Cisco Launches Ultra Services Platform to Simplify, Automate and Accelerate the Mobile Cloud

BARCELONA, February 22, 2016 – Deutsche Telekom is creating a multi-country mobile cloud. SK Telecom of South Korea is automating new service creation in minutes versus days, and bringing network control to one place. They are doing it with the Cisco® Ultra Services Platform, which formally launches today at GSMA Mobile World Congress.

Cisco Ultra is a complete, virtualized, feature-rich, mobile services platform that helps mobile operators launch and deploy new services faster and more efficiently. Benefits include:

A software-defined networking (SDN) distributed network: It applies SDN to separate control and user plane functionality. User plane functionality can be distributed close to the radio access network, allowing data to shortcut to the Internet. This can help save up to 35 percent of backhaul costs.

Service creation and control can be centralized, allowing operators to be more agile

Massive scale: In its first release, the system is tested to over two terabytes per second of traffic handling capacity, and over 20 million connections.

Time to revenue: It simplifies and speeds the introduction of new services, from Connected Car to enterprise private mobile networks.

Automated deployments: It automates the deployment of services through an easy to use user interface. Deployment intervals can be reduced from months to minutes, and deployment costs can be reduced by 30 percent or more.

It helps reduces total cost of ownership up to 30 to 35 percent.

It utilizes and enhances the Cisco family of world-class virtual applications including packet core, policy, security and more.

It is open and extensible: Ultra can easily integrate with third-party components. A full member of the Cisco Open Network Architecture and Evolved Services Platform, Ultra can easily onboard any of the more than 100 virtual applications in the virtualized network functions portfolio, plus third-party virtual applications.

Rapid Time-to-Market of Hybrid Cloud and SaaS Offerings

Ultra is deployable over public, private, or hybrid clouds, and may be combined with Cisco SaaS solutions like Infinite Video, Spark, and others.

5G Capabilities Today

Ultra makes 5G capabilities like control and user plane separation (CUPS) and network slicing available today. Operators can take advantage of these features without having to wait for end-to-end 5G.

“As our customers embrace digitization, they are expecting a much more flexible and faster service introduction from their network operators,” said Franz Seiser, vice president Core Network and Services, Deutsche Telekom AG. “We have proven that our distributed approach based on SDN and NFV within our Network-optimized Infrastructure Cloud gives us the flexibility and scale needed to enhance our customers’ digital experience to a much higher level.”

“SDN holds much promise to make things easier and faster for our consumer and enterprise customers,” said Park Jin-hyo, senior vice president and head of Network Technology R&D Center at SK Telecom. “It helps our network keep up with the growing demands as customers digitize. Cisco’s approach of integrating SDN into the mobile services core will enable our customers to be served better with exactly what they want, when they want it.”

“With the new Ultra services platform, our global customers will be able to do things in near real time, that previously took hours or days,” said Kelly Ahuja, senior vice president, Service Provider business, products and solutions, Cisco. “Together we are able to deliver a transformational customer experience today, while preparing the industry path to 5G.”

“We are seeing early customer adoption for the Ultra Services Platform, with eight operators worldwide, including three North American operators,” said Scott Yow, vice president, Ultra Services Platform, Cisco. “This unique, SDN distributed architecture will enable our customers to harness the full potential of virtualization, SDN, and cloud.”

Supporting Resources

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Blockchain technology ushers in the “Internet of Value”

It was the buzz at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos. Wall Street banks are pouring money into it. And Mark Andreesen has called it the most important technology since the Internet itself.

What is it? The blockchain, of course.

Created by the mysterious hacker known as Satoshi Nakamoto, the blockchain—the distributed ledger technology that underlies the Bitcoin virtual currency—Blockchain has the potential to upend industries from finance to real estate to entertainment. has the potential to upend industries from finance to real estate to entertainment. That has Silicon Valley titans, global finance leaders and even indie artists scrambling to grasp the implications of the technology—and make sure they aren’t broadsided by it.

Tim Swanson, head of research at R3, a New York technology startup backed by a consortium of big banks, has described the blockchain as being “a bit like gluten—everybody is talking about it but no one knows what it is in great detail.”

