In an increasingly digital, mobile and connected world, organizations need new ways to maintain real-time contact with their employees, customers and partners. And mobile cloud will be a major force enabling these ubiquitous connections and reshaping the business landscape. The first post in this series, by Padmasree Warrior, explores how the convergence of mobility and cloud will deliver unprecedented transformation for all organizations. In the second post, Sujai Hajela answers the question, “What exactly is mobile cloud?” In this post, Joe Cozzolino looks at what mobile cloud means for service providers and enterprises.
The value of mobile cloud is embodied in our 21st century nomadic, hyper-mobile lives. We no longer think in terms of boundaries – between home and office, between laptop, smart phone and an ever-expanding array of devices. We have no patience for latency. Our offices are wherever we are at the moment we need to connect with a colleague or customer, and the device we use is whatever is at hand. Making that happen is no mean feat for mobile service providers.
Imagine having the power of your office in the palm of your hand no matter where you are. Your business applications, your files, directories and chat logs. Everything when you need it, where you need it. It won’t matter what device you’re using or what type of network you’re on. You will move seamlessly from 3G to 4G to WiFi.
So there you are at the airport, waiting for your flight and you get a call from an important customer. She wants to review the past month’s reports with you, share a file and bring in some colleagues via TelePresence. It has to be now, it has to be secure – and you have to board your plane.
Problem? Not anymore.
You begin the meeting on your tablet connected to the free airport WiFi network. As you board your flight your connection switches automatically, seamlessly to the LTE network. And before you have to buckle your seat belt, you’ve completed the review, having satisfied your customer. That’s the power of Mobile Cloud combined with Network Access Control (NAC).
Consider another scenario. You’re taking the train to work, and you get a notice on your mobile phone that your front door has just been opened. The family is out; no one should be home. You open your home security app and see a clear, real-time video stream of burglars entering your house. You tap the emergency button and the police are on their way. Your next step is to alert your wife and kids not to go near the house – just as the train heads into a tunnel. The WiFi on the train is great, but in the tunnel the coverage is weak. Not a problem: the signal switches seamlessly from WiFi to the 3G cellular network; the notifications go out immediately; and your wife and kids head to the mall to wait until the house is safe.
That too is the power of Mobile Cloud.
So what makes mobile service providers unique in their ability to deliver these seamless user experiences? The answer lies in the underlying network and the control and visibility it provides. In each of our scenarios, the mobile network could “see” the users – where they were, what kind of device they were using, and how they were accessing the network. Even more important, the network could see all the available network resources. SON (Self-Optimizing Networks), policy systems and an elastic EPC (Evolved Packet Core) all played a pivotal role in enabling those seamless experiences.
Here’s what Service Providers should be doing to enable our hyper mobile lives:
• Make your networks programmable, elastic, and open with the following capabilities: Integration of heterogeneous access, core network, and cloud resources, both physical and virtual, across multi-vendor networks
• Leverage cloud efficiencies derived from software-defined networking (SDN), separating control and data planes
• Use virtualization, orchestration, and automation of network functions for increased control over resources and extension to enterprise customers for more options
• Harness end-to-end network intelligence and control to deliver unmatched, secure, contextual, personalized experiences to subscribers
• Gain web-speed agility by combining SDN and network functions virtualization (NfV) with orchestration to capture new revenue opportunities including M2M in the Internet of Everything, sponsored data, and PMB (Premium Mobile Broadband)
The Cisco Open Network for service providers, powered by the Cisco Evolved Services Platform (ESP) andEvolved Programmable Network (EPN) , is the foundation for Mobile Cloud that transforms business. It increases agility so service providers can deliver new experiences that drive revenue while optimizing the network and operational costs.
For many SPs and enterprises, the road to mobile cloud success is just beginning. But a vast scope of opportunities awaits all SPs who deliver on delivering new services to enterprises through the mobile cloud.