Cisco: Agile enterprises require an agile workforce

The company rolls out new business-critical services geared to help organizations find the right talent for a variety of initiatives.

Digital transformation

Image: metamorworks, Getty Images/iStockphoto

If the events of 2020 have shown the world anything, it's that businesses need to be prepared for the unexpected. Priorities shifted overnight, forcing businesses to adopt new ways of work, build new products and services to meet new demand, establish a fully-remote work ecosystem—all at the drop of a hat.

It also reinforced that this type of agility and flexibility does not just apply to infrastructure but having the right talent to meet business needs today and in the future as well. With that in mind, Cisco announced Thursday several new business-critical services offerings and expansions aimed at ensuring that customers continue to have access to the Cisco talent that they need now and to plan for future talent needs.

This is critical, the company noted, citing recent reports showing that 85 million jobs have the potential to go unfilled by 2030 due to an ongoing skills shortage.

"With BCS, customers don't need to stress about filling their skills gaps, internally," Thimaya Subaiya, senior vice president of customer experience at Cisco, wrote in a blog post announcing the new offerings.

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BCS gives them access to Cisco's talent and expertise to help fulfill any talent needs. In addition to delivering expertise, BCS provides real-time analytics, insights and automation capabilities to help ensure that digital transformation efforts are successful and resilient, Subaiya said.

Leveling the 5G playing field

The company also announced the addition of Service Provider Mobility–an expansion of BCS architecture coverage that specifically helps regional provider customers bring 5G to life.

"Our customers are telling us that the most common challenges they face are around meeting massive growth in bandwidth consumption, adapting to changing market dynamics, and navigating the complexities of transitioning to 5G. Additionally, recent studies have shown that the telco industry at large is on the verge of a talent crisis–with technology, media and telecom employers expected to face a deficit of 4.3 million workers by the year 2030," Subaiya said.

The BCS for Service Provider and its expanded matrix analytics offerings aim to help customers overcome these hurdles with less risk, Subaiya said. "Our Service Provider mobility experts help our customers retool and re-educate their teams, design end-to-end architectures, and gain deep visibility into their systems."

Customers can also reduce OpEx, eliminate redundancies, and secure end-to-end protection during their 5G journey, Subaiya said.

Enabling agility with Expert-as-a-Service

As needs evolve, one-off talent requirements might come with them. Cisco has also expanded its Expert-as-a-Service offering to allow BCS customers to use Cisco experts to work as an embedded part of their internal teams.

Cisco staff are available for a number of customer initiatives—including bolstering cybersecurity, migrating to the cloud or developing a learning management system, for example, Subaiya said.

"The Expert-as-a-Service expansion brings a new role to the table, now providing access to an outcome acceleration manager—an expert dedicated to providing consultative advice and guidance that helps break down barriers and drive results through the entire project lifecycle from onboarding to optimization," Subaiya said.

Build independent dedicated teams with scrum services

For larger projects, Cisco's Scrum Services provides customers with the ability to build an external, independent team that is personalized to meet their specific needs. To help organizations continue to build more agile teams, customers can choose from a wide range of new Scrum Services experts with the following skills and automated capabilities:

•      Testing

•      Security and threat management

•      Matrix analytics

•      Automated fault management 

•      Compliance and remediation

•      Continuous automation and integration testing

Both Expert-as-a-Service and Scrum Services are now available both onsite and through a fully-virtual services center, for customers that don't require on-site or regional expertise.

Finding the right talent with the right classifications

For customers in government and highly regulated industries that need to ensure their Cisco BCS experts have the right qualifications, classifications and citizenship, Cisco also announced the BCS National version for the public sector.

While BCS for public sector customers benefit from the same services as existing advantage and premier tier customers, now they can meet government requirements using Cisco experts with U.S. citizenship or residence, additional security clearance options, on-premises analytics and more, Subaiya said.

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