From left: Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins speaks with members of his senior leadership team, Maria Poveromo, Jeetu Patel and Liz Centoni.

Jun 07 2023

Cisco Live 2023: Cisco Shares Its Vision for Simplified Modern IT Network Management

The company’s pitch to overwhelmed IT leaders is to deploy platforms that combine and integrate solutions.

Even as they announced a lengthy list of new solutions and innovations, executives of Cisco Systems hoped that the roughly 40,000 people assembled for Cisco Live 2023, its annual conference for customers, partners, analysts, journalists and others, would leave Las Vegas June 8 with one concept on their minds above all others: simplicity.

The world is increasingly complex, and IT environments have been loaded up with a dizzying number of siloed solutions and poorly integrated technologies, each with its own management interface and protocols. Cisco is striving to change all that by emphasizing its ability, rare among technology providers, to deliver comprehensive solutions for virtually every IT and business objective, from networking to security, collaboration, monitoring, application development and more.

Beyond Cisco’s deep portfolio is its strategy to deliver it all as platforms that can usually be consumed as a service in the cloud or on-premises.

“I started to ask myself if we announced too much this week, because there’s a lot to digest, but hopefully that thread of simplicity came through,” Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins told reporters and analysts a few minutes after delivering his keynote address to a packed arena at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. “The real focus is on helping our customers get to outcomes faster with this technology.”

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Two New Integrated Platforms Leading to Better Insights

In keeping with that strategy, Cisco announced the launch of a new “full-stack observability platform” designed to deliver what it called “contextual, correlated and predictive insights” that allow businesses to understand better what’s happening with their networks and applications. The platform encompasses networking, infrastructure and application observability, Cisco said.

Liz Centoni, Cisco’s chief strategy officer, said the solution “brings together network intelligence, security insights and application observability across the multicloud environment and the full technology stack to enable enterprises to deliver unmatched digital experiences with deep business context.”

The most important thing the platform will do is deliver insights on companies’ cloud-native applications, Cisco said in a news release. The platform will also deliver insights to help companies control costs and manage Kubernetes workloads more efficiently. In addition, it will provide security and operational performance insights on cloud-native applications.

Cisco also outlined its vision for Cisco Networking Cloud, a platform “to help customers easily access and manage all Cisco networking products from one place,” the company said in a news release. Jonathan Davidson, Cisco’s executive vice president and general manager of networking, described the Cisco Networking Cloud as “a way of simplifying our existing portfolio by converging and connecting fragmented platforms” so that customers can have “a unified experience” when managing their Cisco networking technologies.

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Steps Forward for Cisco Security Cloud

Security is also a key theme of Cisco Live, as the company announced important developments in the Cisco Security Cloud platform that it first unveiled at last year’s event. The new Cisco Secure Access “offers frictionless access across any location, any device, and any application through one platform,” according to a company statement.

Jeetu Patel, Cisco’s executive vice president and general manager of security, likened Cisco Secure Access to an orchestra conductor, helping organizations to harmonize their many security solutions and making it easier for end users to log in from anywhere.

Patel told the keynote audience that security has evolved in patchwork fashion over the years, with new providers emerging to address evolving threats and vulnerabilities. “What that does is it makes our defenses extremely isolated, even as the attacks are getting more coordinated,” he said. “What the world needs are security solutions that are completely synchronized.”

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

Photo Courtesy of Cisco Systems

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