Organizations are changing their focus when it comes to technology. The world has transitioned from the era of ports, speeds and feeds. Now it’s all about use cases and business outcomes.

Subodh Kaushik, Senior Director of Go-to-Market Sales for Technology Infrastructure Services at NTT DATA, and Tony Hopson, Director: Global & Strategic Partners at Cisco, discuss how software-defined infrastructure (SDI) makes these outcomes possible.

Why is software integral to transformation?

Subodh: Modernization is the process of implementing digital technology to enhance existing products and services. NTT DATA offers an outcome-driven platform that clients can use for a better software and license experience and to improve their lifecycle approach.

We believe transformation is not about buying, selling and then forgetting; it is about supporting clients throughout their lifecycle journey. Software plays a crucial role in transformation because it helps with automation, data analysis and insights, scalability, integration and, above all, client experience.

Tony: “Support” is exactly right. We're all going through digital transformations, whether it's smart devices at home or enterprise clients trying to make the most out of their software. We’re using software to deliver a richer client experience.

Automation makes things simpler because NTT DATA’s platform enables clients to manage their entire environment from one place. The digital gateway built by NTT DATA empowers businesses to innovate, automate, analyze data, enhance customer experiences and adapt to an ever-changing landscape effectively.

How can enterprises increase the return on their software investment?

Subodh: Global industries have made massive investments in software, but 37% of that investment is lost to software that is unused (stays as “shelfware”) or underutilized. The size of the investment complements the complexity, making different technology difficult to use. They need a consolidated overview of their connected environment to enable flexible workspaces and support hybrid working.

How enterprises expand adds another level of complexity to their growing licensing environment. Enterprises are often made up of several companies, multiple entities and numerous subsidiaries. Each has their own infrastructure. They have a combination of perpetual licenses, smart licenses and Enterprise Agreements. This is further complicated if different purchasing agencies buy licenses for a range of equipment. The complexity results in higher costs.

We help cut through the complexity by pulling all software licenses from Cisco, and from other vendors, into a single Digital Wallet. This gives enterprises a single view of what their licenses and agreements entitle them to. It also makes it possible to spot when multiple licenses offer the same functionality. Take a Cisco Enterprise Agreement with security products as an example. If you already have required security licenses, you don't necessarily need to buy additional licenses and can rotate them to cater to your needs.

The Digital Wallet even offers “Build Your Own Wallet” and provides visibility across all of a client’s entitlements across their environment. Then the client can understand their licensing purchases as well as how they’re consuming the software. In turn, this creates opportunities for optimizing the return on their software investments.

How is software-defined infrastructure changing infrastructure?

Tony: In the old days, Cisco had a lot of boxes, and we created networks by tying all the boxes together. Now, the boxes are becoming more and more intelligent. Instead of creating a physical infrastructure and then adding settings to each box to manage it, we’re starting with software that can support multiple applications. We then leverage it to decide what we can extract from all the applications to keep the network up and deliver business outcomes faster. Software-defined infrastructure enables both.

Subodh: To add to Tony’s point, the co-developed SDI Services platform helps our clients with a multivendor view and revolutionizes how infrastructure is provisioned, managed and utilized, enabling organizations to become more agile, efficient and responsive to business needs in today's rapidly evolving digital landscape.

What is lifecycle management and why it is important in a diverse environment?

Tony: In essence, lifecycle management continually examines an enterprise’s journey, equipment and software to check if it still meets their business objectives. Once clients can see their entire environment through a single pane of glass, they can see all of their services, all of their licenses and all of the features they’re entitled to in one place. This answers important questions: are they using the software and are they using it properly? Have they adopted the software they have licenses for?

Subodh: 100% spot-on. Lifecycle management is quintessential so our clients can understand what they’ve purchased, how their network is put together and how they're using assets. Once they know this, they can optimize how they use their assets and investments and eliminate licenses they’re not using. Clients use our SDI Services platform to get an end-to-end view of all their investments, check compliance, optimize resources, manage risks, facilitate changes, manage vendor contracts and align IT with business outcomes.

How is NTT DATA and Cisco’s partnership evolving?

Subodh: Our partnership with Cisco started with campus networks and data centers. But clients don’t buy switches, routers, firewalls and so on just to keep the lights on anymore. They want their campus or enterprise networks to meet business outcomes. They want data-driven insights into what their entitlements are doing now, and the ability to predict what they need.

Now, our partnership with Cisco enables us to discover and enable clients’ business outcomes through technology such as automation, digital transformation and synched, consistent policies. Our SDI Services deliver the insight and expertise needed to turn analytics into action and unlock the full value of infrastructure investments.  

By enabling a unified digital experience, we aim to simplify and support the optimized management of hardware and associated software licenses. We [NTT DATA and Cisco] collaborate closely and help clients meet their business objectives, reduce downtime, stay compliant and focus on their core businesses.

Tony: To add to that, network connectivity is like a utility – it should be a given thing. SDI services can make the network fade into the background, so clients can focus on the outcomes, not the network. NTT DATA and Cisco’s strategic partnership is aimed at delivering comprehensive solutions and services that help drive innovation and deliver value to our customers. The partnership enables both companies to leverage their complementary strengths and capabilities to create value for customers and drive sustainable growth.


Read more about NTT DATA’s Support Services, which deliver technical expertise for higher availability across all technology architectures and vendors.