I’m excited to pack my bags to attend Cisco Live EMEA in Amsterdam next week! After a three-year hiatus, two words come to mind that represent my excitement: impactful connections!
First, there are human connections – meeting with our customers, partners, and fellow Cisco colleagues from Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Europe is where I grew up and where I started my journey with Cisco back in 2000. Reconnecting with all these individuals fills me with energy!
Second, I think about how connections – and the network that creates them – have never been more important to our lives and to the digital experiences we love, both at home and in our workplace. It’s these experiences that bind us together and power the world. So, naturally, we want those experiences to be great, no matter where we are, what device we’re using, or whether it’s for business or personal use. In a word, we love experiences that are “unified”.
New Requirements Drive Network Complexity Up
While the importance of connections rises to meet the new demands and expectations of a simplified experience by all users, so does the network complexity required to bring those connections to life. People, things, and applications all rely on these connections to build a unified user experience. So, let’s look at three key dynamics at play when building different digital connections.
On the application side, using SaaS and developing across multiple clouds, data centers, and 3rd party web services is now the norm, not the exception. Still, this network complexity keeps pushing the need to have a very flexible and secure software-defined network that is fast to adjust to the requirements of the cloud development team and is capable of connecting sites and users to multiple applications over various locations.
On the people/devices/things side, we are seeing massive changes, where powerful drivers are now feeding into each other and quickly reshaping the access architecture of the network.
It started with the need for people and things to have pervasive and secure access and has progressively pushed toward wireless-first designs. This evolution has been even further accelerated by the need to reimagine the office space and make it a much more collaborative environment to support hybrid work.
With such an exponential network expansion and the pervasive mobility required by users and devices, security becomes an inextricably related challenge. “If it’s connected, it’s protected” is not just a slogan but rather the fundamental truth that everything that gets connected must also be protected as part of the configuration and operations of the network that stands up those highly dynamic connections. That is why we see the progressive convergence of networking and security, not just from a technology standpoint (SASE, zero-trust, network policy, and segmentation) but also from an IT organizational standpoint, happening at different speeds and maturity across different industries.
Evolving To A Platform Model
As the dynamics described above are accelerating, the solution can only be found in the adoption of an operating model that drastically simplifies what is otherwise intrinsically complex. The networking platform achieves two important functions: (1) enables radically simpler network operations and (2) provides data intelligence that improves both IT and business processes.
In the last nine months, Cisco has demonstrated the execution of our strategy by announcing:
- Cloud-driven automation for our Catalyst and Nexus switching portfolio
- Predictive networks capabilities with ThousandEyes WAN Insights
- Fully unified SASE solution with Cisco+ Secure Connect
- New smart workspaces experiences with Cisco Spaces
The breadth of our portfolio and our ecosystem become a value multiplier for our customers.
A great example of value multiplication is our IoT portfolio, which uniquely simplifies the convergence of IT and OT. This is critical to achieving sustainability goals that have become one of the top concerns in Europe. Only with Cisco, can you connect and protect your IoT devices in smart buildings, in industrial environments, and even on the move. The data intelligence is made available via APIs to enable the building of new applications that make physical facilities, railways, roadways, and energy grids smarter and help manage energy consumption. As an example, please visit the Cisco Meraki Marketplace and check out the amazing partner apps that use advanced AI/ML capabilities for object recognition and motion analytics for the Cisco Meraki cameras. And some of these IoT case studies will be featured at Cisco Live in Amsterdam, February 6th through February 9th.
Watch Out For More Platform Innovations at Cisco Live
Cisco is uniquely positioned to help you simplify networking. My bags are packed, and I cannot wait to see you at Cisco Live either in person or via the online broadcast to discover the great new innovations that help you build new unified experiences.
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