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Cisco Live lives it up at 25

Jim Duffy | May 26, 2014
Conference mixed milestone revelry with stark realities of mission ahead.

Chambers also expanded on the reasons behind his letter to President Obama after pictures appeared of an alleged alteration of Cisco equipment by the NSA for surveillance purposes.

"This is so important to our industry and the future of the Internet that we've got to change," Chambers said. "It isn't so important to how we got to where we are now; it's what we must change as we go forward."

Also on Day Two of its conference, Cisco gave an overview on how it spots and seeds market transitions in the making. It's a crowdsourcing effort with 80 technology scouts that identify and submit what they think the next big things are, says Joel Bion, senior vice president of Cisco Research and Advanced Development. Cisco then takes the top 10 trends to drive investments from its $2 billion Innovation Fund.

One of those next big things is the Internet of Things/Everything and Day Three of Cisco Live was dedicated to it. Cisco rolled out a half-dozen public and private sector customers of IP-enabled city, building and business management systems and sensors that they said cut their costs and increased their revenue.

A networked building HVAC system let a 40-year-old Houston high-rise cut energy consumption in half over four years, from $4.3 million to $2.1 million, in 2009-2013. An Anheuser-Busch distributor in Texas installed Cisco VoIP, digital media systems and TelePresence in new distribution center to increase efficiency. The IP TV cameras lowered insurance costs, and sensors on beer trucks assist in inventory management.

And Bank of America is expanding an 85-branch TelePresence IoT pilot to 500 branch offices. It has 5,000 such offices around the U.S. and the trial is intended to bring the banking center representative to the consumer. In the face of online banking, 85% of Bank of America's products are still sold through these 5,000 branches, said Tyler Johnson, senior vice president of ATM/kiosk strategy and innovation.

To secure the Internet of Things, Cisco ended the day with the rollout of advanced malware protection (AMP) appliances for both on-premises and off-premises malware blocking. Cisco also announced its intention to acquire ThreatGRID, another malware prevention company to complement Cisco's AMP lineup.

Those announcements ended the day. But the day didn't end. It was time to celebrate 25 years of Cisco Live and Networkers with silly birthday cakes hats at AT&T Park. It was time for thousands of Cisco customers and partners to embark on the next 25 years after ringing out the last.


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