Saturday, January 26, 2013

Cisco Live! 2013 Notable Keys to Know!

Cisco Live! is Cisco's annual customer conference.  I try to go as often as possible simply because it's the best training bang for the buck that I've found when it comes to Cisco's technologies.  Each day of the conference is started off with a keynote speech and this year Cisco is going with the following speakers.

First on Monday evening before the conference officially begins will be the Solutions Keynotes.  These keynotes will feature senior Cisco engineering experts speaking about the various product lines and their futures.  

Cisco Chief Executive Officer John Chambers
On Tuesday morning the conference officially begins with Cisco CEO John Chambers giving his annual keynote.  Mr. Chambers is always an engaging speaker and lays out where things have been and where they are going.  This year he will be joined with Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior.  Traditionally Mr. Chambers' key note tends to be heavy with facts and figures in complicated power point slides, but what he says is generally inspiring and interesting in my opinion.  I'm hoping that this year will be less about pandering to the news media and stockholders and more about the customers which make up the majority of the audience.

Cisco Chief Technology Officer Padmasree Warrior
Padmasree usually gets the technology keynote on Tuesday so it will be interesting to see what she will be presenting this year.  She is definitely a visionary when it comes to looking at new technologies.  Unfortunately compared to the Cisco Chief Demonstration Officer Jim Grubb she comes across as rather boring at times.  I'm really hoping that a Jim Grubb demo with Mr. Chambers is still in the works for Monday.

Wednesday has often been my favorite of the Cisco given keynotes.  This keynote is generally the demo of some new technology or a way of integrating existing Cisco technologies in a particular vertical.  This is generally where any big announcements of new products are made.  This year Robert Lloyd, Cisco's President of Development and Sales, will be making his Cisco Live! keynote debut.  To be honest his name wasn't on my radar until I got the information on this keynote so I look forward to seeing what he's like as a speaker.  Especially with the blogosphere buzz about him being a potential successor to long time Cisco CEO John Chambers.

Ok, so finally here is the keynote that everyone is really wondering about.  The Thursday celebrity keynote.  In the past we have been graced by the likes of John Cleese, William Shatner, and last year the Mythbusters Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage.  And this year the celebrity keynote speaker is...

Sir Richard Branson
Sir Richard Branson.  He is the founder and chairman of the Virgin Group which includes Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines, and my personal favorite Virgin Galactic.  Virgin Galactic competed in and won the Asari X-Prize to build a craft to ferry three people into space and be able to be returned to space again within 2 weeks.  I am expecting a very good keynote from Sir Richard.

Finally Carlos Dominguez will once again be the host leading us through the conference and the various keynotes.  He has a great stage presence to fire up the crowd every time he gets out there.  Last year I was lucky enough to meet him after one of the keynotes and found him as personable in person as he was on stage.  Keep an eye on his Facebook and Twitter posts as he'll probably be touring Orlando and giving away things prior to Cisco Live!

My Cisco Live! plans for this year are barely in shifting sands, but I'm really hoping to be there again.

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