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The Digital Age: Work Reimagined, Value Reimagined

I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and I love coming up with wildly innovative ways to solve problems and create business value. This entrepreneurial mindset is a requirement in today’s digital age—as technology changes business landscapes and rules.

If you read the media, you associate entrepreneurs with start ups and small companies. But as technology rapidly disrupts every industry, the challenge for every enterprise—small and large—is to rethink their business models and enable their entrepreneurs to drive their digital strategy. I can tell you first hand that there is amazing entrepreneurial talent hidden in large enterprises like Cisco. This hidden talent can help identify new revenue streams, increase productivity, or even transform an entire industry.Slide1

That is why I am so excited about my mission as Cisco’s Chief Digital Officer. I have license to rewrite the competitive and operational playbooks for Cisco—to unleash the capability and innovation across the company. And I have the opportunity to do it for every one of our customers, in every industry, who wants to rewrite their playbooks with digitization at the core.

We’re well on our way to making Cisco the best example of a digital company. It’s a journey for every aspect of our business—from our systems and tools, to our engineering, to our people, and I am thrilled by the partnership, energy and commitment across the company.

As I talk with customers about what we’re doing and what they want to do, the conversation always goes to “Where do we start?” I thought I would share a few critical observations and conclusions I’ve drawn:

Driving a digital transformation is not automating existing workflows or layering new tools and technologies on top of traditional processes. It isn’t an IT strategy trying to catch up with a business strategy. It isn’t cloud, collaboration, systems or applications. And it isn’t just a technology issue.

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire 1 Mainstream; Helping Customers Deliver Outstanding TV Experiences to Any Device

In today’s rapidly evolving market, the lines continue to blur between PayTV, such as premium subscription content, and over-the-top (OTT) streaming video service offerings. Service providers, content providers, media companies and broadcasters are all launching services of their own. OTT is fast becoming the new normal, where open, cloud-based technologies allow innovation at a rate simply not possible with traditional TV technologies.

Today, we are pleased to announce our intent to acquire 1 Mainstream Inc., a privately held company that offers a cloud-based video platform designed to quickly launch live and on-demand OTT video services to a variety of connected devices. 1 Mainstream helps service providers, broadcasters, media companies and emerging digital content companies deliver their media content to almost any connected media device, from Apple TV to Microsoft Xbox.

1 Mainstream plays a key role in the OTT PayTV and media industry, sitting at the intersection between content and connected devices, and seamlessly moving content across connected devices. The company’s platform is widely used by major content providers and traditional service providers, to deliver their content across most of the video streaming platforms available today.

According to Cisco’s Global Cloud Index announced today, global cloud traffic will more than quadruple by the end of 2019. With the acquisition of 1 Mainstream, Cisco will enable our customers to leverage the cloud to deliver new services faster and accelerate their own TV services.

1 Mainstream’s technology complements Cisco’s new ‘Infinite’ suite of cloud-powered video entertainment solutions designed to help service providers, broadcasters and media companies to deliver outstanding TV experiences to multiple screens, utilizing one cloud, on any network. Today’s acquisition will enable service providers, broadcasters and media companies to make their entire channel lineup and content library available to their customers on the internet via their TV, tablet or connected devices, either within the home or on the go.

Acquisitions are a foundational element of Cisco’s build, buy, partner, invest and co-develop approach to innovation. 1 Mainstream represents the third acquisition announced by Cisco this week and highlights how we are applying our unique approach to innovation to capture key market disruptions in areas such as cloud (1 Mainstream), analytics (ParStream) and security (Lancope).

1 Mainstream will join our Service Provider Video Software and Solutions Cloud Engineering Group, under the leadership of Conrad Clemson, senior vice president and general manager. The acquisition is expected to be complete in the second quarter of Cisco’s current fiscal year.

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Acquisition of Lancope to Boost Cisco’s Cybersecurity Threat Defense Capabilities

As enterprises digitize their businesses and 50 billion devices come online over the next five years, cyber attackers are perpetually trying to stay one step ahead of these trends and becoming more adept at exploiting security weaknesses and avoiding detection. To help customers address these nascent risks, Cisco is focused on delivering solutions across the extended network, what we call Security Everywhere. We are embedding threat protection capabilities from the enterprise infrastructure to the data center, from mobile to the cloud, and through to endpoints.

