A little over a year ago, we began shipping Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).

Yesterday, Chuck Robbins tweeted that we hit our 1000th customer – Danske Bank, the largest financial institution in Denmark.

Our fast momentum and success with the Nexus 9000 (N9K) and ACI is largely due to our continued focus on customer needs – both now and well into the future. And our broad ecosystem of industry leaders has been and is committed to deliver integrated solutions for our mutual customers.

Just a little over three years ago, the team behind the N9K and ACI – Insieme Networks – began by listening to a variety of customers on what their business requirements were at the time and into the foreseeable future. What we learned is that modern enterprises were looking for an application-centric approach using open standards to deliver today’s business services.

Cisco ACI creates an environment for quickly deploying applications as business needs evolve using a highly programmable, automated, secure, scalable network as the foundation for the future.

Doing more with less at speed

A recent Forbes Insights article points out that enterprises must do a lot more with a lot less, and do it a lot faster. When IT departments become highly automated and optimized, they can be used as a strategic business resource where new revenue opportunities can be explored and created.

This is our goal.

With Danske Bank leading us into our second year of ACI, the stories of astounding results from our customers continue to unfold. Customers like Qbranch, Experian, Symantec, NetApp, and Zitcom among others, have shared their N9K and ACI journeys with me on stages around the world.

IDC reported in June that Symantec would realize a whopping 441% ROI and $145M in business benefits over the next 5 years with N9K and ACI, with an estimated 11 month payback on their initial investment.

Others have offered great insight into the efficiencies they’ve gained through network automation.

“While it used to take four months to launch new applications, it now takes only about two weeks. That enables us to move at the speed of business,” says Vince Spina, Symantec’s VP of IT, Global Network Infrastructure and Data Center Services.

Our customers are realizing benefits by the need to have closer collaboration among the different disciplines within IT – from network administrators to cloud, application, and security teams.

“We’ve seen the disciplines of the traditional group combine with the creativity of the cloud group, and the result is a powerful internal infrastructure that we didn’t have even a couple of years ago,” said Cynthia Stoddard, SVP and CIO of NetApp.

And we continue to innovate. It will be an exciting year ahead for the world of networking! Our focus remains on policy-driven networking, with an open architecture, embedded security, and full visibility across the data center. Stay tuned!

Turning the oil tanker into a speedboat

Over the past year, I have enjoyed engaging with our customers, whether on stage or during one of our regular meetings around the globe. We are always gathering their insight and input on what’s working and where we are headed.

One of my favorite analogies comes from Matt Chamley of Woolworths, a N9K and ACI customer in Australia. Woolworths needs to compete with the likes of Amazon – a more agile organization than Woolworths. Matt wants to give agility back to the businesses, or as he puts it, he needs to turn the oil tanker into a speedboat.

We are proud to help Woolworths and over 1000 customers get there quickly.

As Sheila Jordan, SVP and CIO of Symantec and a long-time ACI production customer so eloquently says,

“We did the planning, design and execution for this whole software-defined, ACI approach in four and a half months. That kind of speed is unheard of when implementing a leapfrogging technology.”



Soni Jiandani

Senior Vice President

Marketing for the Insieme Business Unit at Cisco