Monday, June 30, 2008

Cisco Live Summary and Highlights

Last week I spent 4 days at Cisco Live 2008, Cisco System's technical conference. In general, this was a great conference about all Cisco-related industries and markets; e.g. Networking, Collaboration, Unified Communications, Service Providers, Wireless, Data Center…

The main topic for the conference was Collaboration. This, of course, translates into ways to increase employee productivity and reduce operational costs, such as travel, by engaging in collaboration practices. WebEx was a big name and the product spotlight was the Webex Connect suite. I personally was very impressed, and can't wait to start testing it. This is a collaboration client for staying connected with coworkers, friends, and customers from a single place. It is the result of mixing the following ingredients: Skype, AOL IM, Google Calendar, Google Docs, and WebEx's online meetings. It offers a space with Instant Messaging, Presence, WebEx Meetings, Personal Dashboard, Team Spaces, and Business Widgets. This was demoed by John Chambers during the conference; check out how it integrates with the iPhone here.

Almost all Keynote speakers addressed the topics of how obvious it is that to increase productivity you have to collaborate in the Web 2.0 era, and to reduce operational cost you have to go green by collaborating more online and virtualizing the workplace. For example, if you know the presence information of a person you need to talk to, you can be more effective at how to reach him. Say you need to speak to Jim about last week's report. If you know that Jim is at a meeting, you avoid calling his desk or cell phone and use IM or Email instead. That's what a collaboration client can do for improving that.

The entire conference applied the collaboration and going green theme. First, this year they did not provide with printed copies of the technical training sessions, but gave out USB thumb drives with 1GB worth of presentations. Second, and more importantly, they incorporated a virtual component to the conference by having sessions at Second Life and a full blown virtual version of the conference called Cisco Live Virtual.

When it comes to the expo, it was called World of Solutions Expo. Big partners had great booths. In my opinion, the best ones were Intel, WebEx, Lancope, and Nokia. Intel showed their advances in Wireless (WiMax and 802.11n) and their 10Gbps interface for servers. Lancope had a great security appliance for MPLS type of networks, and Nokia had the latest mobile phones. Actually, thanks to my Nokia E61i I was able to log on to the conference site, check my calendar of events, reply to surveys, and Twitt my update in real-time (see my posting with my Twitter Timeline)

Finally, some relevant links for further getting what you missed if you did not attend:

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