To address this proliferation of security threats and help our customers protect their networks and endpoints, we are pleased to announce Cisco’s intent to acquire privately-held Lancope, Inc. Lancope, through its StealthWatch system, provides network behavior analytics, threat visibility and security intelligence to protect enterprise networks against today’s top threats.

Lancope has been part of Cisco’s security solution for many years through a successful commercial relationship and now we are coming together as one team. Our combined solutions help secure customers’ resources and critical assets by using their network as a sensor—extending protection further into their networks and allowing them to see more threats and to identify these threats faster. Together, Cisco and Lancope will advance Cisco’s Security Everywhere strategy of providing advanced threat protection across the full attack continuum—before, during and after an attack.

The acquisition of Lancope compliments our other recent security acquisitions including OpenDNS, Portcullis, and Neohapsis. We look forward to welcoming the Lancope team to Cisco’s Security Business Group led by David Goeckeler, senior vice president and general manager. We expect the acquisition to close in the second quarter of Cisco’s current fiscal year.

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire ParStream

As the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) becomes a reality, it’s estimated that 50 billion devices and objects will be connected to the Internet by 2020. With this massive number of new connections, valuable data will be created at an even faster pace than most companies can manage. That’s why we are pleased to announce Cisco’s intent to acquire ParStream, a privately-held company based in Cologne, Germany that provides an analytics database that allows companies to analyze large amounts of data and store it in near real time anywhere in the network.

Speed is critical for helping companies to generate value from data in IoT environments. ParStream’s highly specialized database is built for IoT environments. It allows customers to compute and analyze large amounts of data at the edge in real time, with minimal infrastructure and operating costs at the edge. Using innovative compression and indexing capabilities, ParStream’s technology helps customers access data faster and at scale, rapidly analyzing and filtering billions of records and getting information to the business in near real-time. This acquisition complements Cisco’s current data and analytics portfolio, improving our ability to provide analytics at the edge of the network, where data is increasingly being generated and in huge volume. The value of IT has always been derived from the intelligence contained in data. Analytics are at the heart of Cisco’s strategy for a hyper distributed intelligent infrastructure.

ParStream’s technology, for example, can help a renewable energy company track and monitor thousands of wind turbines at once by providing the information to optimize the performance of each turbine and quickly adjust to changing environmental factors like wind direction and temperature. Instead of sending this data to a centralized server, now a company can store the data at the edge of the network, closer to the turbines and sensors, and track results even across a highly distributed network. Real-time access to data derived from the connected equipment can lead to benefits like decreased equipment downtime through predictive maintenance, increased productivity, and historical analysis of environmental patterns.

ParStream was part of the Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence start up program. The ParStream team will be integrated into Cisco’s Analytics and Automation portfolio, joining the Data and Analytics Group. The acquisition is expected to close in the second quarter of fiscal year 2016.

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Digital Adoption Lifecycle: Don’t Be a Laggard

I can remember it vividly: The year was 1995, and I was working at a start up in Silicon Valley. What was the Internet like back then? It was certainly not ubiquitous, as it is today. At that point, the Internet was still fledgling—although it was exploding—and ecommerce was starting to take off. There was no YouTube, no Google, and no Facebook.

In 1995, the Yahoo.com domain was registered, Amazon.com and Craigslist.org launched, and eBay was founded. We were quickly realizing the Internet could provide us with opportunities and experiences that were unimaginable only a few years prior. There were some early-adopter companies, with websites up and running and open for business. And there were many enterprises taking things slower. Was this Internet thing just a fad? What can we do with it? Will people actually buy goods and services online, and use their credit cards over a computer? Is this safe? Secure? Is this for everyone, or just the Silicon Valley tech crowd?

Fast forward to today, when we cannot imagine a world without connectivity and information, online commerce, streaming music and video—all at our fingertips, available in milliseconds. Many of the companies that hesitated back in the 1990s are not around today. And since we know that history often repeats itself, we again find ourselves at another massive disruptive crossroads.

There are already 15 billion connected things. That number could rise to 75 billion—some say 200 billion—by 2019, and there will be three times the Internet traffic by that date. By 2020, it is predicted that there will be 5 terabytes of data generated per person. The predictions back in the 1990s seemed lofty at the time, but they’ve been overshot massively!

What does this mean for the world we live in? How do companies prepare for this digital revolution? The answer is Read More »

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