CISCO Live 2016: Disruption, Data Communications to Drive Industrial Success | Automation.com

CISCO Live 2016: Disruption, Data Communications to Drive Industrial Success

August 222016
CISCO Live 2016: Disruption, Data Communications to Drive Industrial Success

By Bill Lydon, Editor, Automation.com

In an industrial age of increasing technological disruption, the number of innovations and connected devices that seem to continuously be released is head-spinning. Yet, attending Cisco Live 2016, it is clearer than ever that to be successful, industry needs to leverage this technology. Specifically, investment in a strong data communications infrastructure is essential to craft a winning organizational growth strategy.

Chuck Robbins, Chief Executive Officer of Cisco Systems, delivered the opening keynote at Cisco Live and discussed his perspective on the new digital economy. “I started my career as a COBOL programmer on an IBM mainframe,” shared Robbins, “Back then, I can tell you, technology was not used strategically; we were a cost center, a cost of doing business. It’s such a wonderful time to be where we are right now because a massive transition has occurred.” 

Further in the keynote, Robbins identified a transition, where organizations have to move from knowing the technology exists, to actually believing that the technology can help differentiate how their solutions are brought to market and new services are delivered. “This whole notion of thinking about this digital transformation, we have to think about what is required, as you go back to your organizations, for this to be successful,” instructed Robbins,   “Every organization really needs to embark on this journey.”  He gave his thoughts on what organizations should do to take advantage of the transition. “We had an inflection point in 2015, where we were discussing what everything was; What is IoT? What is IoE?, What is digitization?” Robbins shared, “We’ve moved to a place, now, where every organization is trying to understand what it means and further, what should we be doing, in the context of all the technology that’s available.”

Robbins concluded by discussing his belief that harnessing the new technologies needs to be driven from the top-down. “I fundamentally believe it has to start at the top of the organization,” said Robbins, “You have to have someone who can see what you see, see what’s possible; see what opportunity might exist.” He explained that the best way for organizations to drive success was to embrace the change, ask questions and identify new ways of delivering products and services. “There has to be a strategy; What does this technology do? What does it change? How does it change how I think about my business and my business model? Does it change my company from selling a product to selling it as a service?” asked Robbins. “Challenging the status quo, disrupting yourselves, that’s what’s going to be required for us to be successful, and all of this is going to be driven by technology.”


Chuck Robbins, Chief Executive Officer of Cisco Systems keynote, “Challenging the status quo, disrupting yourselves, that’s what’s gonna be required for us to be successful in all of this is going to be driven by technology.”

Cisco Live By the Numbers

  • Nearly 28,000 attendees representing the entire Cisco ecosystem of customers, partners and employees
  • Over 103,000 customers were scanned into 1,000 breakouts throughout the week
  • Over 1,945 1:1 meetings in the Hub through Meet the Engineers, Meet the Experts, Whisper Suites, and DevNet API meetings.
  • The DevNet Zone was buzzing over the weekend for the Hackathon. 100 participants focused on developing collaboration-enabled mobile and enterprise applications to help save the world’s honey bees. Our winning teams were awarded $8,000 in prize money.
  • Customers assembled nearly 200,000 meal kits for Stop Hunger Now and 5,000 hygiene kits for Clean The World.
  • Many attendees donated their CISCO Live event backpacks to The Teacher’s Exchange charity.

The Cisco Network

  • More than 37,000 Wi-Fi users per day
  • 18,000 users at any given moment, a 30 percent increase over last year.
  • 34 terabytes of data were pushed over the network throughout the week
  • 45 miles of cable laid throughout the venues

Fun Facts and Tidbits

  • 50,000 room nights booked
  • 55,000 rides taken on shuttles
  • 60,000 boxed lunches prepared
  • 75,000 slides viewed
  • 800 friendly orange-shirted ambassadors ushered us to and from activities (I know we all enjoyed these exuberant men and women!)

Thoughts & Observations

The challenge, for manufacturing companies, is to select the technologies to digitize their business in such ways that improve production performance and therefore enhance organizational competitiveness.  In order to be successful this needs to done collaboratively from corporate management to plant floor.

Industrial manufacturing professionals are best positioned to learn about how new communication, collaboration, and IoT technologies can be applied to improve manufacturing, and educate company management accordingly.  The exponential growth of data acquisition and analysis, to improve operations, performance and foster the creation of new business models, will require high levels of integration with information systems, and therefore also will require strong data communications infrastructures throughout manufacturing.   These requirements include on-premise, wired and wireless networking, along with mobile, and remote communications, in order to be successful.  It should go without saying that all of this needs to be accomplished in cyber secure systems.

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