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We have made network smart, secure and more open for innovation: Cisco CEO, Chuck Robbins

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It would not be an exaggeration to say that hardware networking giant Cisco built the fundamental technology that has driven the rise and growth of the internet but it has also created real complexity – a piles of legacy system which organisations are unable to dehyphen but the last week announcement of an ‘Intuitive Network’ that will scale, re-provision, and bring security at different level is aimed to make network more agile, secure and open for innovation. Cisco CEO, Chuck Robbins talks to Mohd Ujaley to share his views on ‘Network Intuitive’, it relevance, impact on business and how Indian enterprises and government can leverage new network. He says, “It is one of the most significant breakthroughs in enterprise networking, specially at a time when the network has become more critical to business success and it is also under tremendous pressure.”

With ‘Network Intuitive’, you are making network more agile, secure and open for innovation but is there any benefit to Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs) which form one of the largest business group in most of the emerging market including India?

Absolutely, there is. The thing is that the new technology that we have brought gives an opportunity to SMBs to leverage sophisticated technology with ease. The Intuitive Network will help them cut their resources and give them ability to work just like a large enterprise. The whole premisive of new network is to create automation, bring analytics, make network more intelligence, secure, simpler and faster to deploy. So, I believe it will be great for small businesses.

SMBs are quite price sensitive, how are the new products priced?

The way we think about the value of this is related to total cost of ownership over the life of the equipment for the solution. So, think about the five year window, for the dollar they spent on the network – they are going to spend $3 per year or $15 in operation in today’s world. All of them are now reduced significantly with these technology. If you look at SMBs point of view, from the total cost of ownership, the proposition is very favourable now from economic perspective. Over the last decade, as we watched new innovative technology, almost without exception, mid-sized companies have been the early adopter of innovative technology. We saw voice, we saw  Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), we saw next generation intercom – most of them have been very early adopted by small and mid-size firm. They will also be early adopter of new network.

Advance portion of network will now be available on subscription basis. Some of the analysts believe that it will have some impact on your account initially – something that we observed in the case of Adobe, when they adopted pay-as-you-go model – there was stress on the book for few quarters? Have you worked around the strategy to combat that challenge?

We are well aware of it but If you look at the portion of this, we are including the subscription on the top – the advance portion of it: around the automation platform, around the encrypted traffic analytics. We believe those will bring enough values to the customer to embrace them regardless of any consideration.

What kind of impact do you see ‘network intuitive’ having on Smart Cities project in India and globally?

As far India is concern, we are very involved in Smart Cities and Digital India projects. We got complete digital strategy placed in India and Smart Cities are huge part of it. What we have launched today, it is fundamental to what world want to do with Smart City over a time. It is all about creating personal adaptive and intuitive network, secondly being able to re-provision city infrastructure which could be traffic infrastructure, modifying street lights to optimise them, optimising the social infrastructure and deeply embedding security in it. That same thing could be applied to parking, garbage collection, water management etc. Actually this architecture is the foundation of the Smart City.

The correspondent attended Cisco Live US 2017 at the invitation of Cisco.

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