Cisco Live Europe 2018 - Recap

I recently had the pleasure of attending Cisco Live in Barcelona along with thousands of enthusiastic technology leaders looking to hear about the many ways Cisco and their partner ecosystem can leverage technology to create new opportunities for our global clients. There were numerous visionary thought leaders, more than 700 education sessions and impactful networking opportunities that helped provide a wave of optimism that was palpable throughout the event.

I had many takeaways from the event, but would like to highlight a few here:

  • Cisco Live Barcelona Broke Attendance Records – every class I attended was full, there were some food shortages, and registration had to close (first time I’ve ever seen that!). I think this is an important point given the impact public cloud, automation and vendor competition has created in the industry. Obviously, Cisco remains as relevant as ever.
  • Tipping Point in Demand for Technology – Cisco believes we are in fact at the tipping point for demand in every sector of every industry, and that the technology that got us here won’t get us where we need to go next. To that end they are developing every architecture with security as a fundamental building block, with automation platforms to manage everything from hybrid cloud to the campus, and with more general-purpose compute at the edge to unlock the power of IoT.
  • The Major Product Announcement was DNA Assurance – an analytics platform that promises to unlock IT, security and business insight from the data that is traversing the Cisco network. Initial feature set is primarily around detecting network issues in real time and proactively recommending steps to remediation. This can have a significant impact on mean time to resolution.
  • New Software Defined Access Architecture is Ready for Prime Time – based on the classes and sessions I attended and through my many conversations with experts and peers, the progress in the software-defined space has been remarkable (very interesting to our enterprise customers). It is built on mature standard protocols including LISP, VXLAN and 802.1x, and Cisco has put a lot of care into deployment strategies that minimize risk for customers looking to start small and grow over time. It is also apparent that the effort involved will pay off for customers, especially with the launch of DNA Assurance and the ability to integrate and automate security, troubleshooting, and policy-driven automation into the wired and wireless campus fabric.

Our teams are committed to helping guide our global enterprise customers through their digital transformation journey. It’s refreshing to see that Cisco Systems is innovating in the software-defined space and looking to find new ways to enable large enterprises in all industries. After all, digital transformation is impacting all of us and it’s our responsibility to be stewards of technology and turn our customer pain-points into opportunities for them to deliver better experiences to their customers.

Clayton Daffron

Clayton Daffron (CCIE) is the director of solution architecture at Denali Advanced Integration. He has 15 years of IT experience, including seven in the enterprise sales organization at Cisco Systems, supporting large customers in the Pacific Northwest.

Most recently, Daffron managed Cisco’s presales engineering team, leading the team and his customers through a period of industry disruption, increasing competition, and digital transformation.

Prior to Cisco, Daffron worked in architecture and engineering on the customer side, and those years of experience guide his approach to every customer engagement.