I have a confession: I’m a technology late-adopter. On Rogers’ Innovation Adoption bell curve, I probably fall somewhere in the ‘late majority’ — I like the tried and true.
But with a few years and many advances, I’m back on Facebook (my short experience with it left me with privacy paranoia), and if you can believe it, I’m now an iPhone user. I appreciate not lugging around my iPod, and having a camera ready whenever I need it, but it’s not only the extra bells on the integrated device that has impressed me -- it’s the realization that I don’t have to compromise functionality to have it all.
It started with the iPhone and really picked up with the iPad. Silver haired gents in corner offices brought their new precious to IT and asked to “get on the network” or “get their email on this.” In the past, IT was able to mumble something about unsupported devices and how a random user who brought a random device was out of luck. After all, they had tested solutions in place, nice things like Windows Mobile and Blackberry, solutions that worked well with Enterprise infrastructure. These new things might be better at Angry Birds or Plants vs Zombies, but the whole BYOD/Enterprise interaction was an unknown and thus a threat and a risk. Poor IT guys got trumped though, silver haired guys said jump and eventually the answer changed from “not supported” to a more career preserving “how high?”
Our neighbors in Palo Alto have been making a lot of noise about the difference in price between Hewlett-Packard and Cisco networking equipment. They’d like customers to believe they can offer similar capabilities to Cisco but at much lower prices—“Cisco for less,” if you will.
Most folks understand that the first part of that claim isn’t true. They’re not Cisco. To start with, when a company spends just 2% of revenues on R&D (as HP does), it isn’t capable of generating the type of innovation that a company spending 13% can (as Cisco does). We explained how Cisco innovation delivers differentiated capabilities when we debunked the myth of the ‘Good Enough’ network.
But some customers still ask me about the price difference—the “for less” part. After all, everyone is looking to cut costs, right?
Annalisa Giardina of the Cisco Marketing Team working the booth at RSA 2011
RSA 2011 was a big show for Cisco. We had a 30x30 booth with an in-booth theater, eight demo pods, speakers on several panels, and a keynote. Including speakers, the install and dismantle crew, and all of the booth staffers, we had a crew of around 100 people at the show. Demos included firewalls, virtualization, mobility, web, and security services. With the passing of Cisco Security Monitoring, Analysis, and Response System (MARS), a partner’s SIEM ecosystem display was of note, as were demonstrations of Cisco TrustSec, intrusion prevention, and Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI). We also demonstrated Cisco AnyConnect running on an iPad, illustrating how Cisco can meet the needs of organizations grappling with the demands of the consumerization of IT and the security concerns that employee liable devices bring.
RSA—the annual security conference that draws IT professionals from around the world—has been taking place this week in downtown San Francisco. At this year’s event, Cisco had a booth that highlighted innovative security solutions spanning from the data center to cloud networks, showing how to protect the evolving network infrastructure.
Tom Gillis, Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Security Technology Business Unit, also addressed the conference during a keynote session, at which he introduced SecureX, Cisco’s security architecture, which makes security context-aware.
I made a trip down to RSA to geek out on some new products and to find out all the relevant security information that you, our partners, will want to know. I met with several Cisco managers at the Cisco booth who walked me though some demos of the products Cisco is showing.
Keep reading for links and more details on Cisco’s security solutions, and how they can benefit you, your customers, and your business