June 26th, 2013 by David Link, Co-Founder and CEO
It is great to be back here in Orlando, Florida for Cisco Live! 2013. The joke on the flight to Disney? That the plane was oversold with 1/3 geeks and 2/3 toddlers!
This year’s show is hopping, hitting an all-time high of more than 20,000 people in attendance and 250,000 people connected virtually. Time has flown by since the last time Cisco Live! was held in Orlando 5 years ago, and I am looking forward to a show rich with intense debate on how much hype Software Defined Networking will carry into Cisco Live! 2014. The burning question in my mind- will the SDN hype resemble what happened to ATM? There was a time when ATM was also believed to be the up-and-coming, ready to dominate and displace IP networks. I’d hazard to guess that SDN is probably not headed towards the bust that the ATM hype became over time, but it will be fascinating to see what direction SDN takes in the next 12 months. From my perspective, at least one thing is certain: a programmable network is critical for the future of agile cloud compute environments as networks become more and more self-learning during the next decade.
So how was the Keynote? Well, now we finally know Cisco’s definition of Internet of Everything (IoE) - #INTERNETofEVERYTHING - “bringing together people, process, data, and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before-turning information into actions that create new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals, and countries.”
Speaker John Chambers was excellent- he talked about a ‘doubling down’ Cisco attitude: continuing a relentless customer feedback-driven approach and focusing efforts on predictive market transitions. Combined, these two should equate to an even larger opportunity for Cisco to grow. This week 700 engineers will participate in over 100,000 individual meetings, where Cisco will be sharing their business goals. To sum it up, Cisco is distinctive because they “continue to look at the market transitions and listen to [their] customers to produce unique differentiation in the marketplace, accelerating through these market opportunities,” as Chambers put it.
Interesting numbers from the keynote: In 1984, there were only 1,000 ‘things’ listed on the internet; today, there are over 2.4 billion users; Cisco predicts that by 2020, there will be 50 billion ‘things’ stored on the internet and over 5 billion users connected online. In other words, there are huge opportunities ahead for our entire industry. According to Chambers, Cisco’s top 10 markets saw an average market share gain of over 2 percentage points in 9 of their 10 top product segments.
Similar to the keynote at Cisco Live! Melbourne that I attended a few months ago, Cisco put in context that the market is increasingly volatile:
- 24% of the Fortune 500 were on that list 25 years ago
- 87% of these companies will encounter a severe revenue stall and only 11% will recover
- 33% of the companies survive past the 25 years
Finally, here is an interesting list compiled from Cisco’s pre-show surveys questioning “What’s on your mind?”
- Operational excellence / productivity
- Customer relationships / experience
- Growth innovation and differentiation
- New services solutions and markets – not just keeping the lights on
- IT, DC, Collaboration, Network, Security, Cloud, SDN, Unified Platform, Intelligent networks of the future
In summary, the Internet of Everything is different than the “Internet of Things.“ The truth of the matter is, 99% of ‘things’ are not currently connected to the internet; amazing things will happen when you connect the unconnected and create an Internet of Everything.