, or re-organizing the department to change long standing service delivery and service consumption behaviors. This panel is packed with those who have “been there done that” and understand the challenges, tricks, and benefits of the service broker model. We’ll draw on the real world experience of the panelists and the audience to help you identify and apply the secrets of successful transformation.

Craig Stanley, VMware Accelerate Analytics Consultant
PHC7117 – Using The Cloud Compass to Evaluate Technology Risk in Cloud Decisions
 — Public and hybrid clouds offer enterprises significant opportunities in terms of cost efficiency, better reliability and improved business agility. Cloud solution deployments vary based on the workloads, cost to deploy and run, and impact to the business. While the implementation and operating costs of cloud migration are important, the business impact may be even more important to understand from the perspective of risk, return and other factors that could complicate your cloud implementation. See a live demonstration of the The Cloud Compass — an automated process for evaluating these difficult-to-quantify risk and return factors. It illustrates how risk impacts the public/hybrid cloud TCO, generates a return on risk and enables the enterprise to make decisions based on intangible but real observations.

Padmaja Vrudhula, VMware Accelerate Strategist with Thirumalesh Reddy, VMware Sr. Director of Emerging Solutions & Innovation
VSVC4948 – Moving Enterprise Application Dev/Test to VMware’s internal Private Cloud – Architecture, Implementation and Integration
— The VMware IT team responsible for managing enterprise applications is moving all dev/test environments to our private cloud IaaS. We have achieved impressive cycle time and cost reduction. This technical session is presented by VMware Director of IT responsible for automating deployment and testing of complex multi-application dev/test environments in a vCloud environment. To improve agility, SDLC throughput, and reduce costs, we have automated deployment of more than a dozen standard dev/test instances including provisioning and testing combinations of dozens of different application and middleware components. In this session, we will highlight an automation platform we developed to deploy complex application stacks into a vCloud environment. We will share architecture and implementation lessons learn and real bottom line benefits that result our internal use of a range of VMware products including vCloud virtualized infrastructure, building blueprints using App Director, self-service catalog and policy management using vCAC, policy-based tiered infrastructure resource management, provisioning with integrated monitoring and analytics, and provisioning and de-provisioning based on a leased resource model. Attend this session to hear lessons learned and gain insights from an expert with both product and architecture expertise.

Aligning Priorities to Drive Growth

CIOs are under greater pressure than ever to deliver results tied to three primary business priorities:

  1. Driving and managing business growth,
  2. Managing IT and operational costs, and
  3. Building competitive differentiation for the organization.

Security, governance, and compliance initiatives, like much of IT, are often seen as cost centers, rather than providing significant business benefits to the company. This infographic illustrates that by working closely with other C-level teams and aligning to business priorities, CIOs can implement security and IT GRC strategies that are recognized to drive growth and differentiation while lowering costs.

 

The Logical Evolution of the Principles of Virtualization

Why are customers so excited about the benefits of expanding the power of virtualization and shifting the IT mentality to that of a service provider? In this short video, VMware’s Raghu Raghuram and Michael Hubbard discuss the prospect of the transformative and financial benefits that can be realized from the software-defined data center.

Handcrafted IT Infrastructure – Are You Still Relevant?

Author: Joe Chenevey

I’m a fan of George R.R. Martin’s best selling book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, as well as HBO’s television adaptation, A Game of Thrones. The first book in the series was published in 1996, and the current and fifth installment released in 2011. Five books in 15 years with two more planned! I imagine that when Martin started writing the first installment in the mid-90s, he used a desktop app on a PC, or perhaps he was still banging away on a Brother electronic typewriter—a relic even in those days.

Today, as he writes his sixth (and has hopefully started his seventh) book, I’m optimistic that he uses modern tools of the trade such as a razor-thin laptop, a smartphone, and productivity apps that can be sync’d between disparate devices through the cloud. Can you imagine if Martin was really old-school and wrote his manuscripts with a pen and paper? By the time the last two installments were completed and published, I might be older than Maester Aemon of the Night’s Watch (if you’ve read the books or watched the series, you know to whom I’m referring). And some friendly advice to sponsor network, HBO—please give George all the techie tools he needs to get those books written faster, so I can enjoy them and your wonderful TV series sooner rather than later.

Technology has transformed the publishing industry by enabling a much faster lifecycle from content creation to content publishing. Even considering physical books, the process to print, bind, package, and distribute a book is largely automated. In the world of IT, more so than in the world of publishing, both providers and consumers of IT services expect machine precision and speed.

So why is it that—even with widespread adoption of server virtualization—several large IT organizations I’ve been working with over the past weeks still primarily provision their IT infrastructure manually, component by component?

These IT organizations are finding that their consumers—the lines of business—are starting to look elsewhere for their infrastructure needs. The price for manually provisioned IT infrastructure as provided by their IT organization has become prohibitive both in terms of cost and time. And, as consumers, they are simply no longer willing to accept the long lifecycle to develop new services and provision workloads.

The explosive growth in the public IaaS market should indicate to all IT organizations struggling to keep up with demand that automating infrastructure provisioning has not only become a key competitive differentiator, but it will become a requirement for IT organizations to remain relevant to their business users. I see the market for handcrafted, highly customized IT services plummeting dramatically as consumers increasingly turn to service providers that can produce and offer the same infrastructure product faster and cheaper. For some companies, the path to maintaining relevance will not be a pure private model but actually involve a hybrid cloud service model in order to more quickly satisfy business demand while still maintaining overall control of workloads (and keeping infrastructure costs as low as possible).

