Stepping into the Milan conference center (MiCo) it became clear not much could prepare you for the magnitude of the event that is Cisco Live.

It’s a Sunday afternoon, but the venue is alive and buzzing with staff making final preparations for the week ahead. DJ CLEUR has the lobby pumped with some classic tunes and every surface is plastered with the Cisco logo. You’d be forgiven if you thought this was a Cisco building, the conference center no longer resembles its origins. Cisco has truly come in and made it home. The energy is already present, and it’s here to stay with us for the whole week.


As millennials on the IT Management Program (ITM) we were made responsible for stimulating discussions between attendees and to assist with facilitating the event as necessary. Our main purpose however was to capture the thoughts of our esteemed audience, comprised of Cisco customers and partners. We became the voice of the audience and spread their ideas through the medium of video creating small impactful clips that were shown at the beginning of each day to excite the attendees.

millennials-2015Throughout the week we were able to sit in on a number of thought provoking and informative sessions. The presentations were all high caliber and the presenters did a great job keeping the room engaged throughout the entire week. The sessions ranged from technical presentations touching upon the impact Application Centric Infrastructure is having in the Data Center, to the importance of good leadership and the impact it has on a community’s morale and efficiency. The range of topics was vast and the details were deep, yet the message was clear: embrace change.

Our key takeaways:

Elliott: For me the key highlight was getting to see how an event such as Cisco Live can bring customers and partners together from a number of industries and focus them on solving common problems, together. The breakout sessions were a fantastic opportunity for them to learn from Cisco, while at the same time providing a unique platform for us to hear from them too, in a way that we wouldn’t normally get. This insight is invaluable in allowing me to take things back to the business and try to create greater value in what we do, day-to-day. One other highlight for me (among many!) was getting to meet so many Cisco folks that I’d never get exposure to. There are a lot of interesting people in the company and it was fantastic to get to learn from just a fraction more of them!

Juan: The week at Cisco Live was a fantastic opportunity to discover the direction the industry is taking. Technology is becoming ever more disruptive and IT organizations are having to undergo serious transformations to stay afloat and nimble. The presentations that resonated the most with me were regarding the leadership of people. It was made very clear that an organization without the support of its people is on the road to failure.

Gemma: One of my highlights was the chance to hear the admiration customers and partners had for Cisco – not something I would usually be exposed to. It was great to hear them talk about the value and impact that Cisco can bring to their organizations and the enthusiasm that these people had for our technologies. The sessions also gave me a great opportunity to brush up on my Cisco knowledge and learn more about what the company is doing. Being early in my career, it was great to listen to how I can develop as a leader and what qualities I should strive for in order to grow in the future. Aside from the content, I also got tremendous value from meeting speakers and other Cisco employees who I’d only ever seen mentioned in a spreadsheet or exchanged emails with. I feel this was great for building relationships, particularly with the type of projects I work on.

Shaun: Two main takeaways for me; Change and Innovation. Both of these terms where used many times the majority of the ITM sessions during the week. This highlighted their importance to the future of our company and to the industry as a whole. We had the honor to be part of Carlos Dominguez final Cisco presentation and watch him captivate the audience on the subject of innovation.