May 28 2020

Cisco Live 2020: What to Expect at the Virtual Event

This year’s user conference will be packed with content about remote networking, security, collaboration and more.

Update: Cisco Systems' announced that Cisco Live, its annual conference for customers, partners and analysts, will take place on June 16 and 17. Originally set for June 2 and 3, the company postponed the event out of respect for “all we see going on in the world and in the United States,” said CEO Chuck Robbins.

BizTech will be on hand to cover all the keynotes and other sessions, interview thought leaders and discover Cisco’s latest tech offerings. Keep this page bookmarked for articles and videos from the BizTech team.

The postponement is the second major shift this year for Cisco Live, considered one of the most important technology events of the year. With large in-person gatherings shut down for the time being, the company had already adapted the event into a virtual affair, condensing the conference from the usual four-plus days to two and focusing the content squarely on more than 40 webinarlike sessions.

Cisco Live Will Confront Current Events

How businesses are managing through the COVID-19 pandemic, and how Cisco is supporting them with vital tech solutions, will naturally be a major focus of this year’s event. The theme of Robbins’ keynote will be the “possibilities” presented by a world “forever changed.” Major Cisco customers will also be on hand: Sportswear maker Under Armour and mortgage backer Fannie Mae will discuss how they’ve adapted to all-remote work environments with solutions such as Cisco’s Webex collaboration suite and software-defined networking.

While managing through times of crisis will be a major focus of the event, other themes will emerge. For example, Ralph Esquibel, vice president of IT for the Los Angeles Dodgers, will discuss how the Major League Baseball club has transformed data analytics by leveraging hyperconverged infrastructure solutions from Cisco and Intel.

A Focus on Small Business at Cisco Live

Cisco will also unveil a suite of new products aimed at providing businesses, especially small businesses, the tools they need to manage more effectively during a period of prolonged social distancing. These additions to the Cisco Designed portfolio include:

  • Webex Work, a complete cloud collaboration solution that combines calling, meeting and messaging services in a single subscription, with flexible monthly pricing for small businesses.
     
  • Enhanced email security, to help businesses address the sharp uptick in phishing attacks launched globally since the start of the pandemic.
     
  • Cisco Business Dashboard, a new version of its network management tool with a streamlined user interface that allows organizations to set up, monitor and operate network devices from a simple interface on any device.
     
  • New Cisco network switches aimed at businesses that are powering connections across a remote and in-office workforce. Cisco reasons that even after businesses reopen, many “will be re-evaluating their office footprint in the new normal,” and it wants to provide networking equipment that businesses will need in the future.

Finally, even though the event is virtual, Cisco still plans to roll out some big names from music and publishing to keep attendees engaged from their home offices. Guests include 80s rock legend Joan Jett, who will conduct a live interview with former MTV reporter Tabitha Soren; Dave Matthews, who will give a live acoustic performance; and Jon Meacham, bestselling author and presidential historian, who will discuss what impacts the upcoming U.S. general election may have on business, society and geopolitics.

Whether or not you're attending Cisco Live on June 16 and 17, follow us on Twitter at @BizTechMagazine or the official conference Twitter account, @CiscoLive, and join the conversation using hashtag #CLUS.

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