The question for today’s CIO is: How long can you compete against third-party service providers and stay relevant to your enterprise? If the thought troubles you, it’s time you and your IT organization start defining a strategy on how to insert automation into your IT services. Automated provisioning and deployment—a vital cloud capability—addresses the needs of both your business users and your IT staff. The consumers of your IT services benefit from faster deployment of new infrastructure—in hours versus weeks—and more control over their workflow via self-service portals. By reducing the need for manual intervention, an automated system frees up your valuable IT resources for reassignment to strategic jobs that drive innovation. And most importantly, it enables IT and business users to work as partners—not adversaries.

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Joe Chenevey is a business solutions architect for VMware Accelerate Advisory Services. You can follow him on Twitter @VIJoe_Chenevey

VMware AccelerateTM Advisory Services can help you and your key stakeholders understand the IT as a service value proposition—our consultants quantify the potential benefits, develop architectural designs, recommend organizational and process changes, create a migration plan and advise during implementation. Visit our Web site to learn more about our offerings, or reach out to us today at: accelerate@vmware.com for more information.

Would you like to continue this conversation with your C-level executive peers? Join our exclusive CxO Corner Facebook page for access to hundreds of verified CxOs sharing ideas around IT Transformation right now by going to CxO Corner and clicking “ask to join group.”

CIOs, Lead the Cultural Change!

Author: Alex Salicrup

In my earlier blog, I described the challenges of competing with third-party service providers that many modern CIOs face. And, I closed by promising to come back with tips on how to transform a reactive, risk-adverse IT organization to one that’s more proactive and customer-centric. Here are some suggestions:

Automate
Your IT organization needs to run operations with the fewest number of IT staff possible. Now, don’t get excited—I’m not talking about reducing headcount. Rather than focus on reacting to requests, trouble tickets, and other events that can be fully automated, what I suggest is that your headcount be utilized to innovate, plan, and execute on new strategic initiatives that provide business results faster. In fact, companies that the Accelerate team has worked with and that have tried this approach discover that their attrition rate reduces as their employees learn new skills and gain focus in more rewarding tasks—job satisfaction increases.

Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)
It’s a strange term considering we’re talking about business users, but it translates to what is your average business user expects to pay for the average service they receive. What are your business users willing to pay AWS or other IaaS and SaaS providers for infrastructure and application solutions versus those of your IT organization? ARPU forms the basis of any service that is designed and added to the IT service catalog—this number drives everything. If your service is more expensive than the competitor, then what is the value that you are providing the user to justify that premium?

Service Offerings
Keep your service catalog relevant and enticing—but as lean as possible. Rather than offer a large number of bundles, narrow it down to basic offerings that will meet the needs of most of your users. Augment those services by adding additional features that have proven valuable to your users or your competitors’ users. These decisions can be complicated. This is one area I find most IT departments have to exercise constraint. The advice I give to my customers is that a small number of offerings can meet the need of the majority (70-80 percent) of users. When exposed to many choices, users will only be confused and distracted from your value proposition.

Business Cases
From this point forward, think of your IT department as a start-up company. Every time you have a business initiative that requires capital, you need to fight for it from other startups in the enterprise. It’s not good enough to prove how your initiative will mitigate a risk. Your business case will need to show projected service uptake over time, and how profitable it will be within an acceptable timeframe. Yes—I used the word “profitable.” Profitable should be the end goal for an IT organization. Even if internal finance practices are not suitable for this type of profit setup, it’s a cultural mindset that you will thank me for adopting.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
Your SLAs have to be aggressive and comparable to what external service providers offer. Why? Service providers are very innovative about how they mitigate all risks, including SLA risks, without expending a lot of capital. The same goes for the modern IT organization. This is an opportunity to let your business users differentiate between the levels of service they would like versus what they are willing to pay for. If your users want tighter SLAs, provide an SLA matrix with varied levels of risk mitigation (time-to-resolution, availability, performance targets) to choose from—they will pay according to level of risk assumed by IT.

An SLA matrix also sets users’ expectations for what can be demanded as a response from their IT organization. In my experience, this is typically a significant improvement for an IT organization’s service management. Of course, the organization will need to deliver on these SLAs, and metrics will be essential in keeping IT honest and to be able to demonstrate the value of SLAs. The business user must have a compelling reason to pay for the premium, which usually translates to consequences if SLAs are breached. Some are monetary penalties; some are services not charged for during breach. Your organization’s solution will be unique to your environment.

These are my high-level observations and suggestions based on personal experience as a service provider in a former life, as well as through my work with our Accelerate customers. Most of the IT organizations I work with have been running in reactive mode for years, and their biggest challenge in transforming to a more proactive role as service provider is cultural. To form a new partnership with business stakeholders based on the ability to deliver real business value, I encourage CIOs to guide the discussion from one that’s risk adverse to one of innovation and opportunity. Success is out there if you know how to get there.

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Alex Salicrup is a business solutions architect for VMware Accelerate Advisory Services.

VMware AccelerateTM Advisory Services can help you and your key stakeholders understand the IT as a service value proposition—our consultants quantify the potential benefits, develop architectural designs, recommend organizational and process changes, create a migration plan and advise during implementation. Visit our Web site to learn more about our offerings, or reach out to us today at: accelerate@vmware.com for more information.

Would you like to continue this conversation with your C-level executive peers? Join our exclusive CxO Corner Facebook page for access to hundreds of verified CxOs sharing ideas around IT Transformation right now by going to CxO Corner and clicking “ask to join group.”