It seems as if Mobile World Congress just happened yesterday. And on top of that, more recently, we just wrapped up Cisco Live at the end of May in San Francisco. This is the first time I attended and supported this great event with my team members Archana Goyal, Technical Marketing Engineer in MITG and Brian Walsh, Senior Marketing Manager in SP Mobility Marketing. We did not exactly know what to expect really before attending the event. All we knew was based on the experience of our team members from the last two years at Cisco Live. Their experiences indicated that there were not many service providers coming to this event, actually close to zero.
Above: Me (right) with Brian (left) and Archana at the Cisco Live US 2014 Service Provider booth
But at the end, it all turned out to be a great experience for us, starting from deciding the key story we wanted to tell to getting the demo completed for supporting the mobility story; especially, on the great team work we have exemplified within our team and among a much larger team. The fact that a number of Service Provider customers visited the Mobility booth was a great experience. If you ask us whether we want to do this again next year for Cisco Live, the answer is a resounding YES.
To make our story also appealing to Enterprise customers and nicely integrating with the main theme of IoT and Evolved Services Platform (ESP) at Cisco Live, we’ve decided to use Premium Mobile Broadband (PMB) service for our live demonstration to tell Enterprise as well as Service Provider the mobility story. This decision really paid off. We were able to leverage this demo to tell a broader mobility story and provide a nice intersection of our solutions to address both types of customers. We almost forgot the boundary between Enterprise and Service Provider in a positive sense!
To our surprise, the PMB live demo was stable and worked well all week. The demo showed Cisco Jabber endpoints working with the Instant Messaging and Presence Service (IMPS) server, running across IP, Wi-Fi, and LTE networks across a Quantum Virtualized Packet Core (QvPC), i.e., the 4G LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC), and used as the PMB core network. It complemented our messaging quite well in regards to Private Mobile networks across 6 key vertical industry markets, e.g., for Public Safety and Security (PSS), Transportation, Utilities, just to name a few. It showed multi-media services in real-time over voice, text/data and video in real-time with presence status with a rich set of use cases. For more information about PMB, please read the PMB At-a-Glance.
As it turned out, PMB was the right demo for this event this year – relevant to some Enterprises, and to the job focus of the SP attendees we saw, e.g., from network planning, managed services, core network, IT. Among the visitors we talked to, below were three interesting examples:
Three groups of people from Verizon visited our booth: Verizon Corporate, Verizon Big Data and Verizon Fixed Network. They showed significant interest in PMB. They call it “Private Wireless Services”. Some companies call it “Wireless Priority Service.” They wanted to know how the PMB works and how it can help further improve their business beyond what they can provide today to their Enterprise customers in terms of OpEx, CapEx reduction and Agility. They were amazed by our story and us demonstrating a PSS use case with voice, text/data and video showing in the surveillance camera over 4G LTE across Virtual Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and IMPS on how first responders were communicating on spot with the command center to resolve mission-critical issues. Today, VZW uses a dedicated APN to provide the Private Wireless Services in its wireless network. That’s the 1st phase of providing PMB services as Cisco has defined it.
A packet core expert from T-Mobile considers “virtualization” being a technology that meets his network requirements, especially as a cost-saving value proposition. He likes the fact that Quantum vPC can be flexibly deployed anywhere as the network topology demands it. Silver Star Communications is a regional wireless service provider serving the Western part of Wyoming and is getting into Colorado and Nevada. Their highest priority is to reduce the network CapEx and OpEx, while providing a great user experience. They felt that a vendor’s network it is using today lacks the flexibility in deploying the wireless network economically to serve their SMB Enterprise customers. They were surprised to hear that we have the Quantum vPC-SI (Stand-alone Instance) already available for commercial deployment. They also attended the Mobility Cisco Knowledge Network (CKN) webcast one week after the Cisco Live to learn more about our Quantum vPC.
Overall, we got a fairly good traction this year at Cisco Live. It is good that we not only talk to CxOs at MWC, but we also talk to technical influencers by leveraging the venue like Cisco Live to have a full circle in our messaging and closely tying it to the technical know-how as well. We expect an even stronger SP presence at Cisco Live next year in San Diego.
Check out a video capturing the activities at the Cisco Service Provider booth at Cisco Live US 2014 in San Francisco below: