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Cisco Press
The Case For Virtual Business Processes

The Case For Virtual Business Processes

by Martha Young, Michael Jude


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Reduce costs, improve efficiencies, and focus on your core business

  • Leverage your technology infrastructure to save money and virtualize processes.
  • Discover the principles behind BPV and the ways in which they can benefit your business.
  • Benefit from incremental cost savings, maximizing your business' ROI.
  • Learn from real-world case studies that illustrate best practices.
  • Understand the solution-provider market, maximizing the impact of your investment.

The dot-com collapse generally discredited the idea of leveraging the Internet to build viable businesses. Many market pundits have decried the concept without examining the underlying dynamics associated with these companies' failures. The truth is, prior business models were built on a flawed business case, not bad technology. In fact, the dot-com bubble created a whole new class of automation that, when applied to conventional businesses, can dramatically improve time to market, competitive response, and customer interaction. This is not virtual business; this is business process virtualization (BPV), and enterprises that don't grasp and apply the principals of BPV will rapidly be rendered obsolete by those that do, being quickly outmaneuvered and displaced in the market.

BPV is the application of networked, intelligent IT infrastructure to enhance skilled personnel, processes, and assets, which enables companies to improve efficiencies, increase competitive advantage, heighten brand awareness, reduce costs, and improve bottom line revenues. Unlike business process automation, BPV focuses on new management approaches for personnel and technology, signaling a fundamental change in the way that we think about business and its objectives.

While reading The Case for Virtual Business Processes, you will understand why BPV is critical to the long-term viability of your business, while learning how to leverage your intelligent networked infrastructure using leading-edge products and technologies from Cisco Systems.

This volume is in the Network Business Series offered by Cisco Press. Books in this series provide IT executives, decision makers, and networking professionals with pertinent information on today's most important technologies and business strategies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781587200878
Publisher: Cisco Press
Publication date: 03/02/2004
Series: Network Business Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 215
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Martha Young has more than 19 years of experience in the technology market and is a partner in Nova Amber, LLC, a consulting firm. Martha is a partner in Nova Amber, LLC, a consulting firm. She has founded two startups and has more than 19 years of experience in the technology market. Her accounts include Fortune 500 companies, as well as new entrants in the business automation market. She has consulted with Lockheed Martin, Coors Brewery, and Peterson AFB on a variety of business-enabling technologies. Martha is actively involved in the outsourcing solutions channel market and was instrumental in the development and launch of the Global MSP Network consortium. She has been published in Business Communications Review, MicroTimes, Network World,, and Informa, an Australian trade publication. Martha is presently conducting speaking engagements in which she provides an introduction to business process virtualization. Martha holds a bachelor of science in international business from the University of Colorado.

