Archive for January, 2008


In summary…..

So how did we do? Well, it almost goes without saying that we hope Cisco Networkers 2008 was a success. With 76 countries represented, 3760 delegates, more than 5100 visitors (including Cisco staff, partners, exhibitors, press and analysts) and 66 partners exhibiting, this was easily the biggest Networkers in Europe.

Having more people and more sessions than ever created an unequalled climate for collaboration, making the event a real hit with customers and exhibitors. But size is not everything. Next year’s Networkers will, hopefully, be bigger still.   We may look forward to more groundbreaking technologies and inspirational speakers. And even this year’s ‘Ignite Innovation’ theme, while completely appropriate, is hardly unique: innovation will undoubtedly remain an issue in business and IT for the foreseeable future.  

So what will this Networkers be remembered for? Possibly two things. The first is that this was the first year when the environment really shared a stage with technology, with many of the technologies on show—from TelePresence to datacenter IT—having a ‘green’ slant. And the second is that this is the first year that a real attempt has been made to extend the collaboration and community aspects of the event beyond the physical confines of the show. Networkers may be over, but the online community, of which this blog is a part, remains.  Now it is over to you to keep it alive….don’t forget to get connected at Cisco Networkers Connect!


Following Leadbeater’s recipe for innovation

Cisco Networkers 2008 opened with the motto ‘Ignite Innovation’ and few people have come closer to doing that than the day two keynote speaker, Charles Leadbeater. 

In 2005 Accenture ranked Leadbeater as one of the top management thinkers in the world and his credits include advising former U.K. premier Tony Blair, writing books such as Living on Thin Air, providing consultancy to Vodafone, Microsoft and others and helping devise Bridget Jones’s diary.    

At Networkers he encouraged delegates to think outside the box about thinking outside the box.  

“We’ve been told that creativity comes from special people in special places—labs, science parks and so on—and if you want more creativity, you take more special people and put them into more special places,” he said. “I think that’s wrong. Most innovation is not about being creative.” 

What really drives innovation, Leadbeater believes, is seven Cs: crisis, curiosity, combination, conversation, co-evolution, challenge and commitment.  

As this year’s Networkers draws to a close, it is fair to say that at least six of those seven Cs have been here in abundance. Let’s hope there are no crises on the way to the airport.


New Cisco products extend access potential

Day two of Cisco Networkers 2008 got underway with a couple of important press announcements around the Cisco access network portfolio.  

The headline news was the launch of enhanced Power over Ethernet (ePoE) capabilities for the Catalyst® switch family. This is aimed at allowing switches to feed the upcoming 802.11n generation of access points, which need extra power to deliver up to 300Mbps of connectivity.  The switch detects whether additional power is needed using Cisco Discovery Protocol, which prevents it from overloading traditional devices. EPoE is shipping on Catalyst 3750-E and 3650-E Series switches and will be introduced into the 6500 and 4500-E Series towards mid-2008.  

The day’s second press announcement actually concerned a product launched last year: the Cisco 3G Wireless WAN High-Speed WAN Interface Card (HWIC), which allows Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISRs) to deliver connectivity over 2.5G or third-generation mobile networks.  

At launch, the only tricky thing about HWIC was not every country had a mobile service provider that could provide a network. Now, though, more than 30 service providers worldwide have signed up for it, so it is much less of a problem to find one near you.  

There was even one at the press conference, in the shape of Markku Lempinen, head of Corporate Network Solutions at Elisa Corporation of Finland, who said his company is offering the card for backup duties and also as a primary connection where a fixed-line connection is not worthwhile.  Also there was Raymond Mohr, director of IT at Balfour Beatty Rail’s German operations, whose project teams frequently need to change quarters to keep up with progress along train tracks.  

HWIC has made it easier to deliver high-speed connectivity to them; instead of finding suppliers and getting a connection installed, the IT team just delivers a small glass-fronted rack with an ISR and a Cisco 3G Wireless WAN HWIC.  

What was interesting about both announcements was not only that Cisco is trying to offer new opportunities to its customers through small but significant advances in its portfolio, but also how these advances are often opening up potential new markets beyond those originally envisaged.  


Green IT videos now online

Improving environmental performance has been a constant theme throughout this Cisco Networkers event.  

