With another Cisco Live just around the corner I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the importance of our partnership and it’s great to see industry analysts and influencers validate the strategic vision for the company and our commitment to delivering the industry’s richest, enterprise-scale, Converged Platforms customer experience. Time and time again, we hear from our customers and partners that IT executives are constantly looking to bring greater efficiency and increased agility to support their business objectives and drive competitiveness.However, components of IT infrastructure have become massively accessible, which means lower costs for individual products. Because of that, companies are able to create complex, state-of-the-art computing environments more affordably and more easily than ever. But those custom-built structures can be difficult to manage—each component has its own set of applications and requires specific expertise to optimize.This segmented approach is driving IT toward the current global trend to ‘buy vs. build.’ The trend is the desire for companies to move up the stack so that converged systems such as VCE’s Blocks, Racks and Appliances which bring together complete sets of systems, are now the right answer for new or additional IT services. Thus, CIOs are increasingly selecting these preconfigured, tested and supported systems over cobbling together their own converged infrastructure.VCE enables its customers to address the need for speedy deployment of business-critical computing services through its Vblock Systems and VCE Vscale Architecture underpinned by its partnership with Cisco. These proven Block solutions have Cisco Nexus Switching and Cisco’s Unified Computing System at their core, enabling IT to deliver robust and reliable services.The move toward software-defined infrastructure is leading IT toward hyper-converged systems that allow IT to deploy virtualization, storage, compute and the associated management framework through a highly integrated product.With VCE’s proven Converged Platforms portfolio our customers are well positioned to take advantage of this need for hyper-convergence currently or in the future. These solutions can change a customer’s budget balance by reducing the costs of operations and allow for new and expanded initiatives to differentiate a business.Every day we see our customers applying Converged Infrastructure to deliver scalable solutions across an expanding range of industries from banking to automotive. The Lotus F1 Team is one such example that uses Vblock Systems™ as the basis of the auto racing company’s high performance computing environment that supports the team’s big data needs and delivers real-time analytics—important to maximizing the performance of its race cars. The Lotus F1 team has been great to work with and we were very excited to have them join us for a breakout session.This is just the tip of the iceberg. As we continue to expand our portfolio through innovative updates and additions, our Converged Infrastructure products and solutions will provide IT the tools it needs to deliver on-demand computing that is both robust and secure. With purpose-built configurations such as its all-flash high-performance systems and appliances for regional offices, VCE will allow IT to buy rather than build the specific Converged Infrastructure it requires to serve every computing need.I am very excited about VCE’s future with Cisco and the great experiences we can offer customers. I am sure we will get a peek at those opportunities in Berlin. Be sure to visit us at the booth or at one of our breakout sessions. You can find everything we will be up to right here.