It was just two years ago that Cisco shared our view of the Internet for the Future and announced our strategy to change the economics of the internet forever. The strategy focused on innovations in the foundational building blocks that make up the internet, including silicon, optics, software, and systems. The launch highlighted the need to economically and efficiently improve connectivity by meeting the ever-growing demand for new services to digitally transform the world. At the core of that digital transformation is the necessity to radically simplify operations to deal with mass scale networking. In doing so, we will enable communication service providers and cloud operators to provide services that meet the growing requirements for business applications located across on-premise data centers, edge/co-location (CoLo) sites, SaaS, and multiple public cloud environments.

What we have witnessed since then is a clear affirmation that the practice of building and using separate networks with multi-layered architectures is now unproductive, redundant, wildly complex, and expensive to operate. There is no debate that we need to simplify the internet and use the cloud to deliver future experiences. What has also become clear is that the application experience is now paramount to the success of any business participating in the digital economy. In fact, research suggests that a delay of just 100ms in load time can translate to a 7% drop in conversion rates in customer-facing apps.

Focusing on Business Outcomes

As a result, the question we now hear most often from customers has evolved from “if and when” to “where to start” as the industry digital transformation is accelerating.

At Cisco, we start with the customer’s desired business outcomes and the experiences one will have in achieving them. If your goal is to improve the application experience by increasing network resiliency and agility, then moving toward a Network as a Service (NaaS) model is likely the right path forward. NaaS is a cloud-enabled, usage-based consumption model that allows users to acquire and orchestrate network capabilities without owning, building, or maintaining their own infrastructure.

In Cisco’s 3rd Annual Global Networking Trends Report, which highlights IT professionals’ perspectives on Network as a Service, we share insights into why (or why not), how and in what way IT teams plan to leverage NaaS solutions. A key finding called out in the report is the intense focus on overcoming challenges to significantly improve resiliency and agility:

  • Responding to disruptions and accommodating new business needs are cited as the top network challenges for 2021
  • At the same time, IT teams recognize the top NaaS benefits as freeing up IT teams to deliver innovation and business value. They also recognize that NaaS can improve response to disruptions and improve network agility

Removing Complexity

To help customers adopt Network as a Service with best-in-class networking, security, and observability, we are simplifying how you buy, deploy, and manage IT with Cisco+. Cisco+ is a new brand comprising flexible consumption and as-a-service offers sold as a subscription.

Cisco+ offers remove complexity for customers and partners by integrating hardware, software, and services for faster time to value. With Cisco+ as-a-service offers, you can:

  • Reduce operational burden so IT and DevOps teams can focus on core business and innovation
  • Accelerate time to value by integrating solutions for customers
  • Provide flexible consumption models with predictable costs and operational agility
  • Deliver specific business outcomes through high-value use cases

The first offer in the brand is Cisco+ Hybrid Cloud, a full stack compute, network, and storage solution. Cisco+ Hybrid Cloud offers you flexible consumption options for your on-premise infrastructure so you can optimize workloads across a hybrid cloud for superior performance and value.

There are pay-as-you-use (PAYU) and pay-as-you-grow (PAYG) consumption models that can be ordered through a guided buying experience. The PAYU model allows you to scale up or down with a reserved service capacity that can be expanded as needs vary. The PAYG model provides buffering for growth. Customers commit to a known service capacity and can scale to additional capacity as their business needs change.

Leading with a Partner-first Model

We will be adding new flexible consumption and as-a-service offers that deliver specific business outcomes at an accelerated pace, including a turnkey solution that incorporates Cisco SD-WAN, Security, and Observability portfolios to deliver SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) outcomes. Be sure to stay tuned for some exciting announcements in the new year.

As you have come to expect, we are building Cisco+ in a partner-first model as we transition our portfolio to as-a-service. With Cisco+, partners have the opportunity to expand their roles as trusted advisors and help deliver business outcomes to customers throughout the lifecycle.

We recognize that every customer is unique and that there is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to transformation. Rest assured that we can bridge your journey to SASE from wherever you are. Whether you’re looking to onramp to a cloud architecture, securely connect remote employees, or move security from on-premise to the cloud, we can help. ​

For more information, please contact your trusted Cisco partner and visit our Cisco+ site.


Devendra Malladi

Vice President, Cisco+ Portfolio Management