Cisco: Virtual court connections
Order in court! Secure remote court hearings taking place in the new normal are being made possible by Cisco, CEO Chuck Robbins told virtual delegates attending the recent Cisco Partner Summit.
During his keynote address, Robbins said 2020 was the year in which everything changed and revealed how Cisco Network Infrastructure is assisting in secure remote court hearings to help legislatures and judicial operations adapt in this new era.
Robbins said that WebEx Legislate will help governments around the world continue to function and deliver on their commitments, even while they are not able to get together in person.
The new Connected Justice Solution for courts and correctional facilities will help to serve a similar function for the judicial system. Cisco has partnered with Cloverhound and TRACKtech for the Connected Justice Solution, providing real-time video and remote check-ins among other key capabilities.
“Every customer I talk to says one thing that has become clear out of this pandemic and that is that we all have to accelerate the innovation we are delivering,” said Robbins who pointed it was critical to be future ready.
He outlined examples of how different aspects of society have been impacted by technology during the pandemic. Few healthcare professionals were open to the idea of virtual visits, but that is now the new normal. In the education sector, he said that a billion and a half students around the world have adopted a hybrid education model, seemingly overnight.
During a Q&A with press and analysts, Robbins was asked what the biggest change was likely to be because of the pandemic.
"I think the most prominent one will be the acceleration of delivering our capabilities as a service," Robbins said.
He explained moving to an 'as-a-service' model is not just about taking a router and putting a wrapper on it via Cisco Capital and selling it to somebody. It is more about taking the core functionality and seeing if that can be delivered in software, as a service a customer would subscribe to.
In terms of how long it will take to shift the Cisco portfolio to a service subscription model, Robbins said that some customers will be quick to adopt the approach while others will take a while to embrace it.
Todd Nightingale, SVP and GM, Cisco Enterprise Networking and Cloud detailed a series of new innovations including the new Intersight cloud operations platform.
The platform includes Intersight Kubernetes Service which helps automate the lifecycle of cloud-native workload deployments. It also has enhanced integration with AppDynamics to help improve user experience, and with Intersight Workload Optimiser, administrators now benefit from improved application resource management.
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M&A activity key lever for future tech sector growth
Despite the continuing uncertainty of the pandemic, the tech sector has witnessed soaring dealmaking activity over the past year, rocketing in the second half of 2020, with the last quarter of 2020 a record one for M&A activity, and momentum continuing into 2021.
Dealmaking in tech sector soars in past year
And the latest figures bear this out with the number of technology M&A deals totalling US$208.44bn globally in Q1 2021, according to GlobalData. While the US holds top spot both in volume of deals (1034) and total value (US$140.61bn), Europe ranked next with 649 deals (US$44.49bn) with the UK continuing its reign as Europe’s biggest M&A market with 204 deals.
In particular, megadeals – those valued at US$5bn or more – soared in 2020 representing 59% of all global technology sector deal value in 2020, up from 47% in 2019, according to the latest edition of the EY Technology Global Capital Confidence Barometer.
This tech sector trend towards megadeals is backed up by EY’s CCB data, with 16% of tech sector respondents planning to pursue transformative deals valued at US$5bn or more in the near-term.
While technology deal activity “all but stopped at the beginning of 2020 after fluctuating between historic highs and lows, companies pivoted quickly and tech M&A exploded in the second half of the year”, says Barak Ravid, EY Global TMT Leader for Strategy and Transactions.
M&A activity level for tech sector growth
Looking ahead to the future, technology executives are optimistic, with nearly half (47%) expecting profitability to fully rebound this year, according to CCB data, compared to 23% across all sectors, and with more than half (51%) planning to pursue M&A in the next year in order to sustain growth.
According to Ravid, M&A activity is increasingly becoming a key lever for growth as businesses look to recover.
“To position themselves for future revenue growth, tech companies are now adjusting their M&A strategy to focus more on a target’s business resilience, digital technology alignment and to gain market share through consolidation,” says Ravid.
However, with an increasingly competitive deal market and ongoing geopolitical tensions, the majority of tech execs expect to see more competition in the bidding process for assets over the next year, primarily from private capital.