Unleashing IT: Seize Innovation, Accelerate Business, Drive Outcomes. All through the Cloud.
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Unleashing IT: Seize Innovation, Accelerate Business, Drive Outcomes. All through the Cloud.

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Not long ago, if you asked an IT executive about transformation, there was a good chance you’d get a technology-centric response. You’d hear about consolidation and virtualization, power and ...

Not long ago, if you asked an IT executive about transformation, there was a good chance you’d get a technology-centric response. You’d hear about consolidation and virtualization, power and cooling, security and availability. Today, the responses are different. This edition of Unleashing IT is all about transformation. Not technology change, but business change through the use of technology.

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Unleashing IT: Seize Innovation, Accelerate Business, Drive Outcomes. All through the Cloud. Unleashing IT: Seize Innovation, Accelerate Business, Drive Outcomes. All through the Cloud. Document Transcript

  • Spring 2013In collaboration with Intel®­­­Unleashing IT Seize innovation,accelerate business,drive outcomes.All through the cloud.• Caribbean forecast:Cloudy and booming• Taking a business to the cloudsTechnology ascultural change agentLouisville Gas and Electric and KentuckyUtilities Energy LLC is breaking throughlongstanding behavioral norms to improveoperating efficiency. Page 8
  • Share with a colleaguefacebook twitterUnleashing IT is published by Cisco Systems, Inc. To receive future editions of Unleashing IT and provide feedback on the articles in thisedition, visit: www.UnleashingIT.comIntel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon inside are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.©2013 Cisco and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. Cisco, the Cisco logo, Cisco Carrier Routing System, Cisco Catalyst, Cisco TelePresence,Cisco Unified Computing System, Cisco UCS, and Cisco Nexus are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S.and other countries. To view a list of Cisco trademarks, visit: www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third party trademarks mentioned are the propertyof their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company. (1304)Experiences03 Transforming a business, one cloud at a time Broadridge is taking its behind-the-scenes financial services business to the frontlines.05 World-class technology services in paradise Curaçao Technology Exchange aims to support a regional business boom with the Caribbean’s first tier-IV data center.08 Technology as cultural change agent, efficiency booster Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities Energy LLC is changing behavioral norms to improve operating efficiency.10 The foundation for better business decisions Staples Australia is extending its business intelligence to customers and suppliers for greater insight and agility.12 Brokering the cloud How Virtacore is transitioning from resource provider to resource broker.Education Feature14 Advancing IT capabilities, despite aging hardware With BYOD and VDI, Coppell Independent School District is extending the life of its infrastructure and saving $1 million as a result.15 Supporting meteoric business growth Liberty University’s rise to the top of private, nonprofit academia happened faster than expected, creating new challenges and opportunities. Cover: Eric Slavinsky, CIO of Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities Energy LLC­­­Unleashing IT Seize innovation,accelerate business,drive outcomes.All through the cloud.Spring 2013Transforming the nature oftransformationNot long ago, if you asked an IT executive abouttransformation, there was a good chance you’d geta technology-centric response. You’d hear aboutconsolidation and virtualization, power and cooling,security and availability.Today, the responses are different. This editionof Unleashing IT is all about transformation. Nottechnology change, but business change throughthe use of technology.Over time, the nature of transformation has, well,transformed. Instead of technology advances fortechnology gains, companies have learned they canuse IT to reduce costs, create efficiencies, and solveproblems. And many forward-thinking organizations arefinding that opportunities for transformation are muchbroader and more impactful.Broadridge is using cloud technologies to transformits service offerings and operating model (page 3).A prominent utility company is breaking throughlongstanding cultural norms to enhance the collectiveefficiency of its workforce (page 8). Staples Australiais extending its business intelligence capabilities toenhance customer and supplier relationships (page 10).And Curaçao Technology Exchange is transforming thebusiness possibilities of an entire region (page 5).In all of these cases, technology is neither the questionnor the answer. It is simply the enabler of businessopportunities, both small and large.For more information, follow the links inside orcontact Cisco at 1-800-553-6387 and select option1 to speak with a Cisco representative. We welcomeyour feedback on the articles in this publication atwww.UnleashingIT.comSincerely,Giuliano Di VitantonioVice PresidentCisco Systems, Inc.Lisa GraffVice PresidentIntel CorporationIn collaborationwith Intel®
