The CDW solutions team attended Cisco Live 2020, which is Cisco’s live technology, sales and marketing training event for customers and partners. This is an event that our team attends each year as it offers insight into new Cisco technologies, networking opportunities and featured corporate social responsibility sessions to power an inclusive future. This was Cisco Live’s first year running fully virtually. The conference was a success, with more than 100,000 customers, partners and members participating, making it their first-ever and largest digital event.

Cisco Live allowed you to stay on a single channel and participate in a sequence of multiple sessions, or switch between channels to watch content most applicable to your interests. The four channels were:

  1. The possibilities channel, which featured Cisco executives, IT technology leaders and other inspiring speakers, showcasing powerful technology solutions and innovations, with a bit of fun and entertainment mixed in.
  2. The innovation channel, which explored IT solutions and strategies essential to businesses today, from securing your data and empowering your teams, to transforming your infrastructure and reimaging your applications.
  3. The IT heroes channel, which featured breakout sessions and demos that dove straight into technical information and insights, lead by experts covering a range of topics such as security, collaboration, 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and more.
  4. The IT leadership channel, which offered a mix of business acumen and technical expertise to help you and your organization succeed. This dynamic channel included both leadership and technical sessions.

Keynote: Possibilities

During the opening keynote, Chuck Robbins, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, announced the new Cisco mission statement, “To power an inclusive future for all.” He broke this down into reimagining apps, securing data, transforming infrastructure and empowering teams through technology. After acknowledging this year’s unprecedented challenges, Robbins introduced Javed Khan, VP/GM, Collaboration, and Gee Rittenhouse, SVP/GM, Security Business, to announce some of the new features being added to WebEx and SecureX.

With so many people working from home, Cisco WebEx hit more than 25 billion meeting minutes, which is three times the normal monthly average. Building upon its success, Khan announced Webex Assistant, and Webex Desk Pro:

  • Webex Assistant is a personal digital assistant that can be used within the Webex platform. Users can ask the tool to record the meeting, take notes and send highlights to attendees when the meeting is done.
  • Webex Desk Pro is an artificially intelligent (AI) collaboration device that features a 27-inch 4K display, 71-degree HD camera, digital whiteboarding and more, introduced to simplify remote work.

In addition to the WebEx announcements, Rittenhouse introduced some of the new features in SecureX for cloud-native security, such as:

  • The capability to see all possible security threats in your network.
  • System generated relationship graphs created by clicking on the threat, which allows the user to see everything that happened with that incident and block it across the enterprise.
  • Trigger pre-configured workflows to take action in any other security product (Cisco or third-party) using the power of APIs and adapters.
  • SecureX is now offered to every Cisco security customer

Keynote: The New World is Now

The keynote on day two featured Cisco’s technology leaders Todd Nightingale, SVP & General Manager, Enterprise Networking & Cloud; Liz Centoni, SVP, Emerging Technologies and Incubation; Jonathan Davidson, SVP & General Manager, Cisco Mass-Scale Infrastructure; and Alvio Barrios, SVP, Americas Customer Experience.

Some of the innovations featured in the keynote were:

  • Nexus Dashboard: A centralized management console that allows you to access different services to operate your data center infrastructure. With this dashboard you can easily onboard sites, install the insights service, start observing anomalies and correlate them with policy or dynamic changes in your network.
  • Cisco Silicon One Q100: The industry’s first routing silicon to break 10 Tbps with a single ASIC while improving power efficiency.
  • Cisco Crosswork Trust Insights: A cloud-based SaaS solution that reports on the integrity of devices and provides forensics for assured inventory. It features intuitive visualization, meaningful analytics and alerts to notify of changes that may affect device integrity.
  • Cisco Collaborative Intelligence- Customer Experience: A program that connects artificial intelligence and machine learning to facilitate labor productivity.

SD-WAN Enhancements at Cisco Live

Cisco presented a number of SD-WAN enhancements that allow customers to strengthen their security and apply health analytics to web apps, WAN and VoIP. These enhancements are:

  • Tighter integration between SD-WAN and Umbrella, which allows effective cloud security throughout the SD-WAN fabric to protect branch offices and roaming users.
  • Secure SD-WAN Plus, which is the new licensing tier for Meraki MX Security and SD-WAN. It includes all enterprise and advanced security features from the existing licensing tiers and adds advanced analytics with machine learning powered by Meraki Insight, Smart SaaS QoE and tag-based segmentation.

Cisco WebEx and SD-WAN were two major focus areas for Cisco Live this year. To learn more about how these tools will be crucial throughout the transition back to the office, or the key benefits and use cases, visit cdw.ca/cisco.

For recordings of the sessions from Cisco Live, you may view their on-demand library for video and presentation materials.  

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