Contact Center Customers Speak Volumes at Cisco

G. Willsky

Summary Bullets:

• Cisco is taking a more customer-focused approach to the contact center space than previously.

• Cisco has married feature-rich contact center offers with a robust internal ecosystem of support.

In early December 2022, several executives from Cisco’s contact center business updated analysts regarding its go-to-market strategy. The discussion made clear that Cisco is investing heavily in optimizing its contact center capabilities. The company has recalibrated its approach to positioning, partner channels, and customer adoption. The changes place Cisco on more solid ground than before.

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AWS re:Invent 2022 – AWS Attaches Serverless Option to Popular Services

C. Dunlap Research Director

Summary Bullets:

• Lambda advancements further Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) DevOps agenda.

• AWS couples serverless computing with popular data management and app development tools.

During AWS re:Invent 2022, company executives emphasized how customers can leverage its high-productivity DevOps platforms and data management tools to move into the next phase of digitization and app modernization. This challenging phase of moving mission-critical applications into production is one that demands infrastructure configuration abstraction, greater participation of non-coders and data scientists, and data management, which includes automation and security.

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KubeCon 2022: Key Trends Include WebAssembly, FinOps, and Security

C. Dunlap Research Director

Summary Bullets:

• WebAssembly is the industry’s latest buzzword, but with some substance for its ability to disrupt coding in modern web browsers.

• Not surprisingly, important themes including security, observability, and FinOps continued to dominate the conference and digitization initiatives in general.

The rising use of Kubernetes as enterprises strive for app modernization continues to drive advancements in emerging DevOps technologies. During the 2022 Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) conference, KubeCon, key technology themes included observability, application security, and FinOps (not surprisingly). Newer technologies such as WebAssembly caused a stir among show attendees.

Following is a recap of these themes. For a deeper dive into the technologies and participants, please see: “KubeCon 2022: Rise of Kubernetes Drives New Cost Management, Monitoring, and Security Methods,” November 4, 2022.

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No More Faxes

R. Pritchard

Summary Bullets:

• UK regulator Ofcom is consulting on removing fax services from the UK’s universal service obligation (USO) for BT and KCOM.

• Once a core feature of office life, the history of fax machines goes way back, but they are set to be consigned to tech history.

The facsimile (fax) machine was ubiquitous in offices from the 1980s through the end of the 20th century, but the impact of email, the world wide web, and the relentless rise of unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) platforms is set to witness the demise of a technology that served users well in analog days (as long as there was paper and ink in the machine, no blockages, and not someone else using it already).

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Stability AI Raises $1 Billion and the Ire of Competitors

Principal Analyst, Advanced Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• The ability to generate an image by typing several textual instructions brings home the potential of AI and seems indistinguishable from magic.

• Stability AI was released in August 2022. Stability AI differentiates itself from competitors by not censoring the user’s creation.

Stability AI (SAI) was co-founded in 2020 by Emad Mostaque, who earned a master’s degree at Oxford University in mathematics and computer science. After a stint as an analyst at several different hedge funds, Mostaque decided to switch gears and pursue his interest in AI. Mostaque provided the initial funding but soon found the company awash in venture funding, giving SAI a valuation of approximately $1 billion. With SAI, artificial intelligence moves beyond analytics and becomes a creator. In order to create an image with SAI, a creator simply types descriptive text into the DreamStudio, and an image slowly appears.

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Vertex Brings Simplicity to Computer Vision, but Computer Vision Still Needs Additional Technology

Principal Analyst, Advanced Analytics

Summary Bullets:

• Machine vision is critical to future-facing products such as self-driving vehicles and delivery robots. Developing a vision-enabled machine is difficult and expensive.

• Google’s Vertex AI Vision will allow companies to build machine vision applications that can be customized to perform a specialized task.

In the summer of 1966, summer students at MIT were tasked with creating a visual system. The story was certainly true, but time distorted the event. The “summer vision project” became an urban legend often told by computer vision scientists to demonstrate how the project participants, who thought they could come up with a prototype by the end of summer, underestimated the project’s complexity.

