The annual Cisco Live event in the U.S. has long been the networking giant's premier event, though in 2017 the company stole its own thunder by announcing its major new strategy, intent-based networking, last week.
During his keynote address, CEO Chuck Robbins spoke in bold, dramatic terms to the 20,000 Cisco faithful assembled at the Mandalay Bay event center in Las Vegas. His core message? It's the beginning of a new era.
"There are 8.4 billion connected things on the internet today, there are probably 100,000 in this room right here," Robbins said. "3.1 billion of those things are already used by enterprises to change their business model. Every organization on the planet will want to move with great speed to take advantage of what is possible."
As more devices join the internet, Robbins said simply that complexity is the enemy. He noted that business users don't want to struggle with understanding different protocols and minutiae they just want the network and all of its connected device intelligence to work.
Security was also something that Robbins referred to time and again during his keynote
"We have to ensure we are building security into everything we do," Robbin said. "We are going to build the secure intelligent platform that you can run the digital business of the future on."
The digital business of the future is multi-cloud and does automation at scale. Powering that is the network that has insight and context that can help organizations to understand what is happening and solve problem and achieve business objectives quickly, according to Robbins..
"The network is going to be the platform across which all connections come into your world and we have to apply security the moment it hits the wire or we don't have a chance," he added.
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.