Cisco Systems Welcomed Technical Decision Makers to the Next Generation of Networkers events in EMEA
December 17, 2004
By Jason Deign, News@Cisco
Cannes, France, may be best known for its film festival but this month it served as a backdrop to stars of the networking world.
Dr. Vinton Cerf, senior vice president of Technology Strategy for MCI and one of the acknowledged "Fathers of the Internet" for his role in the development of TCP/IP, was a keynote speaker and one of the almost 3,000 guests at Networkers, the Cisco Systems® annual user conference.
The presence of one of technology's greatest innovators was not the only notable aspect of Networkers, now in its 14th year in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) theatre.
Innovation has always been a feature of the conference, but this year it moved center-stage - not only in the technology on show, but also in the format of the event itself, which coincided with 20 years of innovation from Cisco.
One of the other stars present was a Cisco Carrier Routing System (CRS-1), Cisco's recent routing innovation, announced earlier this year, which was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world's highest-capacity Internet router.
The show, held at the Cannes Palais des Festivals, was labeled 'Next Generation' Networkers to reflect a complete overhaul of the content, based on customer feedback and focused more on the needs of technical decision makers, with an even stronger customer focus.
The revised content could become the blueprint for future Networkers events, including the new Networkers Innovation Awards.
The Awards are a major new initiative to honor outstanding achievement and reward organizations that are truly embracing new and advanced technology.
Presented by International Data Group (IDG) Global Solutions and Cisco, the awards recognized those businesses at the forefront of deploying and successfully implementing innovative technologies and seeing real benefits as a result.
Its independent judging panel was made up of senior figures from Accenture, Cisco, Current Analysis, Ffastffill plc, IDG Communications and Techworld.com, with the final award being presented by IDG's chief executive, Pat Kenealy.The awards went to:
- Best Corporate IP Network - Staffordshire County Council, UK.
- Best Service Provider IP Infrastructure - ONO, Spain.
- Best Broadband IP Service - MKB, City of Malmo, Sweden.
- Best IP Communications Project - Grand Media Holding, Slovenia.
- Best Mobility and Wireless Project - Swisscom Mobile, Switzerland.
- Best Data Centre Project - Telkom, South Africa.
- Operational Excellence Award - Kopint Datorg Rt, Hungary.
Also new for Networkers this year in EMEA was:
- A content program featuring innovations not just from Cisco but also from other major technology companies, including Platinum Sponsors France Telecom/Equant, HP and IBM, nine Gold Sponsors including Accenture, Dimension Data and Intel, and 60 silver exhibitors.
- Technology panels featuring customers such as Itatel, IBM or HP.
- A greatly-expanded range of next-generation solutions exhibitors (more than 70 in all, up from 20 at last year's EMEA Networkers), grouped into three technology 'worlds': security, IP Communications, and management and operations.
The greater involvement of customers and other IT companies (including Cisco channel partners such as Fluke Networks, NetQos and OPNET Technologies) reflected an increasing trend, both within and outside Cisco, for Networkers to be seen as more than a simple user event.
"It is effectively the most important conference in the networking industry," says Maria Fry, manager of events in EMEA at Cisco. "It is also unique. No other vendor does anything on this scale. And now it has been completely revised to focus on innovation."
The audience was almost entirely made up of senior technical decision makers, with around 15 percent holding a CCIE® certificate.
Accordingly, the content of the show was pitched at a senior, tech-savvy audience. Networkers is not a place to come for beginners' classes, but 80 Cisco engineers were on hand to handle complex queries through a special 'Meet the Engineer' program.
In total, Cisco fielded some 250 experts and senior personnel, including executives of the caliber of Robert Lloyd, President of Cisco in EMEA and one of the keynote speakers, and event host Nick Earle, Vice President of Planning and Operations for Cisco EMEA.
There was also a dazzling array of Cisco networking technologies on show.
Besides the industry-leading CRS-1 and Cisco 2800 Series Integrated Services Routers, delegates could review the latest innovations in areas such as IP Communications, security and the Intelligent Information Network.
Ronald Zondervan, a director with Cisco Powered Network member Versatel, who has attended all 14 Networkers events in EMEA, says: "There was a really impressive program here at Cannes this year.
"Networkers has always been unique but the changes that have been made to arrive at this 'Next Generation' version are exactly what technology decision makers are looking for. It bodes well for this becoming a major industry event in the future."
Jason Deign is a freelance journalist located in Barcelona, Spain.
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