  • 3Seize innovation, accelerate business, drive outcomes. All through the cloud.(From left) Broadridge CTO JohnGullotta and Vice President of CorporateCommunications Kelly Howard discussbusiness transformationExperiencesHow does an established company grow itsbusiness when it already owns a significantshare of the market? It’s a question thatBroadridge, a leading provider of investorcommunications and security processingsolutions for more than 50 years, iscurrently answering.“We help the financial services industry andcorporate issuers operate more efficiently,”says Kelly Howard, Vice President ofCorporate Communications for Broadridge.“Our solutions help our clients focus on theircore business activities.”The solutions to which Howard is referringhave historically been of the behind-the-scenes, back-office variety. But thecompany, which processes nearly fivetrillion dollars a day in financial settlementsand facilitates more than one billion investorcommunications annually, is transforming itsbusiness to be a frontline technology andsolutions provider.It’s all part of a strategic, multiyear planthat started with server virtualization,continued with data center convergence,and is now moving toward cloud-basedinfrastructure-as-a-service.“We’re still on the journey,” says JohnGullotta, Senior Vice President and CTOof Broadridge. “It’s a phased approachto improving our overall IT capabilities,focusing on creating a platform thatfacilitates business change.”The journey beginsBroadridge started the virtualization of serversmore than three years ago in an effort toreduce costs and optimize IT resources.Following a comprehensive virtualizationHow Broadridge is taking its behind-the-scenesfinancial services business to the frontlines.Transforming a business, onecloud at a time
  • Unleashing IT4Gullotta shows offBroadridge’s new technologyinfrastructure (left) and theoperations it is fueling (right)assessment and maturity modeling, thecompany identified the need for and benefitsof a fully converged infrastructure.“We wanted to align our internal teams,processes, and technology,” Gullottaexplains. “So we extended our servervirtualization efforts to all functional areasof the data center.”Utilizing the Cisco®Unified ComputingSystem™ (UCS), which is based on Intel®Xeon® processors, Broadridge now has apowerful, converged infrastructure that canbe used as a platform for more efficienttechnology services—or entirely new ones.“We’re just now at the point of leveraging ourconverged infrastructure to deliver productionservices,” says Gullotta. “From an IT standpoint,we’re ready to deliver infrastructure-as-a-service through a private cloud. From abusiness standpoint, we’re still determining ourcapabilities, our processes, our governancemodels, and how to extend internal resourcesto external customers and partners.”The company is currently performing acomprehensive cloud assessment, headds, to establish a roadmap that will meetBroadridge’s business objectives.Preparing for changeWith a unified infrastructure in place, bothHoward and Gullotta indicate there arecountless ways in which it can be put to use.Exactly how the new environment is utilizedwill be determined by Broadridge businessleaders and the markets they serve.“The financial services industry continuesto undergo significant change,” explainsHoward. “We can’t predict the future, but wecan be prepared to adapt and stay ahead ofthe curve. That’s why we’re not investing in asolution, but rather a platform that is flexibleand able to support the changes to ourbusiness and our clients’ needs.”“We want to build our capabilities graduallyto determine our readiness, avoid any risks,and get comfortable with the environment,”Gullotta adds. “But then we have anopportunity to extend those capabilities.”Broadridge is planning to create an internalprivate cloud that allows the company’sbusiness teams to easily provision ITinfrastructure and services. Thereafter, Gullottaforesees an external private cloud that providesdedicated services to the company’s clientbase as well as new markets and customers.Partnering with business leadersWhile the options are vast and the specificcourse of action unknown, one thing is certain:Gullotta isn’t interested in determining thestrategic direction of Broadridge’s business.“Business leaders determine the road ahead,”he says. “We want to build a fast, efficientvehicle, and then give them the wheel.”Gullotta is aiming to establish a “CloudGovernance Council” that brings togetherthe company’s technology caretakerswith its business leaders. Workingcollaboratively, the two sides will define aset of technology criteria and processesthat support and enable businessinitiatives.“The discussion isn’t about servers; it’s abouttechnology supporting business capabilitiesand scenarios,” Gullotta notes. “We wantthe ability to quickly conduct pilot projects,validate concepts, and deliver new productsand services that push our business forward.“We have an opportunity to extend ourtechnology services in new and excitingways,” he adds. “This may include big dataanalytics initiatives, mobile applications, orsocial media outreach. Fortunately, we havethe right platform and capabilities in place toexplore and test a number of options.”Broadridge has saved millions of dollarsthrough server and data center consolidations,and is using those IT initiatives to establish aconverged infrastructure. The potential valueof the converged infrastructure is forthcoming,with innovative products and services deliveredthrough a number of channels and initiatives.“The worst case scenario is a more dynamic,cost effective, efficient infrastructure,” saysGullotta. “The best case scenario is newproducts and services, new partners andmarkets, and new revenue opportunities.”Complimentary data center analysisFor a custom, comprehensive analysis of theperformance, scalability, and reliability of yourdata center, including recommendations forimprovements, visit the Resource Centerat: www.UnleashingIT.com
