That splash you heard earlier this week was Cisco Live returning to Las Vegas—and to an in-person format—for the first time in three years. And how good it felt to be back in the water!
Cisco Chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins was visibly delighted to be with a live audience of 16,000, instead of talking to a camera in a studio in San Jose. And if you thought the pandemic had slowed us down, well, keep reading.
Here are some keynote highlights from our premier conference for customers and partners, this year themed ALL IN.
Power of technology
War in Ukraine, inflation, supply chain issues—Chuck said all these and more have thrust us into a new reality where crises will continue to be the norm.
But through all the turmoil, technology has kept the global economy moving. And Cisco’s four customer priorities remain as relevant today as when Chuck introduced them in 2019: Reimagine applications, power hybrid work, secure the enterprise, and transform infrastructure.
Chuck underscored three key focus areas for Cisco: simplifying, innovation, and unified experiences.
The automotive revolution
To showcase how Cisco helps customers’ digital transformation, Chuck was joined virtually by Ford CEO Jim Farley.
Cisco plays a key role in Ford’s move to electric vehicles like the Ford Mustang Mach-E. That includes Webex Meetings in cars as well as our innovations in connected roadways and intersections.
The biggest deal of all for Farley? Having Ford’s vehicles become digital products differentiated by software—a transition so profound that he called it “a refounding of the company.”
Making our security strategy real
Jeetu Patel, EVP, GM, Security and Collaboration, unveiled several pieces of the puzzle that are bringing Cisco’s security vision to life.
Chief among them, Cisco Security Cloud—a global cloud-delivered platform that will help customers pursue a hybrid, multicloud architecture.
Adding to the momentum in 2022, Jeetu also shared our SASE service, Cisco+ Secure Connect Now, which simplifies security at the network edge; Continuous Trusted Access; Wi-Fi fingerprinting, and more.
Because, as Jeetu put it, “You cannot be in the connectivity business without being in the protection business.”
Todd Nightingale, EVP, GM, Enterprise Networking and Cloud, announced several innovations in Cisco’s continuing platform strategy, which ties together some of our most powerful platforms.
The big news: Cisco Catalyst, our fastest-ramping product ever, now works with Cisco Meraki, the industry’s simplest cloud management platform. Todd demoed how both simplify IT and provide unified experiences to users.
In other platform news, Todd introduced the Cisco Nexus Cloud—a SaaS offer for cloud networking powered by our Intersight platform.
And he announced ThousandEyes WAN insights—a key first step in Cisco’s vision of predictive networks.
All these are milestones on our journey toward power and simplicity without compromise, which is key to powering an inclusive future for all.
Shaping the experience economy
With people embracing the digital-first life, we’re now in the Experience Economy, said Liz Centoni, EVP, Chief Strategy Officer, and GM, Applications.
Liz shared a video of how this is transforming the resort industry. But it also brings challenges for IT. Key among them: Flooded by data and the complexities of microservices, how do you make sure you’re focused on the alerts that matter most in terms of business impact?
Cisco’s answer is full-stack observability (FSO). It brings together three SaaS services—AppDynamics, ThousandEyes, and Intersight—to provide full-stack visibility, insights, and actions all tied to business context and impact.
Liz also announced AppDynamics Cloud—a cloud-native observability platform for modern apps. It’s one of many innovations that will help fuel the Experience Economy.
A reinvented internet for Industry 4.0
Question: What’s going to change the world as profoundly as cloud computing? Answer: Connected cars. That’s according to Jonathan Davidson, EVP, GM, Mass-Scale Infrastructure.
Joining Jonathan on stage to discuss Cisco’s role in bringing this 20-year vision to life were executives from Ford and the City of Detroit.
The Industry 4.0 transition and the next wave of productivity will require Wi-Fi 6, 5G, and an internet with infrastructure that’s super powerful, but simpler to operate and monitor.
Cisco’s answer is Routed Optical Networking. It draws on our innovations in silicon, network automation, and optical networking, and cuts the costs of building and operating networks almost in half (46%).
It will also help to narrow the digital divide.
Galvanizing underserved youth
In Wednesday’s keynote, Chuck was joined virtually by the multi-talented Pharrell Williams. The topic: Cisco’s partnership with the musician’s nonprofit, YELLOW, to power an inclusive learning experience at a school of the future.
Pharrell—a self-described “galvanizer,” not an educator—shared how YELLOW’s first microschool will teach a sensory-based curriculum for K-12 to accommodate different learning styles. The school, named YELLOWHAB, will use Cisco technologies such as The Webex Suite, Secure X, Meraki, and more.
Chuck also reiterated Cisco’s sustainability focus, including our commitment to net zero emissions by 2040. And he spotlighted our continued investment in Cisco Networking Academy, which will train 3.5 million students—and turn 25—this year.
A glance into our API-centric future
Cisco is researching or building an astounding array of emerging technologies. Quantum cryptography, the metaverse, LEO (low earth orbit) networking—you name the space, we’re in it.
Pulling back the curtain on some of that work, Liz Centoni drilled down into the core role of APIs in the digital-first, API-first application economy. Joining her on stage, Cisco’s Tim Szigeti demoed two additions to our suite of cloud-native, API-first solutions:
Calisti, or Cisco Service Mesh Manager, helps operators manage microservices in complex, multi-cloud environments.
Panoptica, or Cisco Secure Application Cloud, is a cloud-native security solution that enables a “shift-left” in security.
Making hybrid work work
To power an inclusive future for all, we must get hybrid work right—but that’s turning out to be harder than expected.
In a tag-team session, Todd Nightingale and Jeetu Patel showed what Cisco is doing to make hybrid work work better—both through great work-from-home experiences and great work-from-office experiences.
On the home front, purpose-built devices and Webex Control Hub integration with ThousandEyes can now turn your home into a “micro-branch” capable of delivering enterprise-grade experiences.
Other innovations include Cisco Smart Workspaces, designed to provide employee experience, safety, and productivity while at the office. Todd shared a video showing how McLaren Racing, a Cisco partner, uses the new product.
And he and Jeetu stressed the need for interoperability and a multivendor ecosystem—for example, allowing Webex to integrate with solutions like Miro, Microsoft Teams, and Apple CarPlay.
Continuing the theme of cloud-delivered simplicity, Thimaya Subaiya, SVP, GM, Global Customer Experience, shared ways we’re making it easier for customer and partners to use our services.
For example, we’re bringing Business Critical Services (BCS), our advisory offering, under Success Tracks—all of it available via the same digital interface of CX Cloud. A one-stop shop for trusted support and expert consulting, wrapped in a digital experience.
And we’ve introduced Cisco U, which offers on-demand labs and modernizes our learning and certification program (CCIE, CCNA, DevNet, etc.), putting the power of learning at users’ fingertips.
Special guest Mindy Kaling
Closing out this year’s Cisco Live, Carrie Palin, SVP and CMO, sat down with multi-hyphenate Mindy Kaling of NBC sitcom “The Office” fame.
Kaling discussed the importance of representation, allyship, and her journey to build inclusive spaces through her work.
She also talked about her role as Kelly Kapoor in “The Office,” for which she also served as a writer (penning 26 episodes), executive producer, and director.
Kaling left us with a gem of advice from author and civil rights activist Maya Angelou: “Do best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
That could serve as a mantra for the evolving world of hybrid work.