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Hyperscalers’ Move in ASEAN – How It Will Change Domestic Telcos’ Strategy

A. Amir

Summary Bullets:

• Hyperscalers are making a move in ASEAN, expanding their footprints in key markets.

• Telcos will need to redefine their product and go-to-market strategies in the cloud, edge, and enterprise 5G.

Hyperscalers Are Making a Move in ASEAN
Leading hyperscalers are aggressively expanding their presence globally, with ASEAN being one of the key markets (for more, please see ”Hyperscalers Making a Move in ASEAN,” September 27, 2022). From Singapore, hyperscalers expanded to Indonesia and are now further expanding their footprints in the other key ASEAN countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced its Local Zones in the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam; Google Cloud is building new regions in Malaysia and Thailand; Alibaba Cloud opened new regions in the Philippines, and Thailand and has the widest presence in ASEAN; and Microsoft is planning to open new data centers in Indonesia and Malaysia. The move was driven by the growing demand for cloud services in the region accelerated by the pandemic. ”GlobalData Global IT Customer Insight 2022” shows that 75% of 166 ASEAN enterprises have increased their spending on cloud in 2022 while ”GlobalData Market Analyzer” (last viewed in September 2022) estimates that the cloud market in the region will double in the next five years from $16.3 billion in 2021 to $33.8 billion in 2026.

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How Can Cybersecurity Providers Create Differentiation with Future Digital Enterprise Customers?

R. Muru

Summary Bullets:

• Security heads continue to be challenged in implementing effective cybersecurity strategies and continue to want positive and measurable business outcomes with their cybersecurity investments.

• To stay relevant and drive growth, providers will have to reposition sales and marketing efforts in front of customers, emphasizing value-based selling addressing business challenges.

The Challenged Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), and Vendors Riding on the Current Cybersecurity Growth Wave
It is clear that cybersecurity is high on the agenda for businesses of all sizes ranging from small-to-medium enterprises to multinational corporates and government establishments. In recent years, the public has seen exponential growth in cyberattacks across a range of verticals covering finance, government, and utilities to name a few. On the one hand, this has resulted in healthy revenue growth in the cybersecurity segment, with stock valuations and revenues on the rise alongside advances in technology.

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Alibaba Cloud Adds CloudBox and Other Options to Deliver Services Closer to Data Sources

S. Soh

Summary Bullets:

• Alibaba Cloud has products to extend its services from major cloud data centers to customer premises and edge locations.

• The company needs to make these products more widely available outside of China and work with communications service providers (CSPs) to deliver multi-access edge computing (MEC).

As enterprises look to leverage cloud services to embed digital solutions (e.g., data analytics, AI/ML, IoT, etc.) in their business operations, there are specific requirements for their IT infrastructure. While public cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offers agility and cost-effectiveness, there are challenges around the availability of a cloud region, network latency issues, and security/compliance requirements. Moreover, applications are moving from centralized locations (i.e., cloud or data centers) to a more distributed architecture, giving rise to the demand for edge computing. Hyperscalers have been developing alternatives to host their cloud services, and Alibaba Cloud – as a key player – has also been helping customers to bring cloud services closer to where the data is generated and processed.

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NTT and VMware’s Partnership Demonstrates Need for Partnership in Edge Services Delivery

J. Marcus

Summary Bullets:

• NTT and VMware integrated their respective private network and edge compute offerings – both were originally launched in 2021 – to offer the new Edge-as-a-Service.

• The partners will go to market jointly and coordinate sales, marketing, and customer co-innovations, with NTT delivering the managed service across its global footprint.

NTT Ltd. and VMware launched Edge-as-a-Service, a fully managed edge compute platform that runs on the Intel network and edge infrastructure and is complemented by NTT’s existing private LTE/5G offering based on technology from Celona. NTT is using VMware’s Edge Compute Stack, an integrated virtual machine (VM) and container-based stack to help organizations modernize and secure edge-native apps close to end users, while VMware – despite already offering a private cellular connectivity platform built on components from Druid Software and ASOCS – is now adopting NTT’s Private 5G as part of its edge solution.

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