I am flying back from my first experience with Cisco Live 2014. I really enjoyed the experience and, like them or hate them, Cisco knows how to turn out a crowd. With 20,000 plus people navigating the 4 or 5 venues, they owned San Francisco – and that is hard to do. I have always really enjoyed companies who can launch an idea and back it up with strategy and focus, and Cisco brought both. They had a team of people who all bought into the vision – from John Chambers, CEO, on down.
We were able to participate in the new DevNet program and got a behind the scenes view of Cisco’s attempt to better connect with outside companies that add value to their solution.
Before I get into the coolest things, I noticed one glaring fact was the very intentional decision to refuse to acknowledge Microsoft in all but the smallest nods. If I had to point to a single flaw in the Cisco strategy it would be the arrogance in thinking that Microsoft can’t play. That being said, they are an amazing production company.
The coolest things I saw…
1 – The project named “Spring Roll”
This wall of technology was well received and quite amazing. It was a combination of video cameras, smart screens, and collaboration technology that allowed users to interact with each other like they were in the same room. The life size conferencing and touch screen interactions truly brought two locations together in a unique way. As a manager of many remote employees as this technology becomes more mainstream it will allow true interactions and remote capabilities that will transform business and personal life. I can imagine the power of medicine remotely, the ability to educate, the ability to share. Very incredible.
This new strategy was very well executed by Cisco. It is an amazing concept of connecting everything together and being better at everything. From trains to garbage cans, to grocery stores to traffic control Cisco truly believes they will connect everything someday. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post I love a good strategy that is executed well. Both of these things were accomplished. I wonder how many people will completely get how abstract of an idea this is but Cisco certainly had the money and finesse to launch it in a new way.
3 – John Chambers can dance
Mr. Chambers gave the opening keynote address and he was quite impressive. He had everyone lined up more than an hour before he started to get in line. This was a nerd’s rock star moment if I have ever seen one. The impressive CEO came out and owned the crowd and content. He walked the audience and moved like Garth Brooks in the 80s and never once needed notes or a teleprompter. He was engaging and impressive. As he entered and excited he literally danced to Bobby Brown. Very nice job.
One lesson I learned watching him was that even as good as he was he went too long. He lost the audience in the middle while he brought one or two too many customers up to talk about how great Cisco was as a vendor. The crowd poured out of the stadium like they were at the last three minutes of a Lakers game this season.
As great as he was he should have wrapped with his vision…and that vision was a confident claim that they would own the Internet of Everything and they would accomplish it by building the only Application Aware Infrastructure in the world.
I will point out that he mentioned that they never get into a space that they don’t believe they will be able to capture 40% market share. They entered the cloud hosting space in a major way with the idea of Intercloud (connecting public, private and Cisco clouds in a secure new way). If they are right then Amazon and Microsoft have been put on notice. It will be a fun to watch if they are successful.
It was an impressive couple of days and solidified in my mind that Cisco is one of the coolest and smartest companies out there. I look forward to working with them and their channel on a closer basis in the future. And Cisco Live 2014 was one AMAZING event!
Kurt, Roger & Doug waiting for the John Chamber’s Keynote.
Click images to expand
Roger Blohm is the President of LVM, Inc., owner of VXSuite and has been instrumental in the impressive growth of the product since it’s purchase in early 2009. Through Roger’s vision, the once single-product VXTracker has grown into a four-module suite of products named VXSuite. VXMobile, VXRecord and VXPulse have added to the depth of available through VXTracker to offer complete analytic reporting in VXSuite.
As a presenter to numerous local, regional and national trade shows, Mr. Blohm has proven himself to be a passionate speaker and his consistent positive attitude keeps the audience engaged. With more than twenty years of experience leading project management organizations, managing and mentoring teams and implementing business solutions, Mr. Blohm has built a solid and successful approach to delivering strategic initiatives that positively affect the bottom line and serve the best interests of his customers.