  • 5Seize innovation, accelerate business, drive outcomes. All through the cloud.Curaçao TechnologyExchange CEO Anthonyde Lima aims to supportthe business boom of anentire regionIdeal location andgrowing businessopportunity spawn theCaribbean’s first andonly tier-IV data center.Hidden beaches, colorful architecture,pristine reefs, and picturesque plantations;located in the southwestern corner of theCaribbean, Curaçao has it all. But it’s aboutto get more. Much more.The island continues to gain prominenceas a hub of international finance andcommerce. And Curaçao TechnologyExchange (CTEX) is preparing to be a keyenabler of the region’s business boom.“We are building the first tier-IV data centercomplex in the region,” says Anthony deLima, CTEX Chairman and CEO. “It will bethe most advanced, purpose built, high-density technology services facility in theCaribbean and Latin America.”Three catalysts have converged in CTEX’sfavor: growth in Latin American emergingmarkets, advances in cloud computing,and an auspicious locale.More business, moretechnology needsBusiness activity in Central and SouthAmerica has been on the rise forsome time. Caribbean nations, at thecommercial crossroads between NorthAmerica, Europe, and Latin America, areexperiencing a similar business surge.Despite this growth, there continuesto be a lack of high-end technologyservices. Companies wanting toconduct business in the region have fewoptions for storing their data, accessingadvanced technologies, and getting top-notch support.Today, the Caribbean doesn’t have anUptime Institute-certified tier-IV datacenter. They exist in the U.S., Canada,and Europe, but many regional companiesare concerned with the privacy laws, strictregulations, and high costs that come withthem. Others are wary of utilizing SouthAmerican data centers due to physicalsecurity and political instability.World-class technology servicesin paradiseExperiences
  • Unleashing IT6From vision to reality:De Lima is building theCaribbean’s first tier-IV datacenter from scratch“Most companies doing business in theregion use data centers in North Americaor Europe,” de Lima explains. “Butwhen you are moving data and runningapplications across such distances,there are often bandwidth and latencyproblems, not to mention the high cost oflabor and taxes.”An untapped island refugeCTEX was formed in Curaçao not byhappenstance, but through carefulplanning and an exhaustive search. In theisland paradise, de Lima and his teamfound the perfect location for a tier-IVdata center.“The island is situated outside thehurricane belt and major seismic zones,”de Lima says. “And the data center isbeing purpose-built for 100 percentreliability. It is 197 feet above sealevel, and can withstand a Category5 hurricane and extensive seismicactivity. Our clients don’t have to worryabout putting their data or technologyoperations in harm’s way.”Curaçao’s connectivity is also a significantbenefit. Six redundant submarine cableslink the island to the rest of the world,and more are currently being installed;perfect for reliable, high-speed datatransmissions.Part of the Dutch Kingdom, Curaçao isvery friendly to international business.The privatization laws are favorable,the taxes are low, there are no importduties on technology equipment, andthe island offers unique benefits forexpatriate employees. A multiculturalpopulace that speaks English, Spanish,Dutch, and Portuguese also makes theisland an ideal location for transnationalcommerce.“The location, connectivity, and lawsmake Curaçao one of the safestlocations in the world to house criticalinformation assets,” says de Lima.Building a world-class datacenterDe Lima didn’t want to build any datacenter. He sought to deliver a tier-IV datacenter with “unparalleled technologycapabilities that enable business tobe conducted in ways never beforeimagined.”Four massive, 57,000 square footcomplexes are currently beingconstructed to achieve this vision.VblockTMInfrastructure Systems—withintegrated technology from Cisco,EMC, Intel, and VMware—form thetechnical foundation of the company’sbusiness-class cloud solutions. CTEXis also utilizing Cisco® Carrier RoutingSystem (CRS), Cisco ASR 9000 SeriesAggregation Services Routers, and CiscoNexus® 7000 and 5000 Series Switches.“We want to provide customers with the most advanceddata center services and the most secure, reliable cloudenvironment in the region.”Anthony de Lima, Chairman and CEO, Curaçao Technology Exchange
