3 Key Takeaways from Cisco’s GSX 2018

Last week’s GSX conference started off with a bang as Chuck Robbins took the stage to inspire legions of Cisco sales teams. With an overall atmosphere of positivity and optimism, the event offered plenty of educational opportunities, amazing interactive activities for employees, and a few high-profile surprises, like a visit from Shaquille O’Neal and a performance from the band OneRepublic.

I’ve been to a lot of these events, and this year felt different – in a great way. A combination of new products and vision combined with new sales and marketing leadership seemed to have all the teams buzzing. And, once again, we were honored to participate and have the opportunity to interact with some of them. Why do we participate every year? Because we’re a strategic partner with Cisco that works to enrich the customer experience by helping increase the overall value of Cisco solutions (for example with SD-WAN).

Like Cisco’s CEO said on opening day, putting the customer first isn’t enough, you have to be customer-obsessed. At LiveAction, we couldn’t agree more. Our solutions are designed to give customers unprecedented visibility into their networks and simplify how they deploy, manage and troubleshoot them. Doing this well means offering an incredible product, with incredible support, and incredible integrations. It means delivering a complete customer experience. To quote Chuck Robbin, CEO of Cisco, “Customer experience will determine our customers’ success, therefore our success, in the future.” We couldn’t be more excited that our business is so well aligned with Cisco’s vision for the future.

For more insight into what’s in store for Cisco, LiveAction and the industry at large, let’s take a look at my three key takeaways from the show:

1. Cisco is All-in on SD-WAN, and So Are We – As our CEO, Brooks Borcherding, wrote in a blog post a couple weeks ago, “The ability to deliver network connectivity smarter, faster and more cost effectively is the catalyst of a staggering market transition as companies race to embrace the benefits of SD-WAN.” Following Cisco’s recent ISR/ASR router news, presenters at the show continued to talk about the impact SD-WAN is having and will have on Cisco’s customer base. LiveAction plays a pivotal role in delivering that complete customer experience by giving users the tools needed (via LiveNX) to successfully rollout SD-WANs. We break the process into three phases. First, baseline planning (or Day 0), where customers use LiveNX to complete an initial network assessment. Second, deployment verification (or Day 1), which allows teams to verify the policies they’ve created. And finally, ongoing operational insight (or Day 2), that allows organizations to centralize the day-to-day monitoring and alerting so teams can understand the operational impact of SD-WANs.

2. The New Customer Experience Organization Runs Deep – With a new Customer Experience (CX) organization in place, that mantra of “we’re stronger” and “we’re customer-obsessed” should continue to pick up steam as Cisco leans into FY2019. This is a big push to align internal teams and external partners to deliver unprecedented levels of customer support/experience. When it comes to delivering visibility and simplifying the network for Cisco customers, LiveAction plays a huge role as a key partner. We help Cisco customers achieve success by optimizing the networks they’re deploying and managing. Simply put, we’re in the business of helping create IT efficiencies and improving end user experiences. As we move forward, expect to see even closer alignment here as it becomes an intense focus area.

3. Supporting the Hybrid Network Still Matters – While SD-WAN (and even DNA Center) are all the rage, for good reason, the reality is that most customers are, and always will be, multi-vendor, hybrid networks. LiveAction supports many technologies and vendors, which means as organizations deploy new Cisco technologies (or other vendor tech), we allow them to understand the impact and monitor across the entire network. These capabilities got even stronger with the recent acquisition of Savvius, enabling LiveNX to offer the most comprehensive NPMD solution on the market today (using both flow and packet data). Transitioning and migrating customers plays a critical role in a positive customer experience. We deliver the visibility tools necessary to properly manage and maintain a hybrid network.

The future looks bright for Cisco and the broader community. We had more than 300 discussions with Cisco sales professionals at the event and they all focused on how our new features and capabilities can help them better service customers. We’re excited to work with our partners to bring even more value to our joint Cisco/LiveAction customers. Check out our Partner page to learn how to work with us and deliver new value with Cisco SD-WAN, DNA Center, and other network transitions.

Joe O’Connor, VP of Channels & Alliances

Aug. 30, 2018