5 Things we learned at Softcat Explore: Cisco

Posted on Monday, December 19, 2016
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By Craig Lodzinski
Pre-Sales Team Leader


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This week we held an event with Cisco where we talked about the challenges that businesses and organisations are facing, and how Softcat and Cisco address these with a digital ready, software and security focus. Here are five things we learned at Softcat Explore: Cisco.

You can view the full video here

1. Cisco is selling simplicity

UK & Ireland Chairman, Phil Smith, spoke about the complexity of digitisation and the amount of data being generated by this. With the world moving to a reality in which there will be billions and soon trillions of connected devices, manual management of the data fabric is no longer possible. Cisco is investing in simplification and automation within their product sets, in order to enable customers to make the most of the opportunities and overcome the challenges of this new normal.

2. Anything can be connected

In a segment I'm calling Twin Geeks, Softcat CTO, Sam Routledge, and Cisco's CTO for the UK Partner Organisation, Rob Price, discussed a range of internet of things (IoT) possibilities. Topics included the connected cow, autonomous cranes at London Gateway and, perhaps best of all, the internet connected smart beer fridge. In the age of digital disruption, both opportunities and challenges are presented and embedding capability within the network and the edge is essential to sort the signal from the noise.

3. Security is an integral part of IoT and digitisation

All of our speakers talked about the expanded attack surface generated as a result of the internet of things. Terry Greer-King, Director of cyber security at Cisco, described how there are two types of business: those that have been hacked, and those that have been hacked but don't know it yet. Whether it's the Mirai botnet, hackers taking control of cars remotely, or this week's news of Yahoo's historic breach, security is a hot topic. Cisco's approach is broad, including risk appropriate measures, reducing time to detect and mitigate a breach, segmenting the network, and building a strong partner ecosystem.

4. Cisco have 28,000 engineers, 23,000 of which are software engineers

Ann-Marie Dillon, UK & Ireland software lead for Cisco, elaborated on four core offerings for Cisco's software, ranging from the traditional embedded device software, through to newer SaaS and analytic software. Cisco is also looking at new purchasing models including Cisco One bundles and enterprise licensing agreements. Increasingly, innovation and intelligence are built into the software layer, with hardware augmenting this by providing an intelligent platform for the software.

5. 60% of digitisation projects are failing

Cisco is running an initiative for the 'digital ready network' to help customers build a network that is capable of supporting the latest digitisation initiatives. Many organisations have not applied the same care and attention to the network that they have to server and storage, but as new technologies place more and more pressure on the network, building a stable platform which can support the latest technologies is imperative to successful deployments.

You can view the full video of Softcat Explore: Cisco here.

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