  • “We want to provide customers with themost advanced data center services and themost secure, reliable cloud environment inthe region,” de Lima says. “With a unifiedinfrastructure that has been pretested andvalidated, we can focus on delivering high-end IT services instead of worrying abouthardware and software details.”The company will offer world-classcolocation, security management,archival, disaster recovery, andmanaged services. Companies can takeadvantage of a private or multitenantcloud, managed by CTEX or by their ownpersonnel. Cisco Intelligent Automationfor Cloud software streamlines cloudprovisioning and administration. Withmore than a dozen standard servermodels, CTEX and its customers canselect their operating system andconfiguration of choice, and the softwarequickly and automatically provisions theenvironments and payment structure.“We want our customers to focuson running their business, not IT,” deLima explains. “With state-of-the-artinfrastructure and automation tools,they can access secure, on-demandservices from any location. We’re takingthe guesswork out of configuring andmanaging cloud environments.”De Lima is particularly excited about thedisaster recovery services his companywill offer. In addition to remote databackup, CTEX has office space—withserver and desktop provisioning, a fullcommunications suite using Cisco UnifiedCommunications Manager, and CiscoTelePresence® capabilities—for clientswho need to keep their business runningduring a crisis.“Our customers need safety and securityfor their data, and the ability to scaleup or down quickly and without a lot ofcapital investment,” says de Lima. “Indelivering these capabilities, we have anopportunity to help shape the Caribbeanand Latin American region, and its valuein a global, digitized economy.”More informationTo speak with a Cisco cloud expert aboutintelligent automation and ITaaS, contactus at: intelligentautomation@cisco.comTo hear how others are using VblocktmInfrastructure Packages, visit the ResourceCenter at: www.UnleashingIT.com4,652 members. 2,384 companies repres-ented. 52 local chapters. The Cisco UCS™user group community continues to grow.Local chapters meet three to four timeseach year to discuss everything aboutCisco UCS, which is based on Intel® Xeon®processors. Members are able to hear fromtheir peers and technology experts about:• Cisco UCS best practices• Hardware and software roadmaps• Hot trends and topics“The community and meetings are entirelyuser-driven,” says Patti Garza, UCSProgram Manager for Cisco. “There aren’tany sales or marketing pitches. It’s strictlyabout the technology, created for and bymembers.”Each meeting includes a best practicepresentation from a UCS user, manyinclude live demonstrations, and membersare often the first to hear of forthcomingproducts and solutions.“Each chapter and meeting is different,but they are always fun and informative,”says Garza. “It’s a great way to interactwith your peers, learn new tips and tricks,discuss technology trends, and get theinside scoop on unannounced products.”More informationTo locate a UCS User Groupchapter in your area, email:ucsusergroups@cisco.comFor more information on Cisco UCS,visit: www.UnleashingIT.comA growing—and active—community of Cisco®Unified Computing System™(UCS) users7Seize innovation, accelerate business, drive outcomes. All through the cloud.
  • Unleashing IT8CIO Eric Slavinsky workswith Cisco and LG&E andKU operations personnelto drive changeTechnology as cultural changeagent, efficiency boosterHow one utility companyis utilizing analytics,mobility, and collaborationtechnologies to changebehavioral norms andimprove operationalefficiency.“The tenure of our workforce is 15 to 30years on average,” says Eric Slavinsky, CIOof Louisville Gas and Electric and KentuckyUtilities Energy LLC (LG&E and KU). “Andthat leads to a lot of entrenched behaviors.”When Slavinsky joined the utility two andhalf years ago, he sought to reevaluatethose behaviors and find new opportunitiesfor efficiency. He wanted to solve businesschallenges. And he was focused onenabling his workforce to be productiveanytime, anywhere.“We wanted to change our businessculture,” Slavinsky says, “through IT.”Two factors had always been in the way.First, the company was relying on a hostof manual processes, which dictatedwhere and how company personnelcould perform their jobs. Second, criticalinformation was stashed in a variety ofdisparate systems, requiring a tremendousamount of work to pull informationtogether, and making it nearly impossible toperform data analyses thereafter.“To continue providing our customers withcost-effective electric and gas service,”Slavinsky says, “we needed greatertransparency, better decision making, anda more productive workforce.”For an industry that is often resistant tochange, cultural transformation could not beforced or dictated. The utility’s operationsteams would need to be included in theupfront decision making, and empowered intheir day-to-day activities.“You can’t just push change on people,”Slavinsky claims. “You need to give them asense of ownership and participation. Andthen you need to show them how changecan positively impact their job. It’s all aboutempowering the business through the useof technology.”Utilizing analytics, mobility, andcollaborationTo influence longstanding behaviors andprocesses, Slavinsky wanted to createtransparency between internal systems,services, and employees. That startedExperiences
