Cisco’s own IT organization is one of our best customers for Cisco technologies, often acting as Customer Zero when new innovations are being rolled out. I recently chatted with Mike Duarte from Cisco IT to talk about the experience of being a participant in the early access program (EAP) for the Cisco Hybrid Cloud Platform for Google Cloud solution that will become generally available later this year. Mike shared Cisco IT’s perspective on how our approach is helping them accelerate application development and add more value to the business.

From Mike’s view, IT is facing intense pressure to adapt at a faster rate of change than ever before and multicloud is a key ingredient in enabling speed, innovation, and the transformation of the IT mindset from control to enablement. CIOs want to put more of IT’s resources and time towards tasks that are strategic to the business. Mike noted, “IT now has to wear multiple hats. We can no longer just provide infrastructure, but have to build and run a private cloud, and serve as a trusted advisor to our internal clients as a broker of cloud services. Our focus needs to be on enabling our company to be faster in its ability to innovate and deliver business value. That’s a lot to manage and balance.”

“It’s not just making our applications faster, its enabling IT to add more strategic value to the business.” Mike Duarte, Cisco IT

Cloud-native developers are driving adoption of cloud technologies in a big way. They are usually among the first to embrace technologies like containerization, too, as it lets them focus on building applications that they can easily take from development to production environments. “The ability to get an application connected to our data center serving content into the cloud, making it accessible to the outside world with a seamless intersection between public and private is invaluable. Taking single cloud-native applications that are cloud native and running individual components of those in different places, then connecting and bringing them together is huge.” Enabling developers to roll out applications faster is making way for more business velocity.

Mike Duarte of Cisco IT, Eyal Manor of Google Cloud, and Kip Compton, Cisco Cloud Platform & Solutions Group.

Cisco IT sees incredible potential for the Cisco Hybrid Cloud Platform for Google Cloud. The platform is allowing them to be faster, more innovative, and scale while continuing to maintain security and bridge advantages of private and public clouds in a hybrid environment. Cisco IT has seen some early benefits from their experience as an EAP participant. For example, Cisco Hybrid Cloud Platform for Google Cloud has made it possible to place workloads like a web server in the cloud while keeping sensitive data in the local data centers, by linking in to secure connections with CSR1000V and using Stealthwatch Cloud to make sure those connections are secure. Another benefit is the Google Cloud “Voice to Text” service API call, which enables them to connect and transcribe videos on-the-fly and index content to find information on their internal website, saving time that they can use to innovate, move faster, meet business needs, and provide more value. So, instead of being responsible for just running services, they are able to refocus on things that are directly core to the business like enhancing experiences for their customers. “It’s not just making our applications faster, its enabling IT to add more strategic value to the business,” Mike says.

The open, hybrid cloud architecture that we have jointly engineered with Google Cloud allows IT teams to get cloud-powered speed and innovation without sacrificing IT security and control. By bridging the technology silos that exist between IT operations teams and developers, IT can drive business innovation, and extract the most from their existing application investments and cloud-native tools.

If you weren’t able to join us at Cisco Live, watch my chat with Mike during the Innovation Showcase, “Power the Multicloud World: Delivering on the Promise.”


Kip Compton

No longer with Cisco