CISCO PARTNER SUMMIT 2014 — When it announced plans to spend upward of $1 billion to build the world’s largest, interconnected computing cloud this week at the Partner Summit 2014 conference underway in Las Vegas, Cisco redefined its position in the market and quite possibly that of every, other cloud technology provider, too. Here’s why.
As the world’s largest maker of networking equipment, Cisco previously positioned itself as the preferred supplier of architectural building blocks for cloud builders. Instead of building cloud facilities itself, Cisco was more comfortable providing the key pieces of gear to those that did. But changing customer demands and developing market opportunities around the Internet of Everything have prompted Cisco to rethink its strategy.
On Monday, the company announced a plan that will see it team with partners including Telstra, Allstream, Wipro, Logicalis and Ingram Micro, among others, to build what it says will be the largest collection of public, private and hybrid clouds available. They will feature near infinite scalability and unrivaled security, the company said. This essentially means that Cisco will no longer hang back and rely on others to define the underlying technology used to build “interclouds." Instead, Cisco will actively work to ensure that the next generation of cloud capabilities are built using Cisco technology through and through.
If successful, the move could go a long way in helping Cisco fulfill its dream of transforming its technology stack into a more important development platform in computing. A year ago, you’d be hard-pressed to categorize Cisco as a leader in this space. But this week’s announcement elevates Cisco’s APIs, business applications and architectural components in terms of importance to customers and partners alike, especially when it comes to the Internet of Everything (IoE). Cisco is expected to make additional announcements to build out the Cisco partner ecosystem, particularly when it comes to independent software developers (ISVs).
Cisco enters the cloud market well after others have established beachheads.
“Upon entry, Cisco will find a much more crowded and established set of competitors," noted industry analyst Larry Walsh, the CEO of Channelnomics. “IBM is putting $1 billion behind its SoftLayer cloud services, Verizon is ramping up its Terremark services, and Amazon, Microsoft and Google are already engaged in a price war."