Cisco Live Summarized in Four Words: Execution, Network, Cloud, Jabber
By Jim Lundy
Cisco held its annual Cisco Live Networking Education Event this week and we were in attendance at the San Diego Convention Center. Cisco had over 17,000 customers and partners in attendance as well as a number of Industry Analysts. Chairman and CEO John Chambers gave a compelling business update on Cisco’s progress over the last twelve months. This blog post summarizes some of the key things we saw both from Cisco and the customers that they had in attendance.
Cisco: Business Execution
John’s opening keynote focused on his assessment of what Cisco had done in the last year. In almost every category of products/solutions (over 20 were highlighted on a slide), Cisco grew marketshare. John gave credit to his COO Gary Moore and indicated that he wished he would have made that move (to hire a COO) sooner.
Cisco’s new Open Network Environment and Lisp Protocol: towards dynamic networks and applications
Cisco showed a compelling demo that featured its open Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). In the demo they took a Show and Share application and moved it from one network location to a branch hub, all while keeping users connected to the actual application. It was depicted in a graphic onscreen and it got a pretty good reaction from the audience. This points to the fact that virtualization goes beyond PCs and Servers.
Cisco also responded to the growth of Open Flow by announcing the Open Network Environment (ONE), a set of APIs that allows networks to interact and be configured with more flexibility and interoperability, particularly for Software Defined Networks (SDNs).
I’m sure it was in the sessions at Cisco Live, but one thing Cisco could have highlighted a little more was Cisco Prime, one of the strongest set of tools we have seen for comprehensive network management (which is why Telcos and Service providers use Prime).
Cisco and Cloud: an emerging story
Cisco made a number of announcements tied to its role in the cloud and most of these offerings will benefit providers that are offering Cloud Solutions and those who want to have a hybrid cloud (tying their on-premise offering to a Cloud offering). This can be accomplished by adding Cloud Service Routers (CSRs) into the mix. This enables its ASR and ISR router families to support the enterprise need to tie different networks together, including Cloud offerings. There is no doubt that Cisco is becoming a key supplier to PaaS and IaaS providers. We would have liked to have heard more about the expansion of the Cisco Collaboration Cloud, but in numerous discussions, it is clear that there is work underway.
Cisco: Jabber and Mobile are better together
One of the things that Cisco Executives brought up over and over was their new set of Mobile Clients they call Jabber. Jabber on iPad was shown on the show floor and in private meetings. It offers full screen HD Video. When he was talking about Cisco Jabber, John Chambers also made a point to bring Microsoft Lync up in a meeting with Analysts and it is clear that Cisco is focused on beating Microsoft Lync in the marketplace. We highlighted the framework for this battle between Cisco Jabber and Microsoft Lync in a recent First Cut.
Overall, a successful Cisco Live and CScape reinforced that Cisco’s Executive team has been listening more to customer feedback. The good news as well is that we are starting to see more of a focus on meeting customer needs versus selling boxes and that should translate into profitable revenue growth going forward.