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AI World Conference & Expo · Boston, MA · December 11-13, 2017

Archive for 2014

The latest bet for Cisco is big data analytics.

Last week, Cisco celebrated its 30th anniversary. Over the years Cisco has made many big bets to reach the dominant position it is in today. As part of the celebration, Cisco held its first ever Global Editor Conference, using the event to lay out the organization’s vision for the next big bet, and that’s becoming a big data analytics provider.

If this bet pays off, it could be huge for Cisco. CEO John Chambers has reiterated over and over that Cisco has a goal of becoming the industry’s No. 1 IT solution provider, and becoming an analytics provider is certainly another step toward achieving this goal. On Thursday, I dialed into an analyst session on this topic and, as expected, there was a fair amount of skepticism as to why any enterprise would buy analytics from Cisco.

Capitalizing on the arms race for tools that improve the in-store shopping experience, Aerohive establishes a strong partnership.

This is certainly a fascinating time in the retail industry. It seems we are moving closer to the “Minority Report” type of experience where someone like John Anderton can walk through a store or mall and see billboards automatically change to target their interests. Of course, in our world we don’t take pictures of people’s eyes to determine identity. The smartphone is the de facto standard.

The in-store experience has become the new battle ground for retailers looking to one-up the competition. This includes a number of factors, including a snappy log-in experience, a full-featured mobile application, mobile coupons, and an in-depth understanding of the customer. While this all sounds great on paper, putting the technology together to deliver this isn’t trivial.

30 years of Cisco

A look back at Cisco’s most innovative moves in its 30 years in the industry.

30 years of Cisco

Cisco Systems turned 30 this month. Over the past 30 years, the company has been one of the most innovative companies not only in networking, but also the broader IT market. Cisco has leveraged its innovation as a way of moving into new markets and capitalizing on market transitions. Here are the top 10 Cisco innovations since its inception.

Many companies are still reluctant to push SDN into production. Solutions like this could make it easier.

A couple of months ago I wrote about a start-up called Saisei that launched a product in a market it called “Network Performance Enforcement.” The company’s NPE solution brings together WAN optimization, policy, control and analytics.

This week at HP’s Discover Event in Barcelona, Saisei made its solution available through the HP SDN App Store. The Saisei FlowCommand software brings real-time visibility and control over millions of flows on HP-based SDN networks. This should enable HP customers to have better insight into an SDN deployment.

The improved insight and control into a software defined network should be a real boon to network managers looking to make the move to an SDN. From the research I’ve done, I believe a lack of visibility is one of the top inhibitors to organizations being more aggressive with moving SDNs into production environments. Legacy management, monitoring, and optimization tools were not designed for SDNs, creating a big blind spot for network managers.

To celebrate Cisco’s 30th birthday, let’s look at the company’s boldest bets on the internet over the years, and how they paid off.

December of 1984 was a month filled with notable moments. China’s Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher signed the Hong Kong Treaty. In the world of sports, Eric Dickerson broke OJ Simpson’s NFL rushing record and Doug Flutie won the Heisman trophy. In entertainment circles, Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” hit No. 1, launching the Material Girl’s phenomenal career. And, in the technology world, Cisco Systems was born, kicking off one of the most unprecedented eras of growth that the business world has ever seen.

Back in 1984, very few people had actually heard of the internet. Personally, I had just started my undergrad program at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. As a computer science student, we were all given internet accounts on a Unix mainframe. I had access to telnet, email through a program called “elm,” ftp, and an awesome application called read news so I could keep up with other Star Trek and Dungeons and Dragons geeks.

Session border controllers can alleviate the main security concerns specific to VoIP use and real-time communications.

With an unprecedented number of high-profile cyberattacks hitting several large banks and major retailers this year, interest in improving IT security of late has been hotter than Apple and Tesla put together. But in my conversations with security resellers, I’ve come to realize that the due diligence stops short of real-time communications.

When it comes to securing communications flows, firewalls just aren’t enough. Firewalls do a good job of preventing data loss and security applications but they aren’t made for the unique needs of real-time communications. To protect the communications infrastructure, businesses should leverage session border controllers (SBCs).

Whenever I talk to anyone about SBCs, topics like SIP trunking termination or network address translation come up because most companies deploy them for these purposes. However, SBCs can play a critical role in securing communications, particularly in regards to these five main concerns.

Two years in, collaboration chief Rowan Trollope is seeing his vision realized in the product portfolio.

This month marks the two-year anniversary of Rowan Trollope’s arrival at Cisco as chief of the company’s Collaboration Technology Unit. That makes it a good time, I think, to take a look at how collaboration at Cisco has changed since his arrival.

If you’ve met Trollope or seen him deliver a keynote, as he did last week at Collaboration Summit 2014, then you know he’s not your typical Cisco executive. He dresses differently, wears funny shoes and does push-ups before he presents. Clearly, he thinks differently than others who have held his position at Cisco.

When Trollope came on board, change had definitely been in order. The group, for years one of those that carried Cisco, was facing a stretch of declining revenues.



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