  • 9Seize innovation, accelerate business, drive outcomes. All through the cloud.with data. Giving the LG&E and KUworkforce better access to the company’sinformation resources would reducethe amount of time to answer everydayquestions, conduct routine reporting, andmake effective business decisions.“In the past, we had a tough time accessingdata, let alone analyzing it,” Slavinskyexplains. “We were still printing outspreadsheets from different systems, thenmanually piecing everything together. It wasslow and rarely provided a comprehensive,timely view of our operations.”LG&E and KU implemented businessintelligence software on a new, fullyintegrated platform to improve informationaccess and utilization. Running on theCisco® Unified Computing System™(UCS), which is based on Intel® Xeon®processors, the SAP NetWeaver BusinessWarehouse Accelerator pulls togetherreal-time information from all of theutility’s operations systems and providessophisticated analytics capabilities.“The less time you spend searching for andintegrating data, the more time you have tomaximize it,” says Slavinsky. “Our businessintelligence system is cutting the time ittakes to produce monthly reports in half. It’seliminating many of the old manual printingprocesses. And most importantly, it isenabling our workforce to conduct analysesthat lead to faster, more informed decisions.”Those decisions can now be made anytime,anywhere, thanks to improved mobility andcollaboration capabilities. The utility is using CiscoUnified Communications Manager and Ciscomobility platforms to extend the reach of itsapplications environment, and deliver consistencyno matter how or where it is accessed.Through a bring your own device (BYOD)program, mobility software, and virtualdesktop integration (VDI), operationspersonnel can tap the utility’s businessapplications from any location, and have thesame experience whether they are using atablet, laptop, or personal computer. Thisallows them to be as productive in the fieldas they are in the office.“The mobile system is a wealth ofinformation at your fingertips,” says TerryWalker, Service Technician for LG&E and KU.“Every day I logon and use it to view systemmaps, create work request maps, findlocations of trouble calls, log inspections, andany other job that comes my way. It’s mademy job a lot more efficient.”The company is also utilizing collaborationtools, such as instant messaging, chat,and video. LG&E and KU engineeringexperts will soon be able to help diagnoseand fix problems remotely, reducing thetime and cost of travel and repairs. Themobility and collaboration capabilities havebeen particularly useful during storms andoutages, when the business must go into“crisis response mode” and coordinatelarge groups of field employees.“We pride ourselves on superior customerservice, especially during storms,” saysSlavinsky. “Our new computing platform andcapabilities are making us much more effectiveand coordinated during outages, and that hasa direct impact on our costs and customers.”Through advanced analytics, mobility,and collaboration, Slavinsky is quicklytransforming the culture and operationalefficiency of LG&E and KU. And it’sworking. The utility is one of the lowest-cost energy providers in the U.S., and hasrecently received best-in-class customersatisfaction ratings among Midwest utilities.Complimentary data center analysisFor a custom, comprehensive analysisof the performance, scalability, andreliability of your data center, includingrecommendations for improvements,visit the Resource Center at:www.UnleashingIT.com“Our business intelligence system is cutting the time it takesto produce monthly reports in half. And most importantly, it isenabling our workforce to conduct analyses that lead to faster,more informed decisions.”Eric Slavinsky, CIO of Louisville Gas and Electric and Kentucky Utilities
  • Unleashing IT10The foundation for better businessdecisionsHardware and softwareinvestments helpStaples Australia movestrategically towarddata transparency forcustomers and suppliers.Be nimble, be agile, take risks, and applyinnovation to how you’re using data inyour business. It’s a fairly ambitious goal,but it’s one that Garry Whatley, VP of ITand Business Services, Staples Australia,believes is a matter of perspective. Youeither focus on the risk or you focus onthe strategic advantage. Whatley is aproponent of the latter.“Our end goal is to provide informationtransparency to our customers andsuppliers, so we can make better businessdecisions collectively,” says Whatley. “Thatgoal drove our transformation program,where we implemented a new hardwareplatform to support a new businesswarehouse (BW) software suite. Ourbusiness intelligence vision is very defined,and we invested in it substantially becauseit is strategic to how we’re going to operateas the business moves forward.”The value of data access andanalyticsUnlike its parent company in the U.S.,Staples Australia does not have any retaillocations. It engages with customersonline or through its sales force. Inboth instances, sophisticated datatransparency creates an opportunity toalter business processes significantly.For a high volume, high data businesslike Staples, Whatley believes better dataaccess and analyses can help drive costout of the supply chain and reveal newbusiness insights.Staples Australia chose the Intel®Xeon®processor-based Cisco®UnifiedComputing System™ (UCS) as thehardware foundation supporting itsdata transparency initiative and SAPNetWeaver BW investment. Thecompany also implemented the CiscoBusiness Warehouse Accelerator toamplify the speed of its SAP NetWeaverExperiences
