Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pete Rose/Cisco Live 2011

Linksys BEFW11S4 Router Sitting on a Cable ModemImage via Wikipedia
It's starting to look like Pete Rose's day job is hanging around outside one of the shops in the mall that is part of the Mandalay Bay Casino in Vegas from noon until five PM. He's been there two of the three days I've been in town. This is not the way you would expect a seventy year old sports legend to be spending his twilight years. On the plus side I did see a queue of about five people waiting for him at one point today so he still has some fans. It seems kind of dangerous for a guy with an apparent gambling addition to be hanging out in Las Vegas though. It's kind of like a pyromaniac choosing to live next door to a fireworks factory.

The Cisco Live conference has been fun and in case my boss is reading this, educational as well. Cisco Live isn't "all Cisco, all the time" but it's close. Partners also make an appearance and based on my experience it's not a bad place to come if you're looking for some insight into what is coming in the world of technology in general and networking in particular.

I'll no doubt be using this conference as BLOG fodder for the next several weeks but here are some random observations I wanted to share today.

Cisco has been accused of losing sight of their core focus in recent years. Their stock price has been in the doldrums for a decade and significant growth has been elusive. I've written before about their acquisition culture and how it didn't seem to be working anymore. I'm seeing signs that both the lack of focus and the failure to leverage acquisitions effectively may be a thing of the past. It's too early to tell if their new focus is a winning one, but they clearly have one. What is it you may ask?  Video, collaboration, the social revolution and delivering the technologies needed to make those things reliable, affordable and cool.

Where Cisco went wrong in the past was going down market. Their acquisitions of Flip and Linksys took them directly into the consumer space where competition is fierce, margins are low and entire product categories can be born, live out their lives and die in a handful of years. That isn't the world Cisco came from and it shouldn't have been their focus. I think they've figured that out.

The Cius, Cisco's debut tablet is either the ultimate proof of their revival or another wrong step. It's priced much higher than the iPad and from a hardware perspective it isn't especially impressive. At first I thought it was a total misfire but based on the story Cisco's telling I'm not so sure now. It is firmly aimed at the enterprise and Cisco has included an impressive suite of collaboration tools. It's a phone, it's a video conferencing solution, it's a note pad, it's just about anything you want it to be if you're a business since it purports to be highly secure and amiable to custom application development.  I'm sure I'll write more about this in the future. With a bit of luck I might be able to get my hands on one for a few minutes in the next couple of days.
Enhanced by Zemanta

No comments:

Post a Comment