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Six Key Takeaways From Cisco India Summit 2019

At the recent Cisco India Summit 2019 held in Kerala, senior leaders of Cisco throw light on Cisco’s plans over the next few months.


Over the last couple of years, US-based tech giant Cisco has undergone a massive transformation. The networking giant has not only transitioned from a hardware-centric model to a software-centric one, but the company has also transformed the way it approaches the future of the enterprise.

Last year, the company asserted at its flagship event Cisco India Summit (2018) in Goa that is reinventing its Network. The company also said that Cisco India’s business is growing bigger than the global business. In a step to this director, this year’s Cisco India Summit 2019 held in Kerala showed how the power of alliances can help the networking major attain its goal in the digital world.

The company continued to be bullish about the digital disruption wave in India, helping Indian companies towards the mega ‘Digital Rush’ which is going to be $80 trillion worth of the global economy. India is going to be $ 6 trillion economy by 2027 and close to trillion dollars will be digitally enabled economy and internet economy will be $125 billion in 2021, as per the latest report.

At the recent CIS 2019, senior leaders of Cisco shared insights on what customers can expect over the next one year and beyond. Here are the key takeaways for the technology and business leaders.

# 1. Software to drive new business models

Software is in the center of every business strategy today. The new world of mobile apps, cloud services, and the Internet of Things (IoT) is reshaping how all industries get business done. Technology leaders are increasingly taking on strategic business roles, with a focus on radically new user experiences and business models.

Known for its routers and switches business, Cisco has reinvented itself in many times, with its latest focus being on software and services. Today, software is at the forefront of the Cisco strategy and the company believes that enterprise customers can expect the software pursuit to continue in the days to come.

“Creating a new business model, finding the right partners and getting the last mile connectivity are key pillars of success for businesses in this world which is increasingly getting digitized,” Sameer Garde, President, Cisco India and SAARC says.

According to him, IT and business leaders should focus on creating, new market and new business models. “Your job is to go figure out how you can touch customers you thought you would never be able to touch,” he asserts.

# 2. Multi-cloud matters to enterprise

In the last several quarters, Cisco has been aggressively pursuing its multi-cloud strategy. The IT major entered into a hybrid-cloud alliance with Google and more recently offered Kubernetes for Amazon Web Services (AWS). Anand Patil, Director, Systems Engineering states, “A well-planned multi-cloud strategy can help organizations avoid vendor lock-in, lower the risk of DDoS attacks, and improve reliability.”

“Multi-cloud allows organizations to shift to the cloud at their own pace and take a flexible approach. In other words, businesses can control and run an application, workload, or data on any cloud (public, private and hybrid) based on their specific requirements,” says Patil, adding that Cisco will continue its multi-cloud plans to be at the centre of its transition.

# 3. The rise of 5G, Wi-Fi 6 for super-high speed and agility

Besides, its software transformation and multi-cloud strategy, Cisco is looking at playing a major player in the 5G mobile connectivity deployment space and the sixth-generation wireless standard known as Wi-Fi 6.

“Advances in networking architecture, especially via 5G and Wi-Fi 6 wireless network standards are poised to deliver improvements in speed, performance and capacity that will help remove the network bottleneck that restricts enterprise agility,” Sandeep Arora, MD, CX India said.

Anand Bhaskar, Managing Director, Service Providers sales, Cisco India and SAARC, informs that at present, Cisco has 100 engagements around 5G going on globally, while 40 trials are in different stages of roll out. He added that 5G will have a critical role to play in making India a $5 trillion economy in the next five years.

He believes that organizations can better enable digital transformation and superior customer experience with wireless technologies like 5G and Wi-Fi 6. These can also equip new ways of working, as employees today work from any location and across device and staying connected is the need of the hour.

#4. Intent-based networking to further boom

While last year at the CIS, Cisco played on the buzzword ‘intent based networking’ which resulted out of the need for greater network automation, it was still early days. This year, the networking major said that the concept has already gained momentum. “India’s response to intent-based networking has been phenomenal,” says Rajesh Shetty, Managing Director, Enterprise Sales at Cisco India.

Seeing a greater traction from enterprises, government and service providers, senior leaders at Cisco boasts that network automation tools can improve configuration deployment, accuracy, operations efficiency and maximize use cases for organizations. Overall, it can be a great bet for IT and network engineers as it minimizes the likelihood of human error and improves network agility.

#5. A consolidated view of security is need of the hour

Cisco is also seeing big opportunity in the security domain. Vishak Raman, Director, Security Business, of Cisco India & SAARC, shared that the company has been making its acquisitions strategically to expand the security business.

“Through our acquisitions, our focus areas have been network, cloud and devices which are three important elements of the security business,” he said. Cisco’s vision is to ensure that every product we develop runs on the four key principles: sharing alerts, events, threat intelligence and contextual information that includes third parties.

According to him, India is already taking a big leap towards security in recent years. Regulators such as RBI are playing a bigger role and the future seems to be bright with companies like Cisco getting into partnership with various institutes to bring the right skill sets in the workforce.

“While there are more automated attacks, there would be more intelligent and automated protection making the space even more interesting to watch going forward,” Raman said, adding that therefore, it is important to have a holistic view of security architecture.

# 6. Time to embrace change rather than resist it

While organizations can leverage the best of technology to their advantage, it is important the most successful are those that embrace change rather than resist it. VC Gopalratnam, SVP-IT and CIO-International, Cisco, believes sees today’s organizations as strategic, creative, people-centric, growth-minded and thrives on collaboration.

At the Summit, Cisco announced the expansion of its Networking Academy program to train one million techies in India in the next 5 years.  This commitment is aligned to Cisco’s goal of positively impacting 50 million people in India by 2025. The company aims at creating a pool of highly-skilled technology professionals who will accelerate India’s digital transformation.

“Faster adoption of technology trends and more agile working practices are now a crucial part of the organizational success,” he states, adding that tech leaders should embrace new technologies, IoT, Augmented Reality (AR), Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to conceive digital solutions for real-world business and community problems.


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Sohini Bagchi
Sohini Bagchi is Editor at CXOToday, a published author and a storyteller. She can be reached at [email protected]