  • 11Seize innovation, accelerate business, drive outcomes. All through the cloud.BW software to drive faster queries,reporting, and decision making.The Cisco implementation wasconsistent with Whatley’s emphasison strategic advantage. As CorporateExpress (prior to the Staplesintegration), the company was anearly adopter of many new Ciscotechnologies, including IP Telephonyand IP Contact Center as well asprevious iterations of Cisco UCS™.Whatley wanted to maintain the strategiccommitment to the Cisco relationship.So was the strategic gamble worth it?Whatley believes it was. “Both the CiscoUCS and SAP choices were soundstrategic decisions that I would makeagain. In fact, we should have done itsooner. Our users were frustrated withperformance, and we have reversedthat experience significantly. Now, weare in a position to not only deliverperformance, but also drive toward ourvision as well.”The hardware and software investmentshave been fundamental in helpingStaples be agile and react to insightgleaned from the data. For example,operations personnel can gather metricsthat help rank and compare suppliersagainst KPIs and other supply chainpartners. On a monthly basis, Staplesprovides the Supplier PerformanceReporting Pack to its suppliers.Previously, completing those reportsrequired a significant amount of manualeffort. With automation, Staples canprovide visibility around performancelevels to the more than 300 suppliers inits supply chain.In addition, data transparency isenhancing inventory management.Staples can calculate daily performanceon KPIs for the purchasing team,operations team, and the overall businessbased on day-to-day order fulfillmentand the company’s “perfect order”model. The ongoing insight is improvingcustomer service levels and reducinginventory holding.Driving toward its future visionWith the foundation in place, Staples cancontemplate adding new capabilities to driveits future vision. Mobility is a key priority.With no retail presence, the companyrelies heavily on its sales force to servicecorporate and mid-market customers.Pushing order information and onlinereporting to reps while at customer sites is aprimary focus. Executive insight enablementis also critical. In a high volume, low valuebusiness model, having the visibility to trackthe business in fine detail on a daily basispromotes better business decisions.In fact, Staples is about to launch a pilotfocused on reviewing and analyzingcustomer sales history. Throughadvanced analytics, business userscan examine factors including whatcustomers spend, where they spend,categories of spend, and which areas ofthe business spend more than others.It is similar to the breakdowns of paperreports, but the automation enables drilldown, discussion, analysis, and “what if”scenarios on the fly.“Clarity in what you’re driving toward iswhat enables you to move away froma risk focus to a strategic orientation,”says Whatley. “At Staples, we are clearthat mobile intelligence and real-timeanalytics represent our optimum datatransparency capabilities. And we havethe hardware and software foundationto move there confidently—delivering thevalue of visibility to our customers andsuppliers for better business decisionsevery step of the way.”Cisco Bridge to SAP HANA ApplianceFor a video, whitepaper, and solutionbrief about improving your businessintelligence capabilities with Ciscoand SAP solutions, visit the ResourceCenter at: www.UnleashingIT.com.
  • Unleashing IT12Peruse a list of the top 10 characteristicsto look for in a financial broker andyou’re bound to find “trustworthy” and“responsive.” When we invest money,we expect the experts to be quick torespond to market demands, to take aholistic view, and to manage our fundsseamlessly.Compare that to the demands beingplaced on today’s CIOs and the two areincreasingly similar. When a business unitsubmits a request for compute power,they expect fast, secure results, and theywant the ability to ‘see’ how their serverenvironment is performing.“CIOs are being asked to transitionfrom being a resource provider toresource broker,” says Phill Lawson-Shanks, Chief Technology Officer atVirtacore, a wholly-owned subsidiaryof IKANO Communications Inc.,headquartered in Sterling, Va. “Thatmeans they need to adapt to anew service delivery paradigm thatleverages internal, external, and hybridcloud fabrics, where virtual instancesand resource pools are both dynamicand manageable at an increasinglygranular level,” he says.As a leading cloud services provider,Virtacore understands the intricaciesof leveraging IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS)to reduce capital costs and operatingexpenses. At the same time, thecompany realizes the need for speed,visibility, and increased manageability.Which is why it’s currently in the processof building a new core infrastructure withthe Intel®Xeon®processor-based Cisco®Unified Computing System™ (UCS), CiscoNexus®and Catalyst®switches, CiscoIntelligent Automation for Cloud (CiscoIAC), and a next-generation hybridstorage solution from Nimble Storage.Currently located in Equinix InternationalBusiness Exchange data centers inSilicon Valley, Chicago, Los Angeles, andVirtacore’s dynamic cloud infrastructure-as-a-servicehelps CIOs transition from resource provider toresource broker.Brokering the cloudExperiences
  • 13Seize innovation, accelerate business, drive outcomes. All through the cloud.Washington, D.C., Virtacore became thefirst cloud service provider to leverageEquinix Business Suites earlier this year.It is also among the first to be nominatedto VMware’s vCloud Powered program,which requires partners to offer on-demand access to virtual infrastructurefrom a public cloud while supportingapplication and API portability between acustomer’s internal data center and theVMware Powered Service of their choice.The move to a wholesale data centermodel coincides with the company’smigration to Cisco UCSTMand Nimble.Together, the two strategies aregiving Virtacore the performance andvisibility it needs to stay ahead of largercompetitors, delivering broker-likeservices at an extremely cost-effectiveprice, says Lawson-Shanks.