Cisco Live 2019 — Tactical, Not Inspirational, and That’s Okay
by Daniel Newman | June 10, 2019

Cisco Live 2019 in San Diego featured Cisco CEO Chuck Robbin focusing on the role technology is playing in all our lives, from personal to private. From Tech Republic’s coverage of Cisco Live 2019, “Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins said there is a continued explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), and there’s a strong need to rearchitect networking to accommodate dynamic environments.” Read the full story from Tech Republic here.

Cisco Live 2019 — Tactical, Not Inspirational, and That’s Okay

Analyst Take:  Cisco lacked no energy walking into the Cisco Live 2019 keynote, with a cross between modern hip-hop and Metallica pumping up the crowd. The keynote, however, was a little light on inspiration and heavy on tactics. Is that wrong?

I’m not suggesting that, but for the first day of a massive event with more than 30,000 attendees, I felt the keynote had some pragmatic and compelling content, but somewhat lacked making the connections between CEO Chuck Robbins’ big vision for where the company is going and the demonstrations of Cisco’s Intelligent Network and DNA center that followed his presentation. I’ll come back to this though, as Robbins may have had a bigger plan for this.

The Big Picture — Technology is Everything

The crux, in terms of big picture messaging that came from Robbins at Cisco Live 2019 was that everything comes back to technology and that if you are in the technology industry (as everyone in the room was), then you are in a really good place right now. From trade wars and tariffs, to 5G to our global geopolitical landscape, at the core of these debates is technology.

In terms of Cisco, the company’s positioning is encouraging, and I think deep down, that was the message that Robbins was trying to convey to the audience. The company’s strategy is driven by tying together users, data, applications, and security through infrastructure. This is driving companies—and Cisco’s customers—to succeed in transforming.

Innovation Cisco Will Bring to the Table

Behind this broader strategy, Robbins pointed to the innovation that the company will bring:

Intent Based Networking
Multicloud & SD-WAN
Data Center of the Future
5G and Wifi 6
Next-Gen Cyber Security
Cognitive Collaboration

Of course, building highly capable, machine learning enabled networks that can expand business capabilities, provide boundless accessibility to applications, and security is the foundation of realizing the next level of innovation.

Perhaps the massive technical implications can be somewhat limiting in terms of allowing the platform for the more inspirational content that many of us seek onstage. However, based on the market performance of Cisco over the past few years, I wouldn’t for a moment doubt Robbins’ plans and strategy and I respect his ability to perceive the trends and cut through the typical keynote idealism and get right down to the point of where our infrastructure needs to go to enable the innovation of the future.

Futurum Research provides industry research and analysis. These columns are for educational purposes only and should not be considered in any way investment advice. 

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About the Author

Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. Read Full Bio