In today’s episode, it’s really all about the Cisco keynote presentation from Jens Meggers and some pretty cool demos. If you missed yesterday’s post, check it out here.

First off, thanks to everyone who followed my advice in yesterday’s post and visited the Cisco booth. From what I witnessed, you all did a very good job of getting fingerprints on the Cisco Spark Boards in the demo space. Nicely done, everyone! (See secret footnote below…)

Today was the first day of main stage keynotes with Cisco, Twilio, and Amazon Web Services on the morning agenda. It was an interesting morning with three very different presentations. I’ll focus on the first one since it had the better slides (IMHO) and required two overflow rooms to accommodate people who didn’t fit in the main venue.

I asked people in the hallways and at lunch for their impressions about the keynotes. There were two consistent threads in comments about the Cisco presentation: First, Jens Meggers looks like he’s having fun when he’s talking about Cisco Spark. Second, the demos of the new and “coming soon” innovations were really cool. I’ll agree on both points.

Boombox, circa 1975
Boombox, circa 1975

Jens focused on the theme of experiences from two anglesCisco develops technology based on experiences, and technology is changing how we experience things. Like music. It’s a great example.

The boombox introduced us to the concept of portable music in 1975. Today, we can stream music from the cloud today — without the need for a couple of pounds of short-lived D-cell batteries. The technology behind the scenes is essentially invisible. Once upon a time, it was eight-track or cassette tape. Now it’s not even a decision of file type.  Pick the song you want, press play.

An advantage of presenting about collaboration technology has to be the fact that you can actually use the products as part of your presentation. He used the Cisco Spark Board to tell the story of how our engineering teams brought “the best stuff together” to create one experience: Cisco Spark. And the sketch – all those pieces overlapping. One of the engineers called it: “the da Vinci Code of Cisco Spark collaboration.”

You’ve heard enough from me today. I’ll leave you with two things: A quote and an opportunity to push play. Here’s the quote.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth a million.
Nothing has as much impact as the moving image.

—Barry Levinson
Academy Award-winning director, screenwriter, and producer

I could write a thousand words about the keynote, but I’ll give you a million instead. Watch the keynote and let me know what you think in the comments below. Here’s the opportunity to push play:


On Tap for Wednesday

  • 9:05a ET: See what Cisco’s Richard Townhill has to say on the general session panel “Messaging & Team Collaboration: Overhyped or Next Platform?”
  • 11:30a-4:00p ET: It’s the last day for the exhibit hall. Don’t miss your chance to catch the Cisco demos, now is your chance.
  • All day: Get highlights from @CiscoCollab. Follow me at @ciscokima for live-tweeting and random observations – conference wireless willing… Sigh.

Not-so-Secret Footnote: Our technical marketing engineers probably appreciate that today’s attendee lunch involved silverware, leaving cleaner prints than yesterday’s box-lunch sandwiches. Honestly, I didn’t ask them if they did. I didn’t want to tip them off. No one needs to tell them that I’m encouraging the whole “fingerprints on the demo equipment” routine. Shh…



Kim Austin

No Longer with Cisco