In the simplest terms, the blockchain transfers value from one party to another over the Internet. That could be money, a share of stock, a property deed, a digital royalty—even a vote cast in an election.

Today, such transactions often pass through multiple intermediaries to be validated, cleared and processed, and are stored in central ledgers maintained by an authority, such as a central bank in the case of financial transactions or the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) for mortgages.

The blockchain distributes the validation and storage of transactions over many computers in a secure and public way, eliminating the need for a middleman. In doing so, it drastically reduces the time and cost to process a transaction to close to zero.

Alex Tapscott, CEO of Northwest Passage Ventures, an advisory firm in the blockchain space and author of an upcoming book on the subject, says blockchain technology represents the next generation of the Internet, what he calls the Internet of Value.Blockchain technology represents the next generation of the Internet- the Internet of Value.

While the technology—both the original Bitcoin blockchain and new variations of it—has sweeping potential to transform vast sectors of the economy, says Tapscott, the first blockchain applications are taking root in two areas: financial services and creative industries such as music and media.

As a ledger system, the blockchain’s most obvious application is in finance, and banks have awoken to the threat and opportunity it poses. R3CEV, a blockchain technology company owned by a consortium of banks, has grown from nine members at its founding in September 2015 to more than 40 today. By one estimate, Wall Street spending on blockchain could reach $400 million in the next few years. By one estimate, Wall Street spending on blockchain could reach $400 million in the next few years.

Consider stock trading. In a market where competitive advantage is measured in nanoseconds, trades can still take up to three days to settle, notes Tapscott. Blockchain-based systems could cut that to seconds or minutes. That’s especially attractive for complex trades such as derivatives, where market conditions can change before a trade is settled, creating substantial counterparty risk.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is studying the potential application of distributed ledger technology to the derivatives market. And Nasdaq recently conducted its first trade using the blockchain. “Through this initial application of blockchain technology, we begin a process that could revolutionize the core of capital markets infrastructure systems,” said Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld in announcing the milestone. “The implications for settlement and outdated administrative functions are profound.”

Another financial market ripe for disruption is foreign exchange and cross border remittance. Nearly $500 billion a year is transferred between countries, often by people working abroad that send money home to relatives. That process is slow and cumbersome, with high fees that take a painful bite out of hard-earned savings. A startup called Abra has created a mobile app that uses the blockchain to streamline the remittance process, allowing individuals to transfer money from one continent and currency to another instantaneously and without hefty fees.

By collapsing the time and cost of a transaction, distributed ledger technology paves the way for true micropayments in increments as small as a penny. Such micropayments are seen as the Holy Grail for creative industries such as music and media that have been pummeled by the harsh economics of the Internet and an outmoded royalty payment system.

Blockchain-enabled technology could allow new artist-friendly business models to flourish. For example, musicians might be paid, say, a nickel every time someone listens to a song. Journalists, likewise, might be paid a few cents every time someone reads an article. Artists, most notably Grammy award winner Imogen Heap, are exploring the use of blockchain for music distribution and compensation.

Many creative assets, from films to songs, are produced by a team, and the blockchain could make tracking and paying royalties to these contributors more efficient and transparent.

Blockchain technology is still new, and like gluten, it has received a fair amount of hype. There are issues to be worked out—such as whether blockchain ledgers will scale without being overwhelmed. But these are “implementation challenges” that can be solved, says Tapscott.  Blockchain, he says, “is a big breakthrough that could ultimately change the nature of business and the corporation itself.”

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About Amy Cortese @locavesting

Amy Cortese is an award-winning journalist and the author of Locavesting (Wiley, 2011)

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Telefonica Offers Cisco Collaboration Cloud Services Portfolio

Madrid (Spain), February 15th, 2016. – Telefonica Business Solutions, a leading provider of a wide range of integrated communication solutions for the enterprise market, has become one of the first service providers to offer the Cisco® portfolio of collaboration cloud services as a fully integrated service.