“Before we started this migration itcould take up to six weeks to deploy acustomer’s cloud instance. Now we candeploy within a matter of hours,” he says,noting that proofs of concept run on thenew core infrastructure in a productionenvironment, allowing for a simpletransition to a full service contract oncecustomers are satisfied.“From our perspective, we’ve gained ablock of resource we can carve up anddeploy any which way we need. From acustomer perspective, they get a real worldexperience of what the system is going tobe from soup to nuts that helps to allay anyreservations they may have,” he says.Two of the first Virtacore customers tomigrate to the new cloud infrastructureinclude a large food distributor and awell-known software provider. Both areexperiencing faster response times—almostdouble what they were experiencingpreviously—with the added advantage ofconfidence. As Virtacore engineer MattTedder explains, the new environmentoffers “a single pane of glass” managementview that provides crucial information aboutprocessing speeds, memory, networkavailability, and storage, as well as built-inpre-emptive monitoring capabilities.“Nimble offers the cleanest user interfacewe’ve seen from a storage product,” saysTedder. “From just a few sets of tabs, wecan obtain a top-down view of everything.”In the case of the food distributor, the firstapplication to move to Virtacore’s CiscoUCS/Nimble platform was SharePoint,a mission-critical application which isperforming better in the cloud than itdid on a tier-one manufacturer’s bladeinfrastructure. For the software provider,the main advantage is being able to quicklyspin up customer instances with a highdegree of visibility.“Latency is not an issue any more. It’sabout the performance of the systems,installing them correctly and managingthem appropriately,” notes Lawson-Shanks, adding that Virtacore is lookingto capitalize on the scalability of CiscoUCS and Nimble CS series, as well asthe self-service provisioning capabilitiesof Cisco IAC, to support future growth.“We’re only limited now by the amountof power our hosting partners canprovide us,” he says.Complimentary consultationFor more information and to qualifyfor a personalized consultation onleveraging a joint Cisco UCS andNimble Storage solution in your datacenter, visit the Resource Center at:www.UnleashingIT.com
  • Unleashing IT14“Our hardware,” says Chad Branum,Executive Director of Technology at CoppellIndependent School District, “typically has afive-year lifecycle.”Coppell’s 3,000 desktops and 4,000 laptopsare dispersed among 15 public schools inTexas. With these hardware systems nearingthe end of their projected lifecycle, Branumrecently found himself in a predicament.“Using technology to empower our students andadvance our educational model is a part of ouroverall strategy,” he explains. “Our administratorsand parent community have always been verypro-technology, and have consistently pushedfor new, engaging services.”And yet, like most public school systems,Coppell is challenged with funding. In a classiccase of needing to do more with less, Branumhad to find a way to modernize his schooldistrict’s technology capabilities, despite arestrictive budget and aging hardware.“It’s tough to replace hardware when youare cash-strapped,” Branum says. “It’s eventougher to deliver new services and stay atthe forefront of technology-based education.”But that’s exactly what Branum and histeam accomplished. The first step wasimplementing a Bring Your Own Device(BYOD) program that takes advantage ofstudents’ mobile computing resources.“By leveraging our community’s personaldevices, we can extend our computingservices and learning experiences,” saysBranum. “It’s also less for us to buy, manage,and maintain.”The second step was making sure allstudents have a consistent experience,regardless of the device through which theyconnect to the school district’s computingenvironment. To do so, Coppell implementeda virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) usingVblock™ Infrastructure Packages. “VDI givesus the consistency we needed across alldevices,” says Branum. “The experience isthe same whether a student is in a libraryusing one of our desktops, on a field trip usingtheir mobile device, or at home using theirfamily’s personal computer.”The virtual infrastructure is also extendingthe life of Coppell’s desktops and laptopsby three to five years. Compared to the costof hardware replacement, Coppell will savemore than $1 million over the next five years.Presidio, a leading technology servicesprovider, helped Coppell with the VDIdeployment, from proof of concept to ROImodeling to Vblock implementation. Accordingto Branum, Presidio kept the big picture inmind while managing the day-to-day details.“Working with Presidio has been a lot offun,” says Branum. “They are extremelyknowledgeable and took a strategic,holistic approach to our situation. Together,we created a five-year plan that solvedimmediate challenges and generated costsavings that can be applied elsewhere.”With its new virtual infrastructure and costsavings, Coppell is evaluating the potentialuse of virtual courses, online researchprograms, flip classroom initiatives, andtechnology-based standards testing.“We want a seamless integration betweentechnology and learning. The first criticalsteps are giving students access tocomputing devices, and then delivering aconsistent, engaging experience,” Branumexplains. “Doing so has allowed us to explorenew instructional strategies that were notpreviously possible.”Speak to a cloud architectTo speak with a Presidio solutionsarchitect about how cloud technologiescan help your business, or to downloadcloud-focused white papers, visit:www.UnleashingIT.comHow Coppell IndependentSchool District is usingBYOD and VDI to modernizeits infrastructure, and savingmore than $1 million as aresult.HealthcareAdvancing IT capabilities, despiteaging hardwareEducation Feature
