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

Archive for December 2016

Game changers?

In the networking industry, it seems that every year there’s a flurry of mergers and acquisitions. Turns out that 2016 was no different. Here are 10 that have the most game changing potential, since they have the potential to move the acquiring company into an entirely new market.


Cisco connects with Jasper

Prior to the $1.4 billion acquisition of Jasper, Cisco’s Internet of Things (IoT) strategy revolved around connecting devices. Connectivity is certainly important but it’s only a small piece of the IoT puzzle. Jasper brings to Cisco a market leading IoT platform that is currently being used by many major enterprises, such as Ford, GM and Boston Scientific. Jasper’s cloud-based platform also provides automation and analytic capabilities making it a critical component of scaling IoT solutions. Cisco has been one of the primary evangelists of IoT and now it has the platform to make the vision a reality.

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Earlier this week I wrote this post on the reasons why it is important for network managers to embrace automation. My argument revolved around the fact that network changes can be made much faster and far more efficiently through the use of automation vs. trying to manage the network a device at a time. This is particularly important for the WAN as the network endpoints are located all over the globe and errors can result in lengthy outages. SD-WANs change the networking paradigm and make automation a reality.

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Cisco is in a strong position for 2017, but the company’s
competitors won’t simply allow it to take market share

Credit: Thinkstock

In my previous post, I previewed what we should expect to see from Cisco in 2017. While I think Cisco is in a strong position next year, I don’t expect Cisco’s competitors to sit around and let it take share. Below are the market segments where I think we’ll see the most activity and which vendors are likely to be the most disruptive.

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When discussing the value of an SD-WAN, many points enter the discussion. Cost comes up as SD-WANs are certainly cheaper. Delivering a better and more predictable user experience is another reason to adopt an SD-WAN, since users will certainly experience better application performance and, in turn, become more productive. But a third element that’s not talked about as much is the automation that SD-WANs bring to networking.

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Cisco will have a great opportunity to flex its enormous
networking muscles and move into the next wave of growth

Calendar year 2016 was a big year of change at Cisco.

Coming into the year, I wasn’t sure how aggressive new CEO Chuck Robbins would be at making changes. It turns out, he was far more active than I would have ever imagined, and 2016 will be remembered as the year Robbins stamped the company with his own thumbprint.

During the year Cisco made several, the biggest of which was Jasper Technologies. That transformed Cisco from being an IoT evangelist into a major player. We also saw the company enter the analytics market with its Cisco Tetration Analytics Platform.

The fun didn’t stop with acquisitions and product announcements, though. Cisco now has a multi-pronged approach to innovation, which sets itself up well for the future.

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Gigamon has carried the flag for the NPB industry for a
number of years and has an excellent product, but Ixia’s
GUI is better suited to handle today’s challenges

Credit: Ixia

The IT infrastructure that powers an organization’s business strategy has become increasingly more dynamic and distributed. The introduction of new technologies to increase IT agility has made it significantly more difficult to manage and secure the infrastructure using traditional tools.

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