In the coming years Cisco will lean heavily on its ecosystem partners and continue to snaffle up niche software players, its technology head honcho predicted this week.
The vendor held its annual Cisco Live Europe event at the ExCeL arena in east London this week, and chief technology and strategy office Padmasree Warrior opened the event with a keynote speech. She singled out the five biggest technology trends she believes will shape the industry in the coming years: mobile; cloud, a new breed of apps; the internet of things; and data and analytics.
But the technology world needs to ensure it is helping businesses with their five biggest challenges: growth and productivity; customers' experience expectations; globalisation; new business models; and security and compliance. Technology suppliers must appreciate that spending decisions are devolving from the CIO to line-of-business managers, said Warrior.
"We are moving from data analytics to data collection; what does this mean in the context of business? It is important that we develop technology that thinks about what problem the technology is solving for businesses," she added. "Businesses are reluctant to invest a lot of money in long-cycle projects. This is causing CIOs to move to the cloud much more quickly."
Warrior claimed that working with select vendor partners and acquiring new skills would be key to Cisco succeeding in the cloud world. She namechecked key partners IBM, EMC, NetApp, Microsoft, VMware, Red Hat and Citrix, and said the vendor will continue to rapidly build out its ecosystem.
"Over the last six months or so we have worked very hard to expand our ecosystem and bring in new partners that can make the hybrid cloud a reality," she said. "Since June we have closed eight acquisitions, all in the software space."
The vendor also used the Cisco Live Europe get-together to unveil a brace of new networking products it claims bring together the best bits of wired and wireless functionality: the Catalyst 3850 series of switches, and the Cisco 5760 Wireless LAN Controller.
"I think these are going to be the foundation of new architectures going forward," explained Warrior.
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