Cisco Asia Pacific

Cisco APJC leaders: Stephen Dane, MD for Security in APJC

Welcome to the Cisco Asia Pacific Japan and Greater China (APJC) leadership spotlight series, where Cisco executives share their expertise and vision, as well as hot topics in the APJC region.

Cisco executive - Stephen DaneThe Internet of Everything (IoE), hybrid cloud and hyper connectivity are transforming the business environment, leading to a renewed emphasis on security.

We speak to Stephen Dane, Managing Director for Security in APJC for his insights on the dynamic threat environment and the critical need for security everywhere.Stephen brings more than 20 years of experience in the IT and Telecoms industries, working in Asia Pacific and the UK. Prior to Cisco, he was the Vice President in Europe, Middle East and Africa for cloud-based Web security company ScanSafe, which was acquired by Cisco in December 2009.


Q: 20 years in IT and Security – that’s a great track record! What keeps you going?

Two main reasons: First, the security environment is really exciting and fast-paced. Second, it is becoming essential, for both organizations and individuals, to stay ahead of attackers as much as possible to protect ourselves.

The threat landscape is transforming so rapidly that we are literally tackling a different security challenge every day. It’s this dynamism and relentless pace which constantly keeps everyone in our business on their toes.

We see ourselves as trying to defend our customers’ assets. That race has been ramped up significantly in the last couple of years, as attacks become high profile in terms of their effects. The impact on businesses is becoming so significant that it is now a hot topic for the boardroom with C-level executives.

Q: Is it true that the role of an information and security leader has evolved to become one of the most valuable roles in technology today?

Absolutely! Security breaches can have a tremendous impact and affects an organisation’s share price, profit and individual careers! There are multiple examples covered in the news where business profitability has plummeted due to a breach, marring the brand image significantly.

The Sony Pictures and JP Morgan Chase hacks are two new high-profile cases, which have had strong repercussions throughout the business and social landscapes. Such attacks have now become a boardroom issue as flagged in our 2015 annual security report, where Cisco is in a very strong position to lead the conversation not only at a security officer level, but also with C-suite like CIO, CTO and CEO.

While the board expects the information and security leaders to have this matter in hand, it is difficult to succeed without a clear security framework and coherent approach across the entire organization. So, it’s imperative for the two of them to work hand in hand, firstly to prioritize security as a key requisite from a business operations perspective. And secondly, have the boardroom be very clear about each employee’s responsibility in safeguarding company assets.

Q: With Internet and smartphone penetration rates surging, what are the new security challenges that organizations need to face up to?

These are precisely some of the key driving factors for the high-profile attacks I mentioned earlier. That is because the threat vector, which refers to entry points for an attacker to unlawfully access an organization’s assets, isnow wider than ever.

These days everybody is connected all the time and we seepersonal mobile devices are plugged into corporate networks – BYOD. Mobile malware is on the rise as a result, with Android being the most vulnerable. The weakest link is an employee. Anyone can click on a link in an email and connect to a website, unknowingly downloading malware that quickly spreads throughout an organization.

If we look at IoE, up to 50 billion connected devices will be connected by 2020. You can see that the problem is only going to worsen. That quantity of additional things trying to connect to your network is a significant challenge. Organisations need to know who wants access, what device they are using, how are they connecting, what time of day they are connecting and what apps they are accessing. Only then can businesses set a clear, manageable security policy around these requirements.

As cloud applications are so easy to purchase, set up and provide tangible productivity benefits, they are popular among line-of-business stakeholders. With the installation and implementation decision making process no longer undertaken by the IT department, it can lead to organizations losing control over the software they so depend on. This creates another threat vector for attackers to exploit.

Finally, threats themselves are certainly more widespread and targeted. Malware is always evolving, becoming increasingly dynamic and evasive. To defeat firewalls and intrusion prevention systems, a new wave of polymorphic malware can now disguise their destructive payload at different points in time. They’re extremely hard to stop, and are designed to evade detection, so it becomes very important to have visibility of suspicious activity across your IT infrastructure and reduce the time it takes to remediate.

Q. Security is critical to Cloud Computing and IoE – what are the three critical mistakes business make when planning their security strategy? What would you like to see change in this industry?

Firstly, organizations must have a coherent and widely communicated security framework, backed by the board with clear policies and awareness campaigns. This ensures that everyone in the organisation knows their role in protecting and defending the company’s assets. Every employee has a responsibility to access corporate IT systems and infrastructure safely and securely.

