My two favorite days for a Vegas conference: arriving and leaving. Everything in between is a foot numbing, sleepless blur. But we had a great time! It was cool to be on stage hanging with our Cisco friends and getting to re-unite with old competitors, many of which are former peers.
We did not have as many videos as usual for a trip like this since we were doing the ‘stand and deliver’ thing. The topics were good however.
Jacob Rapp on Unified Access trends in the Data Center
Mark Royle catching us up on Unified Call Control
Bill and Ziad: Global Security Intelligence
This was a two-fer that Jimmy Ray and I tag teamed…I feel the urge to call it ‘Unified’ something just to complete my corporate marketing bingo card….but I did giggle a bit knowing that we stood in front of the ‘MOC SOC’ (Mock Security Operations Center). I am not even sure why I find that funny.
Interop was made more fun for us this year since we got to be on stage. Most of what we usually do is on camera of course…but presenting in front of people is the best.
Since we started TechWiseTV 7 years ago, we have tried to always get better at our on-camera skills. This has involved diligent effort not just improving our own skills but also how we can make it easier for others to shine with us. In other words, hosting.
It was Cisco’s Enterprise Networking team that asked if we would like to host a few stage spots during this years Interop show. Heck yeah we said. Mainly because it was a chance to ‘work an audience.’ You can certainly work a camera but what sucks is that the camera really never gives anything back.
Even the dullest audience will provide at least one nodding head or small smile. That alone can fuel an entire presentation. So we mixed it up this time. We had our A-Team for the camera crew so we were able to divide and conquer.
All of our stage appearances were quite free-form, but they did have a structure even if it was not apparent to those present. It was built around work pioneered by Marlowe Fenne. Marlowe is actually a day one veteran with TechWiseTV who has continued on his own path building bridges between customer problems and Cisco solutions. He had put together what I called a ‘MOC NOC’ for Interop. Customers were able to see first hand how their top challenges (as determined by multiple focus groups) were mapped to Cisco technologies and solutions. Easier than it sounds, let me assure you. Marlowe is such a good presenter, we were able to leave our crew with him while we did our song and dance on stage..then all Jimmy Ray and I had to do was record an intro and a close.
Challenges in the NOC: Wired and Wireless
Four ‘success factors’ were gleaned from these focus groups:
Don’t miss Bridging the App Gap where I will interview multiple Cisco customers and even Cisco itself. Fully understand all the Application Experience has to offer.
Our first day of presenting overlapped just a bit as Jimmy Ray was previously committed to one of his popular TechWiseTV workshops that he had to give from his Mandalay Bay hotel room. He did his usual pre-presentation technology checks to make sure all was working well. This was even more important this go-round as the hotel wireless was so bad it felt purposeful..as in…why are you on the Internet? Get down to the casino! Who knows. Well try as he might, he could not get a consistent connection wired or wireless in the hotel room.
Backup plan A was a higher powered wirelesss card that he tried to use and acces wireless from the adjacent Luxor hotel…but that was not holding steady either. So fallback plan B involved something I would never have guessed: An acoustic coupler. Fancy (but accurate) term for a modem.
If you don’t know what this is, go ask your parents…this is how we all used to get on the network. (I hesitate to say Internet). Plan B goes into action at a blazing 28.8 baud and another workshop goes off without a hitch..the audience was never even aware. Anyone else out there hosting Webex on a modem? I didn’t think so.
If you’re looking for Cisco in the cloud next week, you’ll have your choice of events. The source of all of this cloud knowledge, Las Vegas. Who knew that was where the cloud started?
First up, Cisco Data Center Cloud team can be found at EMC World, Booth 401, at The Venetian/Palazzo, May 6-9.
For all of the latest information on Cisco’s presence, from theater presentations to demos to speaking sessions, visit www.cisco.com/go/emcworld
We will be shooting the first half of Season 3 of Engineers Unplugged in front of a live audience! Surrounded by whiteboards and as a part of the EMC Elect Space of EMC Square, the social hub, we’re pretty excited about the line up of guests and topics. Want to learn more? Ping me @CommsNinja or visit EngineersUnplugged.com.
Unicorns and Waffles, Together Again
There will be unicorns.
But wait, there’s more! Just down the strip, at Mandalay Bay, May 6-10, you’ll find Cisco at Interop. For all of the details on the keynote, speaking sessions, and Booth 1327, visit: www.cisco.com/go/interoplv
If that’s not enough Vegas cloud for one week, Cisco’s Rodrigo Flores will be speaking at the Cloud 2020 Summit, and we’ll be providing coverage.
That’s what’s happening during the day, but what about the community? Where can you meet with your peers? Beyond the numerous official parties, and there are many, here’s where you can meet up with @CiscoDC peers.
Monday, May 6, 9:30-11:30 pm: Join Matthew Brender (EMC), John Troyer (VMware), and Amy Lewis (that’s me, from Cisco, if that wasn’t readily apparent) for an informal non-sponsored Tweetup (BYOWallet). We podcast as The Geek Whisperers, a show about all things Social Media in Enterprise IT. Social is a part of all of our careers these days, and we’d love to hear what it means to you. Come out and say hi.
Tuesday, May 7, 11 pm -- 1 am: It’s Vegas, baby! After the official parties end, it’s time for Waffle Club. The first rule of Waffle Club, don’t talk about Waffle Club. Space is limited, and spots are going quick.
Wednesday, May 8, 10 pm until:Tech Field Day’s Buzzword Bingo Bash! What could be more fun that coming out to apply all the terms you’ve used and abused during the week. This is a crossover event in a neutral location, easy to get to from EMC World or Interop.
So safe travels to all who are coming. We look forward to catching up with old friends and meeting new. Please stop by the booths and say hi, or hunt one of us down by following the Twitter stream.
For everyone watching at home, pop some popcorn, and get ready for the ride. We’ll do all we can to bring the action to you. Send questions, suggestions, and feedback: here on the blog or to @CiscoDC or @CommsNinja. We’re listening!