Michael Jude, Ph.D., is a well-known industry analyst with more than 20 years of experience in telecommunications and management automation. Michael manages accounts with some of the leading management solution vendors. He has been published in Network World, where he wrote a weekly column on the service provider space for nearly a year, as well as Business Communications Review, Ad Astra, IEEE Spectrum, and Front Range Tech Biz. Michael has a Ph.D. in decision science from Walden University, where he wrote a dissertation titled "Hidden Impacts: the Effect of Regulation on The Creative Individual." Additionally, he has a bachelor's and a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1The Role of Business Process Virtualization in Your Business1
What Is Business Process Virtualization?5
The Role of Technology6
The Role of Executive Management8
The Role of Information Technology Implementers9
The Role of the Board of Directors10
Other Roles11
What Is Incrementalization?12
One Process at a Time13
Horizontal Incrementalization13
Vertical Incrementalization14
What Is Technology's Impact on Business Models?14
Why Alan Greenspan Was Only Partially Correct with "Irrational Exuberance"14
Technology and BPV15
Chapter 2History Lessons: Why Conventional Business Models No Longer Work19
What Business Are You In? Why Firms Should Focus on Their Core Business and Not Make IT a Core Competency25
Internet-Based Business Models27
Why More Data Is Not the Answer28
The Paradox of Too Much Data: Poor Decisions29
The Paradox of Information Poverty and Data Overload29
The Role of Wall Street Analysts and Industry Analysis30
Decision Modeling: A Way to Translate Data into Information31
Case Study: vCustomer Corporation, Seattle, Washington (
Company Background40
Company Overview40
Network Overview41
Management's Attitude Toward Technology for the Business42
The Planning Process43
Decision Metrics for Implementation44
Barriers to Implementation44
Lessons Learned in the Testing Phase45
Unforeseen Benefits of Implementation45
Unforeseen Barriers to Implementation46
Future Plans for Business Process Virtualization46
Words of Advice46
Chapter 3Capitalizing on Enabling Technologies49
A Day in the Life of a Virtual Employee51
Scott, You Were Right: The Network as a Computer52
Distributed Storage56
Distributed Intelligence: Policy-Based Management59
Intelligent IP Switch Fabric61
Case Study: Teletext, United Kingdom (
Company Background66
Company Overview66
Network Overview67
Management's Attitude Toward Technology for the Business68
The Planning Process for the Office Moves69
Decision Metrics for Implementation69
Barriers to Implementation70
Lessons Learned in the Testing Phase70
Unforeseen Benefits of Implementation70
Unforeseen Barriers to Implementation71
Future Plans for Business Process Virtualization71
Words of Advice71
Chapter 4Capitalizing on Enabling Applications73
Streaming Media80
Follow-Me IP Addresses81
Case Study: KnowledgeNet (
Company Background84
Company Overview84
Network Overview85
Management's Attitude Toward Technology for the Business87
The Planning Process87
Decision Metrics for Implementation88
Barriers to Implementation89
Lessons Learned in the Testing Phase89
Unforeseen Benefits of Implementation90
Unforeseen Barriers to Implementation90
Future Plans for Business Process Virtualization91
Words of Advice91
Chapter 5Capitalizing on a Virtual Presence93
Webification and Portals105
Case Study: ARUP Laboratories, Inc.108
Company Background108
Company Overview108
Network Overview109
Management's Attitude Toward Technology for the Business110
The Planning Process111
Decision Metrics for Implementation112
Barriers to Implementation112
Lessons Learned in the Testing Phase113
Unforeseen Benefits of Implementation114
Unforeseen Barriers to Implementation114
Future Plans for Business Process Virtualization114
Words of Advice115
Chapter 6Capitalizing on Outsourcing117
Why You Don't Want to Manage 100 Percent of Your Infrastructure120
Ways to Safeguard Your Business Infrastructure124
How to Select an Outsourcer128
Case Study: InfoWorld Media Group132
Company Background132
Company Overview132
Network Overview133
Management's Attitude Toward Technology for the Business134
The Planning Process135
Decision Metrics for Implementation135
Barriers to Implementation136
Lessons Learned in the Testing Phase136
Unforeseen Benefits of Implementation137
Unforeseen Barriers to Implementation137
Future Plans for Business Process Virtualization138
Words of Advice138
Chapter 7Internal Security Implications of Managing the BPV-Centric Company141
The Importance of Internal Security142
Safeguarding the Company's Intellectual Property145
Directory-Enabled Policy-Based Management147
Role-Based Access Control150
Quality of Service151
Case Study: Motorola (
Company Background154
Company Overview154
Network Overview154
Management's Attitude Toward Technology for the Business155
The Planning Process156
Decision Metrics for Implementation156
Barriers to Implementation157
Lessons Learned in the Testing Phase157
Unforeseen Benefits of Implementation158
Unforeseen Barriers to Implementation158
Future Plans for Business Process Virtualization158
Words of Advice159
Chapter 8Financial Implications of BPV on Conventional Businesses161
Reduced Costs163
The True Total Cost of Ownership164
The ROI for a Virtualized Business169
Knowledge of Customer Issues172
Improved Decision Making173
Competitive Advantages of a Virtualized Corporation174
Appendix ASurvey Instrument179
Survey Instrument Format180
The BPV Survey Instrument181
Defining Business Process Virtualization181
Why XYZ Company?182
Questions Addressed in the Interview182
Planning Stage182
Execution Stage183
Feedback Loop184
Future Plans185
Appendix BBPV Providers187

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