Cisco Live US 2015 is just around the corner, and will start in San Diego on June 7th, running through Thursday 11th June.  I’m surprised and honoured to be one of the folks wearing a “Cisco Live Speaker” shirt, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of what I’ve been working on over the past year or two.

I’ll be basing a lot of my presentation off of as yet unpublished, independent market research, into the challenges of SDN and NFV adoption, some of which are illustrated in the diagram below.  The final copy of this brand new market research report landed on my desk just last weekend – May 23rd 2015.  Hot off the press, it was funded by Cisco but conducted completely independently by a leading market research company.  The intent of this report is to guide our SDN and NFV professional services strategy. Some of the insights, however, are too useful not to share with you!  Covering a global audience, with separate questionnaires for service provider and enterprise businesses, we had set out to increase our understanding of the latest challenges of adoption of SDN and NFV as appopriate in (enterprise) businesses, including public sector, and service provider markets.

Some of the Topics in my Cisco Live Presentation
Questions I Will Discuss In My Cisco Live Presentation


All too often, selecting a technology vendor – or more precisely, technology partner – is decided based upon “speeds and feeds”, “bits and bytes”, protocols, features and – candidly – hype.   Part of my inspiration for this topic came after reading reports on how you should select your technology partner …. in reports that typically only talked about technology features (in a previous blog, I called this “the what”) – while pretty much ignoring the key aspects of why you should (or should not) get into this technology, and at the same time, failing to present any advice on how you get the project done, dusted and successful. In my Cisco Live seminar, designed to help you assess potential SDN and NFV partners, I’ll cover not only the technology options, but I’ll also consider the capabilities and skillsets – most usually delivered via technical and professional services – that you should look for in your partners and vendors in order for your SDN/NFV adoption projects to be highly successful.

My session is entitled “Criteria for SDN/NFV Vendor Selection” (Session ID PSOSDN-1905) and runs on Tuesday 9th June at 3:30pm.  “OK”, I hear you say, you’ll just say “buy Cisco”.  That would of course be a very easy presentation to write but wouldn’t be useful at all to our attendees.  In Cisco, we are always very conscious you have a choice when it comes to buying any product, so what I’d like to do in this session is discuss a set of criteria you may wish to use to help guide you when selecting your SDN and NFV partner, and I’ll encourage you to apply this to Cisco and any other vendors you are considering.  The aforementioned independent market research will keep my presentation both objective and interesting: respondent feedback on their actual and perceived challenges of SDN and NFV adoption will mean that all attendees can learn about the very latest concerns related to these technologies.

You don’t need to be an SDN or NFV expert to benefit from my session.  In fact, if you are starting out to learn about SDN and NFV, my session will help think through the broader picture of successful deployment. And if you are already working on an SDN and/or NFV project, some of the insights from our research may highlight areas you need to put more focus on.

As preparation for my session, I really recommend having a quick read at the “SDN for Dummies” eBook, that colleague Gary Kinghorn introduced a few weeks back.  There are also good background learning materials, VoDs and so on, on the Cisco Live site here.

I’ll be providing a few tasters on Twitter in the lead up to Cisco Live, so follow me on Twitter for additional insights.  If you are planning to attend Cisco Live, please do let me know!

Let me also take this opportunity to highlight another “state of the practice” session at Cisco Live.  My Cisco Services colleagues, Vimal Suba and Rashid Rana, are presenting on some of our DevOps work in the session “Cloud and Network Transformation using DevOps methodology” (Session ID CCSCLD-2865) – so make sure you check out that session too! You can read more about this in Vimal’s LinkedIn post.

Look forward to meeting some of you reading this post at Cisco Live in San Diego!



Stephen Speirs

SP Product Management

Cisco Customer Experience (CX)