The past few weeks have revealed what a tough industry the IT industry can be. Many stalwarts, competitors among them, have struggled to meet their financial targets, citing a variety of factors from the macro-economic environment to more aggressive competition from rivals, including Cisco.
It’s no secret that Cisco has performed consistently well during the same period, and I am proud to have played a part in driving us to another record revenue quarter. Moreover, I’m delighted with the progress in our wireless business, where we reported sequential and profitable growth of 27% year-over-year.
How did we do it? Not by any cut-throat measures, as some rivals have suggested (in fact, our pricing policies haven’t changed in recent months, and our customers have the choice to buy products in combination or individually), but by doing what matters most: listening to customers, and innovating with pace and focus. Here are my top five reasons why Cisco’s innovations and acquisitions are winning us market share in the wireless sector:
Customers want an architectural approach – 69% of the costs of running networks are incurred after the initial equipment purchase, with 47% coming in the form of labor costs. Think about how managing wireless and wired networks separately adds to those costs. By offering customers the choice to unify wired, wireless and virtual private networks (VPNs), into a single, highly secure network infrastructure, Cisco’s Unified Access architectural approach puts money back in our customers’ pockets. That’s a key reason we’re winning.
RelentlessInnovation Will Always Win Out – The innovations behind our Unified Access architecture are built on an engineering capability few rivals can match. The Unified Access Data Plane (UADP) ASIC that is central to our Unified Access strategy is a great example of the outstanding results our $6Bn+ annual R&D investment buys us. Silicon engineering is expensive. Competitors can’t solve customers’ problems with as much specificity and focus as Cisco can. Our approximately 650 silicon engineers give Cisco a huge innovation advantage.
Wireless is About Delivering Mobile Experiences, not just Connectivity – Getting connected is becoming table stakes. Our customers want solutions that enable them to use the information about how and where their customers are connected to provide them with better location-based services, and superior experiences. The acquisition of ThinkSmart gave us a big advantage in this area, one that we’re already putting to good use through our partnership with AT&T and others.
We’re Helping Service Providers Transform their Networks for Wi-Fi – Speaking of service providers, our SP Wi-Fi strategy has delivered Cisco a strong advantage in partnering with telecommunications operators. We offer an end-to-end SP mobility architecture from access layer to the mobile packet core that our rivals simply can’t match.
We’re embracing the Cloud to further simplify Wireless Network Management for Mid-Sized Companies – Let me return to where I began: the cost and complexity of managing networks. What if you don’t have any IT staff at all? That’s the challenge that Meraki solved for thousands of customers with its Cloud Managed Networking approach that we now offer through our Cloud Networking Group. Effectively addressing the needs of mid-sized business from retailers to event venues, coffee shops to medical centers has been another key driver of our success.
I’m delighted we’re making strong progress in mobility, but we won’t rest on our laurels. Innovation takes a lot of hard work, as does anticipating the ever-changing needs of our customers.
I believe if we keep those two principles in mind, we’ll continue to enjoy many more positive quarters and, yes, we’ll do it at the expense of our rivals!
Our bags are packed and the demos are built, as Cisco heads out to Citrix Synergy LA 2013 in Anaheim next week. Synergy will be the inaugural event at the new Anaheim Convention Center, and Cisco a proud Platinum Sponsor , will be showing up in style, with a larger booth, 8 demo stations, a theater, and our Shindig Party.
Cisco continues to build its relationship with Citrix, and we’ll be expanding on the announcements made by Padma Warrior, Cisco CTO and Strategy Officer, during the Synergy Barcelona 2012 keynote, with booth demos of innovations in desktop virtualization, cloud networking, mobility, and cloud orchestration. In addition, we will provide visibility into Cisco and Citrix CVD roadmap for “Excalibur” and preview of Cisco Jabber integrated with Citrix XenMobile.
Cisco will be hosting two breakout sessions during Synergy and Summit:
The next generation of Wi-Fi, 802.11ac couples the freedom of wireless with the speed of gigabit Ethernet. This also translates in additional load on the backbone of the network, which has to deliver at least 3 times the capacity of the current gold standard, the 802.11n based network.