The second mistake is quite basic but strategically important, which is about getting systems patched and up-to-date. We’ve frequently come across outdated browsers, which make organizations vulnerable to exploits. Without clear visibility of what’re on the network or infrastructure, it is almost impossible to protect it.

The third mistake has been historically to approach security from a point product technology perspective, adopting a so-called ’best of breed’ strategy. For example, purchasing a firewall from Brand A for the data center, only to use Brand B for the perimeter, Brand C to cover email security and Brand D to protect the end point. With potentially up to 50 or 60 products and vendors in a single environment, this creates a lot of complexities and silos with glaring gaps – that malicious hackers can take advantage of. At Cisco, we take the holistic solutions based approach so that our customers can have an integrated, connected and synced security platform.

What do we need to improve? I would like to see the defenders get ahead of the attackers! Right now, we’ve been playing a game of catch up with the perpetrators being very well funded and creative. To realize this vision, there are solutions which Cisco is pursuing that will bring about greater automation from better use of threat intelligence, allowing companies to be much better at detecting and stopping malware attacking their organisation.

Q. If you were able to go back in time and give three pieces of advice to yourself when you first started working, what would they be?

Considering the old adage that God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason, my first advice is to listen more than you speak. Customers nowadays are very well educated, way more than 20 years ago when I first started because they have access to information from everywhere. So they’re pretty knowledgeable and we need to hear what they need and provide a comprehensive solution to their business challenge.

The second advice is to see things through the eyes of the customers. Don’t just tell your own story, but listen and understand what they’re hoping to achieve. From a sales perspective, these two factors still make me stop in my tracks sometimes.

The final one is to take risks, particularly when you are starting out and building your career. Consider working abroad. Wherever you are, go and expand your horizons by immersing yourself in different cultures and environments. It is really important to be adaptable in today’s global, interconnected business world. For those in a large company, join a start-up, to do different things because it provides a lot more context as we go through life and develop a career. Rest assured these different kinds of experiences will be valuable subsequently.


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Celebrating our people on Labour Day

Posted on behalf of Annella Heytens, Vice President of Human Resources for Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China at Cisco.

As we prepare to celebrate Labour or International Worker’s Day in the Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China (APJC) region on Friday, 01 May 2015, I am drawn to remember the origins of this public holiday.

To me, Labour Day serves as a reminder of what collective strength has achieved for workers. It also highlights the role of employers like Cisco, and our focus on the well being of our people.

In fact Labour Day commemorates the victims of the Haymarket affair. Named after the Haymarket square in Chicago, where during a strike for the eight-hour workday in 1886, four protesters and seven police officers lost their lives. The event marks a significant change in the sentiment and nature of the fight for worker’s rights.

Even after 125 years, some workers are still limited in terms of pay, face hazardous conditions at the work place, or are not given benefits according to the law of their country.

I am proud that companies like Cisco demonstrate their understanding of this heritage, by putting health and happiness of their employees first, as illustrated in our People Deal manifesto:

We make a meaningful difference for our people, our customers and the world around us. We support each other and work together to create shared success that will benefit everyone.

The future of Cisco. The growth of our customers. The lives of people around the world. They’re all connected. Because the Internet of Everything is here. And everything starts with you.

And we put our money where our mouth is by offering award-winning opportunities for interns, graduates and leadership programmes, as well as exposure to diverse cross-functional teams around the world. We enjoy fueling your creativity with events such as Hackathons and DevNet and supporting you with the flexibility to combine a challenging career with time for your family.

Labour Day makes tomorrow an excellent opportunity to reflect, discuss and – of course – spend some quality time with family and friends.

Together, the APJC Cisco workforce represents a substantial part of the region’s total workforce. We can count ourselves lucky, in many ways, with our employer.

Let’s pay it forward.


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Cisco APJC leaders: Ruma Balasubramanian, VP for Partner Organization

Welcome to the Cisco Asia Pacific Japan and Greater China (APJC) leadership spotlight series, where Cisco executives share their expertise and vision, as well as hot topics in the APJC region.

Cisco Exec: Ruma BalasubramanianIn conjunction with the Cisco Partner Summit 2015, we’ve invited Ruma Balasubramanian, Vice President, Partner Organization, Asia Pacific and Japan to share her thoughts on technology being an enabler and the critical importance of developing a robust partner ecosystem.

