Now in its 30th year, Cisco’s annual customer and partner conference took place in San Diego last June 9-13, 2019.
Each year, Cisco transcends the expectation of thousands of IT and communication professionals attending to witness the latest innovations and trends in technology, and this year was no different. Not only the location, weather, world of expo and all of the countless team hours put into the event, but more impressive was how Cisco truly leveraged its own technology to enhance the experience. We were all encouraged to “get our hands dirty”, ask questions and challenge the thought leaders.
This year’s sessions revolved around cognitive collaboration, intent-based networking, leadership, programmability, DevNet, SD-WAN, and security. Major announcements were also revealed at the event about unifying enterprise collaboration, adding more Artificial Intelligence (AI) for network analytics and improved security; a new Business Critical Services 3.0 that is all about the Customer Experience (CX) envisioning to bring speed and agility to customers in their entire journey; and the release of a new DevNet’s certification track that is part of the changes Cisco is doing to the entirety of its professional certification program.
While in meetings with the leaders of different business units, we were able to get a solid idea of what the next 18 to 24 months will look like. We explored upcoming products and services to ensure Insight is leading the next set of changes in our clients' IT environment.
Here is a recap of the biggest announcements:
Business owners, solution providers, and IT specialists rejoice as Cisco revealed its plan in unifying on-premise and cloud-based collaboration portfolio, which will allow teams to call, meet, and message in one place, One Single Experience: Webex + iOS + Microsoft 365 + Google Cloud + Slack.
This has been a long-anticipated move among users and IT teams as they seek for seamless communication across all Cisco’s collaboration tools. Through this, moving between different Cisco devices is easier as they now all exist in the same operating system.
Amy Chang, Senior Vice President of Cisco Collaboration, emphasized that users can expect that they will continue on pushing to connect and incorporate more tools within and outside their system. “You’re going to see us hold to the promise of building bridges and integrations. No more islands,” she said during her keynote.
Cisco also unveiled its initiatives with, regards to adding more AI to the collaboration suite, which they called “Cognitive Collaboration.” This strategy expands the capability of collaboration applications like WebEx to facially recognize people in a conference meeting and name them along with their social media information.
Chang acknowledges that their new strategies and systems have to be compatible with collaboration tools that users already have within their organization. “We know you have software you’re using and we need to work with it, so we did. We’re now part of an ecosystem and you are going to see more and more of that from us.”
Aside from Cognitive Collaboration, Cisco similarly injected AI and Machine Learning in controlling and managing networks. Cisco first introduced intent-based networking two years ago and since then, it has developed into something much bigger in managing users and applications. Not only can users leverage innovative network automation and analytics tools, but also take control of end-to-end security, segmentation, and application experience.
Intent-based networking can help IT teams in furthering their understanding of their own networks and guide them in making an informed decision on what actions they need to pursue next. With AI and machine learning, understanding network patterns and behaviors, as well as predicting issues, are made easier.
IT professionals can expect that intent-based networking can collect large amounts of data from local networks, show relevant issues by comparing data against network baselines, provide insights, deliver the best troubleshooting solutions, and stay ahead by detecting vulnerabilities in the network.
As mentioned, Cisco has been working toward an improved security system for their users with the assistance of intent-based networking.
Safety is essential for every company – big or small. However, there are some work environments where connectivity and data are critical as this affects the safety of the workers, such as chemical plants and oil factories. As a response to this, new networking technologies were made to securely connect harsh environments while fortifying the IT team’s intent-based networking capabilities to begin Internet of Things (IoT) projects.
Liz Centoni, Cisco’s SVP and General Manager of IoT said, “By extending intent-based networking to the IoT edge, we are helping IT and OT teams work together to reduce operational complexity, boost the bottom line, and improve worker safety.”
To successfully implement the IoT in this way, the technologies need to be improved to withstand any harsh atmosphere and provide network assurance, securely connect distant locations by leveraging on SD-WAN capabilities, and safeguarding OT environments by allowing IT teams to work in partnership for securing these sensitive networks.
To tie it all together, Cisco’s developer program DevNet is set to update its professional certification program to merge software development and network engineering. With the new program, network professionals and software developers are fused into one community-based developer center. This merging will fast-track the network automation processes among organizations.
In addition, Cisco’s certification and training program will now include DevNet certifications to validate software and engineering professionals, and streamline their certifications. The new certifications will aid entry-level professionals in this field to develop the skills and knowledge they want to improve.
These new technologies and innovations are valuable for solution providers and partners like Insight in ensuring that they maximize their client’s agreements.
Insight has a wide scope of clients that uses collaboration, security, and enterprise network products that wish to migrate to the cloud, improve the network, or protect their hardware.
With the new Cisco portfolio, Insight can now guarantee its clients success when it comes to SD-WAN, security, optimization, and automation. Most importantly, Insight can guide its client in adapting to different environments, making the most out of it, and transforming to a modern workplace ahead of its game.
Looking forward to an amazing Cisco FY2020