Cisco- The Elephant With Cool Sneakers – And It’s Dancing

by June 16, 2022 0 comments

Pratima H


Looks like Cisco is moving beyond the concrete office, making a dash into the car and even beyond- into the space. Cisco Live gave a peek into what’s coming up  and how it will change the company’s footprints and footholds ahead


At Las Vegas, they use a lot of ice in everything. Ironically, the past two years have been all about unfreezing what we knew, what we could predict. But the future is ‘predictably unpredictable’ – at least, that’s what the keynote sessions at Cisco Live, the company’s annual mecca, spelt out.

And as CEO Chuck Robbins said with a drum-roll taking us quickly through what the world has been through in a back-to-back way the last 2-3 years, we have to deal with a new reality that will always have some crisis happening. But the pandemic has made people learn the true power of technology and that’s what we need to unleash now. He laid down Cisco’s new priorities under this context – Re-imagining applications, Powering Hybrid Work, Securing the Enterprise and Transformation of Infrastructure.

That explains why a lot of airtime and footage at this event was dedicated to cool, mint-fresh and future-forward ideas instead of traditional heavy-weight networking gear.

The executives, sessions and demos galvanized on around-the-corner solutions that break the cubicle and take Cisco right into a significant pillion seat of a car and a space shuttle.

For instance, there was introduction to Deep space video collaboration with NASA’s Orion spacecraft Artemis I Mission, where Callisto (a collaboration among Cisco, Lockheed Martin, and Amazon Alexa) will be onboard to enable visual collaboration. This will be done with a spacecraft that is 240,000 miles away.  This entails a custoaircraftm-built Webex version that is designed to interface with NASA’s Deep Space network. Cosmic conversations can now be powered without any noise, distance or atmospheric constraints- as claimed here.

The innovation arcade also showcased a Driverless car with a Cisco switch instead of a driver. There are sensors and other Cisco pieces under, and around, the hood here that help it become the fastest autonomous vehicle in the world currently at 192.2 miles per hour.

Cisco is also betting big on connected car experiences.

At the keynote, Jim Farley, CEO of Ford, (that uses Webex) chimed in. “We have seen 3 big changes recently. There are a lot of digital parts in a car today. There is a strong move towards partial autonomy. There is an impetus to use software for augmenting CX in a vehicle. In my long career, I have never been able connected carto improve a product after it’s out there. Now it’s possible. Technology is a big piece of transformation here.”

Apart from these breakthroughs, the company is unveiling a lot of curtains on areas like predictive networking, Cisco Nexus Cloud, Cisco Security Cloud, and Wifi Fingerprinting.

Jeetu Patel, EVP, Security and Collaboration explained, “The Cisco Security Cloud would be unified from an architecture point-of-view, will be ready for security for Multi-Cloud environments, will be simplified, will be AI-driven, will be open and extensible. It will have Continuous Trusted Access, Persona-based dashboards and Open APIs (southbound to any IaaS and northbound to any PaaS).” Many such announcements would be happening at this event this week.

As the company attempts to inject real agility and new-age muscles with such roll-outs, it is going to be exciting to see how it changes its tune from a slow-and-steady traditional hardware player to a fast-footed software tap dancer.  It seems to have chosen the right track with cars, open-ness, an ecosystem view and AI directing the new rhythm.

And with SASE and ThousandEyes strapped on well,  its glasses look dapper, and its sneakers look sassy too.  Let’s see what beat it picks up next. There’s no sign of any refreezing soon. Change is here. Ice is out. Cool is in.

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