Cisco Continues to Execute on Intent-based Network Strategy

Last week, I attended Cisco Live US in San Diego to hear the latest and greatest from Cisco executives and technology leaders. Following Cisco’s campus refresh a couple of months ago, the company continued to execute against its Intent-based networking imperative with a number of announcements aimed at making your network solutions smarter, simpler, and more secure.

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It intends to accomplish this by adding:

  • A new AI/ML service called AI Network Analytics. Based on 35 years of experience and a vast installed base, this solution, which will be a part of DNA Center, was designed to provide network visibility, deep insights and analysis into network performance, and guided remediation for effective issue resolution. This solution is capable of learning and baselining a customer’s specific environment, but it can also provide comparative benchmarks if so enabled.
  • Multi-domain integration. Cisco states this is more than simple integration with PowerPoint. Instead, it involved a significant effort and amount of coding to implement cross-domain integration to enable end-to-end security policies and SLA visibility.
  • New DevNet resources. The first is a DevNet AI/ML site that will enable organizations to empower their staff to better understand the new AI technology and develop the skills to extract even greater value from their AI network analytics deployments. It also announced a DevNet Automation Exchange to accelerate adoption of intent-based networking use cases for its customer base.
In addition to those network announcements, Cisco also talked about:
  • A new version of the Meraki Smart Camera. This camera, which Cisco likes to call a smart sensor, records in a 360 degree view all the time to optimize coverage, but also enables users to look at specific areas in what could be called Pan/Tilt/Zoom, except there are no moving parts to break. Leveraging VR goggles enables organizations to create an immersive experience at that location. Intelligent software allows users to track people or items as they move through an environment, generating heat maps. This demo was very well received and demonstrated Meraki’s ability to be more like Apple than a switch vendor!
  • A clear commitment to social responsibility. Cisco dedicated portions of the keynote as well as analyst time during the CScape event to discuss how they are helping people, not only in the valley, but around the world. In speaking with a number of executives, it was clear that Cisco has been backing these efforts for a while, but have only recently started talking about them very publicly--as well they should--helping drive awareness and bring attention to helping those in need. Plus, for many joining the workforce today, working for a company that is making a difference is important.
  • Cognitive Collaboration. Really interesting WebEx demo demonstrating how much more productive we could be for our meetings, integrating technology to provide an information mashup based on who you are meeting with that day. This is extremely helpful for sales efforts and keeping up to date with your customers and partners.
  • The importance of Customer Experience (CX) and all the work Maria Martinez and her team has done over the last year to ensure Cisco is focused on delivering a great customer experience. This was evidenced by new roles in the BU focused exclusively on CX.

Cisco continues to perform well as a company and is executing against its initiatives for intent-based networking, security (see Jon Oltsik's blog on Cisco Live), HCI, collaboration, and customer experience, not to mention its social responsibility programs. Cisco has always been able to innovate and adapt to virtually every major technology transition and it would appear the next phase, best described as digital transformation (DX), will be no different.

For more on the networking announcements, please read my ESG Brief, Cisco AI Network Analytics, available only to ESG subscribers.

Topics: Networking