And if you want to know what it takes to make a greener datacenter there is now a series of five videos on Cisco’s U.K. Web pages that have been shot specifically for Cisco Networkers 2008.  

The videos feature contributions from BT, Capgemini, the small-to-medium business (SMB) hosting company Ultraspeed and Professor Enrique Dans of the Instituto de Empresa business school. They cover: 

  1. The case for switching to greener datacenter architectures this year.
  2. How you can improve the environmental performance of your existing datacenter.
  3. How to optimize the environmental performance of new datacenters.
  4. How SMBs can maintain environmental standards in data storage.
  5. The role of virtualization in improving the environmental performance of datacenters.

Busy first day at Networkers

If you are reading this with a hangover, you are probably not alone. Day one of Cisco Networkers 2008 was as hectic as they come and many could be forgiven for letting their hair down during the Innovation Awards evening.  

So just in case your memories of Tuesday are already somewhat hazy, here is a quick summary of some of the main points…. 

·         Chris Dedicoat, Cisco president of European Markets, expanded on his keynote speech in a press conference in the company of Fernando Gil de Bernabe, managing director of strategy for the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group. “I believe Europe is at a crossroads,” he said. 

·         Yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur shared her experiences of sailing solo around the world in the Vendée Globe race (aged 25), breaking the record for a non-stop circumnavigation of the globe and setting the current fastest time for a single-handed monohull east-west passage. 

·         Cisco unveiled the Cisco ACE 4710 Appliance, a powerful application delivery and optimization system for data centers which is aimed at small and medium enterprise deployments, supporting up to 2 Gbps of application traffic and 50 virtual devices per appliance.  

·         Cisco also launched WAAS Mobile, which extends the capabilities of the award-winning Cisco WAAS product family by providing application acceleration of any TCP-based application operating in a WAN environment to mobile and remote workers.  

·         Another extension to the Application Network Services portfolio was the announcement of a new Cisco Data Center Assurance Program for Applications, which tests and validates industry-leading enterprise software applications over Cisco application delivery networks.  

And all that is just the tip of the iceberg. But no time for more reminiscences right now; let’s reach for the black coffee and soldier on with day two.


Innovation Awards: and the winners are….

Which are the organizations leading the field in embracing new and advanced technologies right now?Well, six of the best were honored tonight with Innovation Awards at the Cisco Networkers 2008 gala dinner. Here are the deserving winners: 

·         Best data center project of the year: AXA Technology Services, for the AXA data center transformation global scale project.·         Best managed service of the year: DVZ Datenverarbeitungszentrum Mecklenburg-Vorpommern GmbH for its DVZ IP telephony service.

·         Best mobility and wireless project of the year: Santa Monica SpA for its Misano Moto GrP ‘Circuit of the Future—Now’ scheme.·         Best service provider IP next-generation infrastructure of the year: Orange Slovensko AS for its Orange fiber to the home project.

·         Best Unified Communications project of the year: Reti SpA for its use of Cisco Unified Communications in building automation. ·         Most society-impacting network of the year: the Croatian Academic and Research Network (CARNet) for its e-Islands Connected Schools initiative.  Many congratulations to all the winners.


Chris Dedicoat opens record-breaking Networkers

Cisco’s president of European Markets, Chris Dedicoat, kicked off the biggest-ever Cisco Networkers event by staying at his hotel.  

Well, almost; in fact he stepped into a mock-up of a hotel room on the stage, as part of a demo showing how Cisco technologies are changing the world around us.  

Screens flickered to life around him as the room came alive with a host of personalized features, from targeted advertising to a TV channel selection exported directly from the set-top box at home. 

While the demo was lot of fun, Dedicoat’s message to this European audience was serious. Europe has to wake up now, he said, to the need for this kind of innovation if it is to overcome the productivity gap that separates it from other markets such as the United States.  

He went on to talk about Cisco itself is fostering innovation, with 4200 patents, 22,000 engineers and 125 acquisitions to its credit. Perhaps more importantly, he said, Cisco has a track record in turning good ideas into commercial successes, a critical ingredient in successful innovation.  

Meanwhile, those wanting to foster innovation themselves at Networkers this year should not find it difficult.  

A total of 5300 delegates are attending (over 600 had to be turned away) and there are 165 tutorials and 80 registered Cisco experts, along with the first-ever demonstration of TelePresence at a Networkers event. Definitely something worth leaving the hotel for.