Reflecting on  Cisco Live Las Vegas 2017, I’m even more excited about Cisco’s role in shaping the digital business of the future. Customers are also excited and want to know what that means for cloud. From the keynote, to the World of Solutions show floor, even at the coffee carts —“digital business” and “cloud” were hand-in-hand in almost every conversation. Multicloud was also a big topic. Chuck said it best when he half-jokingly asked in his keynote, “How many of you use ONE cloud?” <Audible groans and chuckles from the audience>.

Our customers get it. We don’t need to convince them that it’s a multicloud world — we need to help them do more. But the biggest challenge is no longer getting to the cloud; it’s navigating and leveraging the many clouds and many vendors that make up a multicloud environment. Now more than ever, they know Cisco can help.

Over the five-day conference, we had over 150 sessions, technology tracks, exhibits, and showcases featuring Cisco’s cloud solutions.

I had the opportunity to sit on a panel with our customer SAP Ariba and our partner Equinix. The conversation centered on how businesses are innovating in multicloud. The audience poll responses reflected that the majority are using more than one cloud vendor to address their business needs and many are heavy users of SaaS and IaaS public/private clouds. They have concerns about managing it all.

After presenting an Innovation Showcase session on Wednesday, I spoke with several customers about the challenges they face with striking the right balance between control and innovation across on- and off-premises environments and multiple clouds from various providers. Going with the conference’s Superheroes theme, I was asked if cloud were a superhero, what super powers it would have. My answer: networking, security, analytics, and management.

Throughout the week, I also connected with several of our partners, industry analysts, and press about our Cisco cloud strategy. They know the digital business of the future will not run on one cloud platform and requires some “golden thread” to effectively, plan, build, and securely manage multicloud environments. They know businesses need a solid cloud strategy with solutions to back it up and they know Cisco’s got this. One thing that came up in many conversations was how far the industry—and Cisco—has come in the year since Cisco Live 2016. The feedback from customers, analysts, and partners was that Cisco has a clear articulation of the value we bring to our customers and partners as they navigate a multicloud world. We’ve got a strong portfolio today, and can’t wait to see what we can do with our customers and partners in the next year!

If you asked 10 people about what was top of mind for them at this year’s at CLUS, you’d get 10 different answers. But if you asked them about digital business, the answer always included cloud. Customers want to innovate and are asking us to help them take advantage of the opportunities that come with digitizing their business. How do I transform my infrastructure? How can I add services that enable us to offer more to customers? Or simply, how do I manage my business in a multicloud world? John Mitchell from SAP Ariba joined me on stage during my session and asked, “Can you evolve as this whole multicloud space evolves?”

Customers want help on their path to becoming digital businesses,  and Cisco cloud solutions have an important role in helping them get there.

For more information:



Kip Compton

No longer with Cisco