A trip to the Cisco store and more at Cisco Live!

Technology and business takeaways from what has been an unbelievable Cisco Live conference that ended very strong.

Channel Strategy

Cisco Live does have a management track dedicated to educating partners and managers. “We have a cloud, we have great healthcare clients, the next step is to develop a cloud with those custom applications to service those healthcare clients.” – an anonymous director of Professional Services at a Global Cisco Partner.

“There have been a few real gems in the IT Management track, teaching us how to market those applications going forward.”

As Cisco taps their cloud partners, customization and niche players will present more value in the applications that they create.


Application Centric Infrastructure, Software Defined Networking, Intercloud, Internet of Things. “This is a Software conference now,” said Jan Lipkowski, a presales engineering manager at Bell in Toronto. “That’s all anyone is talking about.”

Cisco is pushing hard to build a developer network, where those development skills will be used in cloud engineering.

Skill sets

From a resourcing point of view, skill sets are changing. And network engineers need to become more development-centric as the traditional networking skills are moving towards automation. An example of that would be Cisco Prime, which automates a lot of your infrastructure management.

Closing Keynote- Sal Khan- Founder of the Khan Academy

I would say ending the week with Sal Khan really sent us all off inspired and some even tearful as he spoke about how he created the world’s largest online school and his quest to democratize education. And to think Cisco Live ended with William Shatner 2 years ago, that shows some great progression by Cisco’s keynote committee (if they have one).


Internet of Everything

Day 3 included more talk and demonstrations on the IoE. The Cisco Store featured a great demo of all of the items in your home that will be connected to IP ranging from electronics to coffee pots. The business opportunities lie in the data that all of these connections will provide. While we are all still trying to decode the business and channel opportunities of IoE, we know the possibilities are certainly the talk of the town.

Cisco Live in San Francisco ended with an epic Canada Appreciation Event at Ruby Skye Night Club, a gorgeous hall with Victorian ceilings.

The club was overflowing with partners and customers from all over Canada. The party also included a number of Canadian engineers working abroad in exotic locations such as Hawaii and Madrid. I even noticed a few party crashers from South from the border. Canadians do love their beer.

It seems like every year the Canadian contingent at Cisco Live gets stronger.

Seeing as many attendees will be leaving tomorrow, there is a real sense of hustle in the air. People are scheduling their last m

Another area where Cisco shines is in hosting fun and creative Customer Events. The Customer Appreciation Event tonight will feature a private concert by The Imagine Dragons and Lenny Kravitz at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants.

(CDN NOTE: Imagine Dragons is certainly shilling out for IT vendors. The band with hits such as Demons and Radioactive has played four high tech conferences in the past month from Citrix Synergy, EMC World, IBM Edge and now Cisco Live.)

Cisco dazzles us every year with their Customer Appreciation Event and sends us all home on a high. Let’s just say expectations are no different for this year’s 25th anniversary addition.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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