Live from Cisco Live Melbourne 2011 #clmel11

Am currently attending Cisco Live, a gathering of 2600 partners and customers being hosted by the giant network equipment maker Cisco. The event kicked off today with a keynote presentation from Padmasree Warrior,

Warrior talked about a number of technology trends, focusing on collaboration and use of video on the Internet, along with the architectural shift that we are seeing technology models brought on by virtualisation and cloud computing. Many of her comments echoed themes that are discussed in A Faster Future, particularly in how we work.

“In the future, people will not be going to work, they will simply do work,” Warrior said.

She also talked about the merger of the Internet and mobile technology. She said the network is no longer about data transport, it is about enabling compelling experiences, and hence requires a lot of technological transformation as it moves from being a messaging platform to a real-time collaboration platform. Amongst the areas that Cisco is focusing on are enabling connectivity between data centres and other infrastructure resources, providing awareness of the context of end users, driving resource awareness within networks and better providing and managing service level agreements. Much of this supports the drive to cloud computing and is designed to help organisations innovate at the top layer rather than worrying about the infrastructure.

There was also a demonstration of the Cius, Cisco’s entry into the tablet computing marketplace. including a demonstration of how the device might be used in a hospital situation.

The most interesting comments however related to Cisco’s evolution from a products companny to an ‘architecture’ company focused on delivering complete outcomes for companies. It’s a big shift for an organisation whose considerations used to be about building faster and more powerful devices. Now it is more focued on how customers use these devices, lookingless  at the outcome of the device’s implementation and more at what the business was trying to achieve in the first place. She said the company is experiencing strong growth for this concept in the small business arena, where businesses don’t want to worry about architectures themselves, but just want to get on with the job.