Speed, scale and capacity

Todd Nightingale, executive vice president and general manager, enterprise networking and cloud, Cisco, talks to Comms Business about the company’s latest innovations.

Hybrid working is here to stay, but many organisations do not yet have the networking and access infrastructure in place to support it. Last month, Cisco unveiled new wireless networking and access innovations that aim to make it easier for organisations to support hybrid working. The company showcased the Catalyst 9136 (pictured below, right) and Meraki MR57, two new Cisco Wi-Fi 6E products from Catalyst and Meraki that expand capacity to exceed gigabit performance.

In addition, Cisco demonstrated new Catalyst 9000X switches (pictured below, left) that provide the speed, bandwidth capacity, and scale needed to support 100G/400G network access for transitions to hybrid.

Todd Nightingale, executive vice president and general manager, enterprise networking and cloud, Cisco, spoke to Comms Business about how these new products will enable partners to deliver improved user experiences, smart and sustainable workplaces, and secure IoT deployments for their customers.

Nightingale explained, “As we move into a world of hybrid work, employee and customer experiences will be increasingly dependent on secure, reliable connections from anywhere. No longer can we pretend that a fast, agile network is a ‘nice to have’. It is essential to achieve a strategic and competitive advantage.

“IT teams need to transform from simply running networks to supporting business objectives. They need simplicity, automation, and operational efficiency. They need to be spending less time managing their infrastructure, and more time focused on strategic goals. That’s how organisations are going to achieve the agility required to not just outrun their competition but, more importantly, to outmaneuver them.

“We need to deliver power without complexity, we need to deliver technology that simply works. And that’s exactly where we are focused at Cisco.”

Simple wireless experiences

Cisco also demonstrated the Cisco Private 5G managed service offering, which offers a wireless experience that is simple to start, intuitive to operate, and trusted for digital transitions to hybrid work and IoT.

The company also introduced Cisco Silicon One to the Catalyst switching portfolio. Cisco Silicon One was originally deployed in web scale and service provider networks; its capabilities and programming flexibility continue to support networking innovation across enterprise networks. The new Catalyst 9500X and 9600X Series switches use the Cisco Silicon One Q200.

Building on feedback

Cisco’s feedback cycle is essential to enabling the company to innovate rapidly, and Nightingale credited numerous stakeholders as key in unlocking these innovations. He said, “I do want to take the opportunity to thank all of the engineering teams, all of the product teams, every analyst, every partner, and every customer who bought us feedback and helped make these launches possible. It truly takes a village to bring this much innovation to the market all at once and I just want to give a thank you to everyone.

“This next generation of networking is just one more step in how Cisco is driving the evolution of the internet. Cisco set the bar by which the entire industry is measured and produced incredible innovations that redefined how everyone lives, works and plays.

“At Cisco we’re pushing hard to accelerate every user’s cloud transition to build the future of hybrid work, and we’re doing it by leveraging the power of our networking platforms.”

Empowering partners

Given these products have only just launched, Cisco’s partners have had only limited opportunity to share their thoughts, but initial feedback has been positive. Nightingale explained, “It’s amazing how much momentum there is in this business and how many of our partners are focused on hybrid work. That is driving a ton of excitement especially, around this huge leap in access networking technology – not just for personal devices but this explosion of IoT devices. I’ve got a lot of feedback on that from our partner community.”

This feature appeared in our March 2022 print issue. You can read the magazine in full here.

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Charlotte Hathway

Charlotte is the editor of Comms Business and writes about the latest technology innovations and business developments across the Channel. Got a story? Get in touch – charlotte.hathway@markallengroup.com.

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