With the agility, capabilities, and efficiencies that can be attained through cloud and managed services, many companies are asking if they should outsource some or all of their IT operations. It’s an increasingly sensible question, but just one of many.
Fact is, not all clouds are created equally. And the quality of service and support can differ dramatically from provider to provider.
“Trust and confidence are the most important prerequisites when outsourcing IT,” says Xander Uyleman, senior manager of Global Partner Marketing at Cisco. “Companies need to have assurance in the underlying technology on which the services are built, and they need to know they are in good hands.”
Just as a parent would be hesitant to leave their child in an understaffed or inexperienced daycare facility, companies must carefully consider the caretakers of their data and IT assets. Put them in the hands of a giant public cloud provider and the service, support, and flexibility may be lacking. Put them in the hands of a small, unproven cloud provider and there can be painful instances of trial and error. Choose the wrong provider—large or small—and there can be outages, breaches, and vulnerabilities.
“This is not a decision to be made lightly, and it’s in a company’s best interest to make the right choice the first time,” says Uyleman. “The alternative can be costly and have lasting consequences.”
None of this should scare companies away from cloud and managed services, he adds. Quite the contrary. There are a multitude of providers that deliver advanced services and support in ways that complement the capabilities of most IT departments.
It’s simply a matter of finding them.
For this reason, Cisco has created Cisco Powered™, which validates and certifies the preeminent cloud and managed service providers. The best of the best.
- Cisco Powered services are built on Cisco® validated architectures that deliver industry leading performance and scalability, such as the Intel® Xeon® processor-based Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®).
- They feature end-to-end security, from the data center to the network to the applications.
- They are designed with a commitment to open standards and ongoing innovation.
Third-party audits bolster certification
According to Uyleman, technical underpinnings are only a portion of the Cisco Powered equation. Approved partners must also provide world-class customer support, from onboarding to change management to problem resolution.
“Companies need assured performance and 24-hour support,” Uyleman says. “And if there’s an issue, they need the ability to pick up the phone and talk with someone who understands their environment and can help resolve the problem immediately.”
With Cisco Powered services, companies get:
- Enterprise-class performance, unwavering uptime, and 24x7 support.
- Business agility and faster time to value, with the ability to tap new resources and services in hours or days instead of weeks or months.
- Access to the latest technologies and innovations.
- Relief from administrative tasks—such as systems maintenance, patches, upgrades, and backups—in order to focus on higher-value activities.
All of this is guaranteed. But don’t take Cisco’s or its partners’ word for it. All Cisco Powered services are audited, based on ITIL standards, by a third party.
“Cisco Powered service providers meet stringent criteria and go through the rigors of certification that clearly set them apart from other cloud and managed service providers,” says Uyleman. “For companies wanting enterprise-class cloud and managed services with unparalleled support, look for the Cisco Powered logo.”