Cisco Live 2016 – Recap #CLUS

It has been a few weeks since the end of Cisco Live 2016.  I was originally targeting my blog post to be right after the event – catch all of that post event excitement.

I wanted my post to be more of a retrospective, how I feel about the event – where the benefits are for ME.

Each Experience is Different

If you asked 25 people how Live was for them, what their plan was, you will get 25 different answers.   I have a few goals at each Cisco Live event that I attend.

 1.  Network with colleagues and good friends

This one is HUGE for me.   In life, business and technology there is no better resources than those you have around you.   I have met some amazing people at Cisco Live.  True technology visionaries – people who really do think differently, and people who thing abstractly.

On the surface it sounds like a kegger party or some kind of mass social event, but it is nothing like that, unless you were a fly on the wall to the conversations that we have with each other – it is simply impossible to comprehend.  I swear that when this group is together, a high speed multi-gigabit (it would obviously be some kind of mGIG  / NBase-T connection OBVIOUSLY 😉 )  connection is created and ideas, thoughts and challenges are transferred at high speed between individuals.

The biggest take away I get from this group is inspiration – a few years ago it inspired me to look within myself, and forge ahead with new ideas.   Every year I get new perspectives on technology and my life.

This is the large family of “Live Friends” but this year they really did graduate in my own personal mind from Live Friends to Live Family.



2.   Get the update

What is the focus for 2016/2017.  What is the new technological focus – yes from a Cisco perspective (see my Cisco DNA series) but more important, what is hot.  I mean really hot.  Is it IoT technology (slow uptake, but this is starting to actually grab hold), new wireless technologies (802.11AC Wave 2?), new management platforms?

What about SDN?   Years ago at Live I remember watching demos on “OpenFlow” and thinking “That’s interesting, but no mass adoption yet”.     The key is to see what is coming.

This is your chance to hit up some sessions and get up to date on — whatever it is you need updating on.  Don’t leave before Q&A – that could be your chance to spark up an amazing conversation with someone really smart.

3.  Find a path for this year

So this really is my secret,  #CLUS helps you find your competitive edge.   If you want to stay competitive in the marketplace, be the “go to guy/gal”, and keep life interesting – you need to stay ahead.   Cisco Live unlike any other event shows you what is coming down the tubes, and in great detail.

Perhaps this year you are planning a big data centre migration and want to design a new state of the art architecture.   Maybe you want to build a business plan to revolutionize the way your company uses wireless to drive revenue.

Whatever you are planning for the next 12 months – start planning it at Cisco Live, simply because the resources available to you are outstanding.

3.  Geek-Out

If you are passionate about new and cool technology, this place is pretty awesome for eye candy.  Virtual reality switch configuration, and big transport trucks full of radio gear, model trains connected to IoT devices.  Let’s be honest for just a second – take some time to yourself and go play.   It will be the best release your brain has had in awhile – and this type of release is inspiring, it will help you release the kid that is stuck inside of all of us.


My 2016 Cisco Live Take Away

Ok, my intention wasn’t to write another “here is some tips” post – the event is past, but those are the things that I focus on.

For 2016, my goals are exactly what I mentioned above.   That being said, the event was 2 days too short for me to get everything I wanted – but there is no way my body could have handled 2 more days in Las Vegas.

Most sessions will be up on in coming weeks, so if you missed a session don’t fret, it will be there.

For this year, it is time to understand Cisco DNA (that is why I am writing my Cisco DNA series) as customers will come looking for it, and Cisco is pushing significant marketing dollars down the pipe on it.

Apple integration is going to be big for collab in the next year,  even on the wireless front I can see this being a big deal as well.  This “Apple thing” is going to be big for Cisco.   Keep your eye on it.  Spark + Apple + Video + Wireless = something innovative, I can just feel that.

My main content ingestion focus was Tech Field Day  – Presentations from Glue Networks, OpenGear, Veeam and Cisco.   These were extremely high quality presentations and are currently available on the Tech Field Day Extra page.

The second place I go, is the World of Solutions – but this year it was massive – I mean – massive.   I could have spent my entire day just in that room, each day and still not spent the time I wanted to.   This goes back to value, it is almost impossible not to get good value out of going to Cisco Live – even on just a social / explorer pass.

Now we forge into the last half of 2016, with a new focus, feeling pumped and ready for what is ahead.    See you in 2017.




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