Telefonica’s new offer brings together best-in-class and market-leading business collaboration applications such as Cisco Unified Communications, virtual contact center, Cisco TelePresence®, Cisco WebEx® and Collaboration Meeting Rooms, all delivered “as a service” to end-users over mobile and fixed connections.

Telefonica customers can take advantage of all the features and functionality of Cisco collaboration solutions as if they were installed on-premises, without incurring major capital expenditures and platform updating costs, using a flexible consumption model.

Highlights

Global scale reach. Telefonica offers its own branded collaboration services based on Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (Cisco Unified Communications, customer collaboration and telepresence as a service) and connects it to Cisco conferencing services from the Cisco Collaboration Cloud (WebEx, Collaboration Meeting Rooms, and WebEx Cloud Connected Audio). Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) is deployed in Telefonica’s data centers across the globe and is interconnected to Cisco’s data centers hosting Cisco conferencing services (two in the United States and two in Europe).Better productivity and agility. By using a simple subscription model, customers can improve both productivity and agility accessing the latest collaboration tools on demand, aligning with fast-moving business needs, and scaling with ease, with no capital investments.Anywhere, any device collaboration. Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) provides integration into Telefonica’s mobile networks, as well as highly secure remote access over the public Internet, to truly enable anywhere, any device collaboration. End users enjoy personalized collaboration tools in accordance with their profile, at any time and place and using any device.Simple-to-join meetings for everyone. Bring employees, customers, and partners together to collaborate from anywhere with integrated voice, video, and content sharing on any device. Cisco conferencing supports highly secure collaboration across devices, from mobile devices to desk phones to immersive telepresence systems in both scheduled and impromptu meetings.End-to-end management and security. Telefonica offers complete support and end-to-end management through a single provider and resilient data centers with the highest levels of quality, security and regulatory compliance.

Supporting quotes

Hugo de los Santos, Communication Services Director at Telefonica Business Solutions: “As a global company with a robust network spanning Europe, the Americas and Asia, we’re committed to give our customers more choice, flexibility and innovation. This new and holistic platform offers our customers and its final users flexible, economic, agile, efficient and highly secure Cloud Collaboration business services, enabling a new way of working and the best user experience regardless of location or device based on Cisco’s and Telefonica’s global reach and trusted services and solutions.”Scot Gardner, Vice president, Global Service Provider segment, Cisco EMEAR: “Telefonica and Cisco have worked together over many years to address the most critical collaboration needs of businesses around the world. Customers want collaboration tools to increase their productivity, but they also require them to be highly secure, cost effective and easy to deploy and easy to use. Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution and Cisco conferencing solutions have been developed with services providers like Telefonica in mind so that their end-customers can enjoy industry-leading, highly secure collaboration applications delivered as a service anywhere in the world over the service providers’ cloud infrastructure”.

Supporting resources

About Telefonica Business Solutions

Telefonica Business Solutions, a leading provider of a wide range of integrated communication solutions for the B2B market, manages globally the Enterprise (Large Enterprise and SME), MNC (Multinational Corporations), Wholesale (fixed and mobile carriers, ISPs and content providers) and Roaming businesses within the Telefonica Group. Business Solutions develops an integrated, innovative and competitive portfolio for the B2B segment including digital solutions (Cloud and Security) and telecommunication services (international voice, IP, bandwidth capacity, satellite services, mobility, integrated fixed, mobile, IT services and global solutions). Telefonica Business Solutions is a multicultural organization, working in over 40 countries and with service reach in over 170 countries.

Follow us on: Twitter: @telefonicab2b LinkedIn: Telefonica Business Solutions YouTube: Telefonica Business Solutions.

About Cisco Collaboration

From award-winning IP communications to mobility, customer care, web conferencing, messaging, and interoperable telepresence experiences, Cisco brings together network-based, integrated collaboration solutions based on open standards. These solutions offered across on-premises, cloud-based or virtualized platforms, as well as services from Cisco and our partners, are designed to help promote business growth, innovation and productivity. They are also designed to help accelerate team performance, protect investments, and simplify the process of finding the right people and information.

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. For ongoing news, please go to http://thenetwork.cisco.com.

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco’s trademarks can be found at http://www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

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