Cisco: Expert insight into cloud success

By Janet Brice
Cisco’s Liz Centoni shares her insight on the future of cloud during their virtual partner summit - aptly made possible by cloud technology...

Cisco’s 25th annual Partner Summit virtually brought together 19,000 representatives from 152 countries with the help of the cloud – which became the hot topic for conversation.

“The power of the cloud experience,” said Liz Centoni, Cisco’s SVP for strategy, emerging technologies and incubation, “is being able to access innovation from everywhere, whenever you want it.”

The complexity, challenges and potential of cloud technology were addressed when Centoni spoke to moderator Dave Vellante, the chief analyst for Wikibon and co-host of The Cube. 

A key theme of the discussion was creating solutions for the variety of cloud motions including on-premises, multiple clouds and SaaS environments. Cloud can bring the agility, speed and scalability that today’s businesses demand. 

But in a multi-cloud, hybrid environment, the multiple tech stacks from many providers add layers of complexity and security gaps that can slow things down.

“Customers are saying, ‘okay, I need to have the speed and agility to consume services from multiple places, the flexibility to be able to do that. I need to have a consistent cloud experience across all of my environments,” commented Centoni. 

“So, they want us to simplify, bring in more automation, the agility, the flexibility, the consistent way to manage all of these environments.”

Everyone wants to deliver the best application experience for their users. But to do that, app-operator and-infra operator teams need to work together.

“If you look at most teams today, they work in silos — the app developers work in their silo, infrastructure and networking teams work in their silo. And they all use the tools that are most appropriate for the job that they do. 

Because you don’t want them using the same tool and having copious amounts of data that don't make sense for their job role. But if you can provide unified correlated data sets, same context and common vocabulary, you can break down the silos and address performance issues before it impacts the end user.”

Centoni shared three reasons that she believes sets Cisco’s solutions apart from the competition. 

“Customers trust us to do what is right for them,” she stressed. “With security and privacy, but also in terms of understanding and bringing the right solution to them because of the breadth of the portfolio that we have. We look to understand our customer’s problem. 

“The second one is really around the drive for simplicity. It’s not just about providing them with all the knobs and bells and whistles. And the third one is really around continuing to innovate. And lastly, customers want choice; of clouds, hypervisors and orchestration platforms.”

Centoni outlined the main two key performance indicators which would be the most relevant moving forward. “Resilience of the system from a provider standpoint and the experience of the consumer.”

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