Cisco launched the Unified Access architecture to scale linearly with the increased load on the network with 60 Gbps Wi-Fi throughput on the Cisco 5760 Wireless LAN Controller and 40 Gbps Wi-Fi throughput on the Catalyst 3850 Series Switch with a built-in wireless controller. Both these platforms are based on the Cisco Unified Access Data Plane (UADP) programmable ASIC, which provides high performance and scale, common open APIs, and enables consistent QoS policies for both wired and wireless networks.
Aruba recently launched the 7240 series controllers with a throughput of up to 40Gbps claimed, with the same goal of delivering 802.11ac capable performance across the network. This controller is based on a generic network processor and not a purpose built ASIC like the Cisco controller.
Miercom performed a third-party evaluation to benchmark these products using IMIX (Internet Mix) packet traffic and test QoS traffic for high priority application. IMIX is traffic pattern consisting of a preset mixture of small, medium and large frame sizes used to emulate real-world traffic scenarios in a testing environment. We wanted to give you a sneak peek at some of the results.
Cisco 5760 is six times faster and Catalyst 3850 is 4 times faster as compared to Aruba 7240
The Cisco 5760, 3850 and the Aruba 7240 were tested for throughput using RFC 2544 and IMIX Traffic. The Cisco 5760 and 3850 performed extremely well by achieving 50 Gbps and 37 Gbps, whereas Aruba 7240 fell short by just achieving 8 Gbps, which is 20% of its advertised throughput.
Every Friday, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco partner news and stories of the week, as well as point you to important Cisco-related content you may have missed along the way. Let’s have it.
Off The Top
It’s hard to believe that we’re only a little over two weeks away from Cisco Partner Summit. For anyone that has attended Cisco Partner Summit in the past, you know that you’re in store for a week jam-packed with information, networking, and fun.
So how do partners stay on top of all the information and activities that come out of Cisco Partner Summit? Well, we’ve got a blog post to help you get the most out of your Cisco Partner Summit Experience. You’ll find a list of top social media destinations and information on who to follow, where to find resources, and more.
When you start pulling back the covers and realize how much is going on behind the scenes…It is both amazing and scary. Its a connected world. No doubt about that. Whether you are connecting through apps or a browser..or you don’t know, don’t care…there is a lot happening on our behalf.
I first struggled to understand exactly what problem we were solving here. At the risk of oversimplifying, the number one benefit to this communication standard: No More Plug-Ins. Those pesky little programs we have to update and run, just to get what is increasinlgy normal things done, when online. These plugins can be useful but they vary widely and are each proprietary to the vendor who developed them.
WebRTC, as part of HTML 5 is very close to getting us past this (and many other) hurdles. In development for years now, but making its presence known in 2013. Its worth understanding.
This is a standard that, instead of coming from the video codec and resolution world, is coming from the web world. The definition is being drafted by the World Wide Web Consortium and the IETF…two big and important standards bodies that have a lot to get right here, together. Its not a standard yet -- but this has not stopped it from being implemented already in several browsers.
WebRTC: Cullen Jennings talks with TechWiseTV
WebRTC: Demo from Paul O’Dwyer
WebRTC: Jimmy Ray Whiteboards the Meat and Taters
Watch this Space
This is a foundational change with big, positive disruption that will re-shape a lot of interactions we have today. WebRTC is a way of turning every browser, every app, into a HD quality video endpoint. This may first be evident in the browser, but don’t limit your thinking. Most of the quick app development we have seen these days is due to web-based back ends that are simply hidden from our view.
If you want to dive deeper. Here are some of the resources I found most useful when prepping for these shows we did.
Cullen Jennings explains WebRTC in a long but fantastically good and complete manner. I wish the audio were a bit cleaner here (Happy to help re-record for you in our studio Cullen!) but the value of the content over-rides these issues.
El Reg does a nice job laying out a high level explanation of WebRTC and explaining why this will be a market disruptor.
I like how Alan Quayle has broken this down in no jitter as it gives us a view from the communications perspective. There are respectiable hurdles here and this will round out your understanding.
A couple of other sites had great detail and may be good for some ongoing coverage if interested. Check out
From anExperts in Residence: Podcast from the early days I interviewed Cullen Jennings on the subject of SIP (Session Initiation Protocol). We actually could not get the timing to work…so we had the team record him…then I went back and laid in my questions…so it sounds very stiff (on my part) as I listen back to it.
Hope you enjoyed and learned a few things. I know I have.