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The acquisition target provides dynamic network
behavior monitoring to help security teams find
anomalies that could indicate a breach

Over the past few years Cisco has changed the face of its security business. What was once a struggling concern is now the fastest-growing part of Cisco. How did the company do this? Part of the rebirth of Cisco security can be traced to a change in focus, away from point products to a more data-driven model. Big data, analytics and machine learning have been hot topics in IT, and Cisco has gotten religion in this area and applied it masterfully to its security business.

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The virtual overlay can deliver a wide range of services, including
SD-WAN, network as a service, AppUX and the new Cloud onRamp

Over the past few years, SD-WANs have become the Kardashians of the tech industry. That is, it’s hard to go anywhere or talk to anyone without the topic of SD-WANs coming up. Unlike the Kardashians, SD-WANs deserve this level of attention, since the technology is useful by lowering the cost of running a WAN and improves application performance. However, for all the hype and chatter about the topic, its primary focus has been to improve connectivity to branch offices.

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The concept of the “thin branch” enabled by simplifying infrastructure has been around for as long as there have been branch offices. Branch offices are typically a microcosm of the company headquarters, but without the necessary IT staff to run them. It’s common to find a myriad of network and security equipment in a branch including a router, firewall, WAN optimizer, VPN concentrators, along with almost anything else you can think of. This, of course, results in an operational nightmare as network administrators must deal with multiple devices in dozens, hundreds or even thousands of branch locations. In small networks it can be extremely challenging to track all the different hardware components and related software versions across the various locations. In large networks, this task is impossible as the number of possible combinations of hardware and software grows exponentially in relation to the number of locations.

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Modernized CCaaS platform gives it the ability
to deploy features as needed, quickly expand its
reach, and scale for enterprise deployments.

“Disrupt or be disrupted” is perhaps the signature slogan for the digital transformation era. It means continually innovating even if that requires disruption because, if you don’t, some smart company will come along and put you out of business.

One of the most successful companies born in the cloud era is Five9, which caught the cloud wave in the contact center industry with its best-in-class platform, Virtual Contact Center. Five9 has steadily continued to meet or beat its forecast every quarter, and now has a market capitalization of slightly more than $1 billion. For a company that lives its life in the cloud, the future certainly seems sunny.

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Paradoxically, phone calls are becoming simultaneously less and more important.

In 1935, Austrian physicist Erwin Schrodinger devised a thought experiment to highlight a paradox seen in quantum mechanics where something can live in two states at once. In Schrodinger’s test, we’re asked to think about the state of a cat in a sealed box with a vial of poison, a radioactive source, and a hammer triggered to break the vial when a Geiger counter detects radiation. While the radioactive substance will eventually break the flask, killing the cat, we cannot know when this occurs so we can think of the cat as being simultaneously dead and alive — hence the paradox.

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Cisco seems to have its mojo back.
Here’s a look at what’s working for the company.

When Chuck Robbins he took over as Cisco CEO in late July 2015, industry chatter was that the company’s best days were behind it — that it had become a fast follower instead of an innovator. Collaboration was sliding, security was nowhere, and software-defined networking was threatening to rip the heart out of Cisco’s core networking business. Two years later, we see a much different company, both from leadership and operational perspectives. And the results have been more than positive.

For example, Cisco’s stock price is at a 17-year high. (In fact, if you remove the period of time from October 1999 to December 2000 when every Internet stock exploded (, Cisco’s stock is at an all-time high.) In addition, the company has rolled out a number of potentially game-changing solutions, including:

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