News: What has Chuck Robbins been up to in his first year as CEO?
As Maroon 5 serenaded the Cisco Live 2016 delegates with a surfeit of their breezy pop tunes on Wednesday evening, the curtain closed on the first Cisco Live in decades with a new CEO in charge of the company.
John Chambers’s successor Chuck Robbins took over the helm of the company in July last year, and his keynote at Cisco’s flagship event ticked many of the old John Chambers boxes.
Amongst these was a reiteration of the transformative potential of technology, saying that successful digital transformation would require C-level sponsorship.
Yet behind this rhetoric, what direction is he taking the company in?
A more specific focus in the keynote was security, and Cisco used the event to roll out a range of new security products.
There were five new products announced, all of which focus on securing enterprises that have multiple branches or employees working remotely.
Cisco Umbrella Roaming is a cloud-based protection system which removes blind spots for employees roaming off the network.
Cisco Umbrella Branch provides more control over guest wi-fi use. Cisco Defense Orchestrator is a cloud-based management application allowing users to manage security infrastructure across a range of distributed locations.
Cisco Meraki® MX Security Appliances with Advanced Malware Protection (AMP) and Threat Grid is a unified threat management solution simplifying advanced threat protection for the distributed enterprise, while Cisco Stealthwatch Learning Network License enables the Cisco ISR to act as a security sensor for branch threat protection.
Also on the security front was the launch of Cisco Security Services for Digital Transformation, a consultancy focusing on helping organisations examine their readiness to adopt digital technologies in terms of security.
David Goeckeler, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Networking and Security Business, Cisco Systems, said that “companies are struggling to manage the security challenges from both large, distributed environments and the active adversaries aggressively targeting these expansive attack surfaces every day.
“Our customers are finding that they need a more integrated approach to security, and Cisco provides them with a threat-centric security architecture that is much more effective in a digital world.”
Cisco also launched some initiatives in its traditional networking market. Cisco is upgrading its career certification portfolio to improve the skills of networking engineers, including with a new Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert framework and a Cisco Network Programmability Engineer Specialist Exam.
The event also focused on the software market. Cisco held a two-day event designed as a springboard for developers using Cisco DNA and plans to roll these out more widely.
Also on the software front, Cisco has opened up chat platform Cisco Spark to bot builder platforms to integrate their bot development capabilities with it.