  • 15Seize innovation, accelerate business, drive outcomes. All through the cloud.How advancedtechnology helpedLiberty Universitybecome one of thenation’s largest and mostsuccessful academicinstitutions.It supports nearly 100,000 students. Itoffers 253 programs of study. And it boastsmore than 6,000 faculty and staff members.Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, LibertyUniversity is one of the most successfulacademic institutions in the UnitedStates. But it only recently reached suchprominence, having experienced meteoricgrowth over the past several years.“We delivered 160,000 credit hours in2005,” says Matthew Zealand, CIO ofLiberty University. “In 2012, we deliveredover 1.3 million.”This growth was greater than anticipated,Zealand admits. Much of it happenedorganically, and all of it happened fasterthan anyone envisioned.“Growth impacts everything,” Zealandsays. “More students necessitate morefaculty, administrators, call center agents,financial specialists, you name it. And thatmeans more IT systems and services tosupport them all.”Unfortunately, Liberty University’s pre-existing technology infrastructure was notdesigned to sustain such growth. The largelyphysical environment was nearing capacity,struggling to support on-campus operations,and hindering an online learning program thatwas growing 25-30 percent each year.Online programs fuelenrollment increasesMuch of Liberty University’s dramatic growthcan be attributed to its online learningprogram. The increasingly popular onlinecurriculum now educates nearly 85,000students in 95 countries, far outpacing theuniversity’s 12,500 on-campus students.“Our online learning program is abusiness-critical service we provide toour students,” explains Connie Allison,Enterprise IT Communication Liaison forLiberty University. “Any downtime resultsin student dissatisfaction and complaints,and it decreases our ability to maintain andincrease enrollment. We can’t compete ifour online systems are up and down.”Because a majority of online students havenever stepped foot on campus, the onlinelearning program must also espouse theculture and mission of Liberty University.“We need to maintain consistency ineverything we do, whether it’s on campusor online,” says Zealand. “This primarilyfalls on the shoulders of our technologysystems and services. We can’t proactivelyadvance our programs, our enrollment, andour mission when we are reactively dealingwith data center and application issues.”To relieve data center constraints and supportongoing growth, Liberty University recentlydeployed the Cisco®Unified ComputingSystem™ (UCS), which is based on Intel®Xeon®processors. Maximizing virtualizationand consolidation, the Cisco UCS™environment supports all university operations,from student and financial services toadministrative and call center systems toclassroom and online applications.“Cisco UCS has given us the flexibility,scalability, and stability we need tosupport our growth,” Allison says. “TheCisco network management tools allow usto see and address stress points beforethey become problems. We had nearly 10hours of downtime the semester beforewe implemented Cisco UCS, but wehaven’t had any downtime this semester.”Instead of fixing problems, universityadministrators and IT staff can now focuson opportunities.“In the past, we spent most of our timeresponding to incidents and issues,”Allison explains. “Now we can exploreand implement new ideas, new studentservices, and new university resources.”This has fostered a second wave ofgrowth and development, she adds. Theuniversity is in the process of buildinga state-of-the-art library, a center forcinematic arts, and a new baseballstadium. Already the nation’s largestprivate, nonprofit educator, LibertyUniversity also continues to expand itsonline learning curriculum and degrees.“Enrollment growth places more strainand demand on everything, not just ournetwork and application infrastructure,” saysZealand. “Cisco UCS has helped us relievedata center constraints, while allowing us toaccommodate ongoing growth and focuson the future of our university.”Complimentary data center analysisFor a custom, comprehensive analysisof the performance, scalability, andreliability of your data center, includingrecommendations for improvements,visit the Resource Center at:www.UnleashingIT.comSupporting meteoricbusiness growth Education Feature
  • Servers based on the Intel® Xeon®processor E5-2600 product familyAt the Heart of YourFlexible, HighlyEfficient DatacenterDesigned to combine performance, built-incapabilities, and cost-effectiveness, serversbased on the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600product family are at the heart of today’sevolving data center.Brilliantly versatileDesigned to sit at the heart of diverse IT environments:• Enterprise infrastructure• Public & private cloud installations• Storage systems• Research and High-Performance Computing (HPC)• Embedded devices• WorkstationsCopyright © 2012 Intel Corporation. All rights reserved. Intel, the Intel logo, Xeon, and Xeon inside are trademarksof Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries.