With (a myriad) of contemporary innovations - ones hot off the press (so to speak), the networking and collaboration giant unveiled new technologies that run the gamut. Networking, security, and collaboration are the categories that Cisco hopes to impact for its customers, noting the new capabilities it revealed this year should address "the biggest customer technology challenges."
As always, the annual event was held in sunny Las Vegas, with everyone from Cisco Chair and CEO Chuck Robbins to comedian Jim Gaffigan and Chief Security Officer of the National Football League - participating as keynote speakers.
Among Cisco's most sizable focus this year was the firm's showcasing of its artificial intelligence-(AI) fueled solutions, a large part of what everyone in the industry seems to have shifted a heavy focus to in recent months. That includes everyone from Dialpad to Zoom - which have newly integrated generative AI into their solitons.
Enough about the event; let us get down to brass tax, the innovations Cisco pumped out during Cisco Live 2023.
What Did I Miss: Day Two Cisco Live?
Now more than three years after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the workplace with the full force of disruption (across the globe) Pew Research Center found that roughly one-third or 35% of US-based workers with jobs who can work remotely - do work from home all of the time.
According to them, while this is down from 43% in January 2022 and 55% in October 2020 – it is up seven percent if you look at pre-pandemic numbers regarding hybrid and remote work. And Cisco hopes to capitalize on that notion, launching a new solution: set to enable IT admins to access various advanced analytics; via the Webex Control Hub.
- Said tools would also let IT administrators visualize connectivity and troubleshoot issues on Webex calls and meetings - leveraging a partnership with ThousandEyes (which it now owns) is now available on RooomOS devices. Cisco announced the purchase of Thousandeyes in May of 2020, which develops software capable of analyzing the performance of local and wide area networks.
Further looking to boost CX, Cisco said, on its mission to "elevate customer experiences," it enhanced the new Room Bar Pro, a device purpose-built for what it calls: "simple set up and seamless connectivity across a variety of medium-sized workspaces."
Among the second day's most sizeable announcements is how Cisco plans to incorporate generative AI to improve threat response and hopefully streamline security policy management.
Now available in preview, Cisco’s "Policy Assistant" could (very well) change the game - enabling security and IT admins to describe convoluted security policies, and will also allow them to evaluate how to best implement those policies across various aspects of said security infrastructure.
"The SOC Assistant will contextualize events across email, the web, endpoints, and the network to tell the SOC analyst exactly what happened and the impact," Cisco wrote in a statement.
Up next on the security front is cloud-native application security. Named Panoptica, the solution will extend end-to-end lifecycle protection in cloud-native application environments, from development to deployment and even production.
Cisco Security Cloud is the firm's integrated, cloud-based platform that leverages standard services and rich telemetry to secure on-premises, cloud, and hybrid environments. It enables organizations to safeguard users, devices, and applications across an entire ecosystem: Cisco notes.
It made various enhancements to the platform at this year's event, including; having launched a new security service edge (SSE) solution: which appears to have the goal of improving the hybrid work experience. It does so by, according to Cisco: "Dramatically simplifying access across any location, device, and application."
The firm also announced plenty of fresh innovations to firewall, multi-cloud, and application security, showcasing its might on the security front. Next on the analytics front: is what Cisco calls a full-stack observability platform, a brand-new vendor-agnostic solution that leverages the firm's full suite of tools. According to them:
"It delivers contextual, correlated, and predictive insights that allow customers to resolve issues more quickly and optimize experiences while (simultaneously) minimizing business risk."
And ultimately, on day two, Cisco introduced Networking Cloud, a solution with simplification; at its core. They are describing it as such:
"Our Networking Cloud vision details how Cisco will deliver a single platform experience for seamlessly managing all networking domains via a powerful and intelligent platform that lets admin proactively manage the network, eliminate silos, assure performance, and reduce human workload."
Day two of the event was one for the books, bringing plenty of innovations to Cisco customers, while day three also delivered as much in a scaled-back, slightly more condensed form.
Day Three: Less Eventful, yet Equally Impactful
That is to say, for Cisco customers and on the partnership front with one of the nation's largest service providers: the firm announced various fresh functionalities for Webex and a partnership with AT&T.
Again, on the generative AI front, Cisco introduced a new set of tools that will help summarize conversations within Webex. It will help improve post-call meeting summaries and action items. Now, leveraging generative AI, these aspects are automatically generated from each Webex meeting.
This: as many firms have introduced in recent months, should still act as a significant productivity booster for customer service workers who spend a lot of time post-call trying to ensure the accuracy of each summary.
Last, but almost certainly not least, Cisco and AT&T announced a calling partnership. The alliance plans to leverage AT&T's expansive 5G network and Webex's enterprise-grade calling capabilities - giving users a single business mobile number to collaborate across multiple devices from anywhere.
The coalition speaks to Cisco's vision, which appears to be - making the workplace (no matter where it is) an uncomplicated place. That's it for now, but the six-day event runs through June 9, 2023.
That means there's still time to register (for free) to attend online and join the nearly one million virtual attendees; and the over 20,000 in-person attendees who flocked to Las Vegas to play with some of the most progressive room solitons, AI, and more - on the UCC market.
Are you attending this year? What do you think about Cisco's latest innovations? Let us know in the comments section below.