Did you know Pokémon Go set the record for the Apple App Store downloads in the first week?  Not only that, it has gone on to break five Guinness World Records:

  • Most revenue grossed by a mobile game in the first month
  • Most downloaded, first month
  • Most international charts topped simultaneously for downloads
  • Most international charts topped simultaneously for revenue
  • Fasted time to gross $100 Million by a mobile game

Today the game is averaging $10 Million a day in gross revenue and change the value of Augmented Reality (AR) forever.  The best part, nobody saw this coming outside of the developers and The Pokémon Company.  What made this possible was the latest Smartphone architecture that combined a camera, GPS, always on connectivity, fast CPU, and HD monitor into a package that fits in your pocket.

In my last blog post (Okay, but what are you trying to do?) I discussed how our thinking needs to evolve to be about architectures.  It must in order to move our companies to capture the new digital frontier.  I made a comprehensive statement about the way the new technology discussions should happen with the below image.


The Big Picture


This spurred many tweets, comments, and e-mails asking for more detail such as this one from Samantha:

“Finally, someone put some context behind the value of digital. I really like the graphic with boxes, would be great if you could expand on how they link together in another blog post. Thank You!”  – Samantha Gee

Sure Samantha, it’s really all just about the agility the architecture enables.  The secret to enabling your company for Digitization is three key things:

  • Analytics – Visibility to understand what is going on and even predict what will be needed
  • Automation – Create an environment with policies that can address situations as they occur, self heal, self-optimize, increase agility while lowering operational burden
  • Virtualization – Move network services and application workloads where they are the most efficient

Let me give you an example of this type of thinking: Tesla.  They started from a digital strategy that the car needed to be able to dynamically update itself after it left the factory, without coming into a dealership.  A Tesla vehicle is full of sensors that perform local analytics to automatically adjust for road conditions and the way the driver uses the car.  But it also sends all that information back to Tesla so they can understand how people are using their cars.  In addition, they watch social media and correlate the information with customer service contacts.  When drivers in San Francisco had an issue with the cars rolling back before moving forward on hills, Tesla issued a software update overnight.  When they had the battery fire from road debris flying up into the bottom mounted battery pack, they transmitted an updated to increase the ride height overnight.  As consumers became comfortable with semi-autonomous driving, the vehicles were already built with this in mind, so again an overnight update changed capabilities.  The point is, they built a platform based on digital architectures to give them the speed and agility to automatically adapt to changing requirements.

Cisco’s architectures enable this same type of agility represented by the graphic.  If we think about the Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) SDN architecture, it was created to enable these principles for rapid application deployment, scaling, and changes in the Data Center.  However; applications are not consumed in the Data Center, they are used in the branch and campus.  Cisco’s Digital Network Architecture (DNA) uses these principles to ensure optimal application delivery in both environments and automatically change as conditions change.  Our Cloud Center lets you quickly move workloads between the Data Center, cloud vendors like AWS and Azure, and even to compute in the branch router.  This concept of Fog Computing is designed to make sure applications have the agility to be ensure the best user experience.

Speaking of cloud, our Collaboration architecture is seamlessly linking application from on premise to the cloud so users have a pervasive experience.  If you create a meeting in Microsoft Outlook it automatically creates a Spark Room and inserts the WebEx room information into the invite.  Start a meeting on Spark on your iPhone and pick it up on your Telepresence in the office.  The lines between on premise, cloud, and mobile are clearly being blurred for the better.  Cisco DNA helps here too ensuring those mobile devices, especially Apple devices, work amazing when they enter your environment.

The Internet of Things is changing the way people and businesses interact while creating challenges for IT departments trying to securely onboard new devices.  Jasper automates the policy, onboarding, and analytics to simplify this for IT, increasing the speed while minimizing bad behavior.  Our partnership with Mist allows companies to deploy virtual beacons right from the Cisco access points so you can dynamically change the environment for mapping, information, and offers.  You move a products, you move the virtual beacon.  Then you can deliver a virtual catalog item from compute in branch and capture the analytics to know who is doing what.  From that beacon event you can spin up a Spark room, enable training, or even use augmented reality to change the engagement.

Unfortunately this technology pervasiveness can mean increased security risks.  Using application aware analytics, Cisco’s virtualized and cloud based security solutions automatically detect and defend threats in real time.  These policies can follow users and devices regardless if they are in your environment or if they go mobile.  These architectures use automated policies that significantly reduce the risk of human error, one of the biggest ways the bad guys gain access to your environment.

What do all these modules have in common?  They enable the business and the IT staff to move faster and allow the environment to dynamically change to provide the right resource at the right time, automatically.  Customer and business demands no longer give IT the time to manually make changes and evaluate the environment, nor will the business give IT unlimited resources.  It is critical that we think in these connected architectural solutions to increase our revenue opportunities through agility, reduce our costs by simplifying operations, and keep ourselve secure with holistic unified policies.

Who knows, your company may be the ones that want to create the next Pokémon Go; will you be ready?  


Bill Hentschell

Global Director of Intent Based Networking

Global Partner Organization