Ruma is responsible for the growth strategy of Cisco’s APJ partner ecosystem, leading a team which collaborates with regional partners to drive growth and enablement for the partner community. As a member of Cisco’s APJ senior leadership team, she also works closely with the Worldwide Partner Organization to scale global channel models as well as building the future partnerships needed to deliver compelling value to customers.

Q. You have a really impressive resume and it looks like you’ve been in the technology sector throughout your career. How did you get started and when did you get into the technology industry?

Like many people at Cisco, I did my undergraduate degree in computer science and engineering, and realised that while I liked the skills that I acquired in my engineering training, that I didn’t want to be an engineer. I chanced upon an amazing opportunity with IBM in sales and marketing and jumped at it. And it was funny because my entire family are engineers. My uncle, who has PhD in semiconductor physics, called me to congratulate me on my job with IBM. His parting words were, “at least it’s a good company” totally implying that sales isn’t a “real” job like engineering.

IBM gave me my first exposure to IT and business services and I subsequently moved to other IT services company like AT Kearney, EDS Corporation and HP. From there, I just ended up enjoying the IT services and business consulting space, which subsequently led me to Cisco a couple of years ago. Back in my days with these services firms, I always talked about technology being a real enabler so it’s exciting for me to be at Cisco, where we walk the talk.

Q. If you were able to give three pieces of advice to yourself when you first started working, what would they be?

Always sustain your passion for learning, which can be across so many different dimensions. It could be diving deeper into the field you selected or broadening your background in related areas. Also expand your knowledge around different cultures which we, living in this diverse Asia Pacific region, have a great opportunity to discover.

Building a great team is another one which resonates repeatedly for me. It doesn’t matter if you’re an individual contributor or a leader across a huge organization. I believe your team should include everyone who touches your business – the more the merrier – as long as they contribute to your overall goals.

Lastly, believe in yourself and the value you bring to the company. I think this is particularly important for women, but just as important for men. I’ve met many sales and partner professionals, especially here in Asia, who have a great ideas and should be encouraged to bring those to a broader discussion with Cisco colleagues.

Q. You have 24 years of multidisciplinary experience including consulting, sales and management, what is your driving force?

I really love to explore and learn new things. If you look at my background and past roles, it was always about filling gaps in areas which I’ve been curious about. After my MBA, I went into healthcare consulting. I worked on the strategy side of the business, developing healthcare products for insurance companies. Within 2 years, I learned that the key to success in healthcare management is a really strong IT infrastructure and analytics capability.

That was also the reason why I moved to EDS Corp., which ran one of the largest public healthcare technology practices in the US at that time. They had a great sense of using technology as an enabler to identifying everything from payment fraud to disease and wellness strategies. A key part of EDS’ strategy was partnering with some of the big technology players, including, Cisco. .

Similarly, one of the reasons I moved to Cisco was that, as a services leader, technology was never really the focus of our engagements. It was always about business strategy or operations with technology as a tangential part of the engagement. So, I was curious about how companies like Cisco work with customers to embed technology in their business practices and drive improved performance. We’re definitely moving in this direction, and I believe that partners will play a critical role in helping us to be a more customer outcomes focused company.

Q. Partners have always been a key component of the B2B buyer journey. Between the early years of your career and now, how has the B2B buyer’s journey evolved over the years?

Most of our customers today have shifted their mind-set from a single vendor approach to multi-vendor and best-of-breed approach. Customers are becoming increasingly knowledgeable, learning about technology from social media, conferences, and relationships via LinkedIn and other platforms. Word-of-mouth, given our networked world, allows someone to gain crucial information about an organization even before the salesperson walks into their office.

In view of this trend, we need to learn to collaborate effectively with other companies. Our customers might come to us proactively and ask us to partner with best-of-breed partners that bring complementary capabilities like solution integration or analytics. Personally, I think Cisco does that really well compared to most MNCs simply because partnering is very much in our DNA.

The line between customers and partners is also blurring. Many of our major partners, especially with the definition of service providers changing on a daily basis, are turning into customers. As more organizations end up in this managed or high value-added services space, we need to shift our thinking in terms of how we serve them.

Q. You work with more than 16,000 partners across the region, which is an enormous responsibility – what does success mean to you in this role?

One of the reasons I love what I do, is that there is enormous complexity in the partnering space. For me, when I’m thinking about success, I think of three major stakeholder groups – our customers, partners and the Cisco sales team.

Our customers are constantly looking for the right partners to achieve measurable business outcomes. This can be in terms of innovative technologies and specialized skills, value-added services, and our partners’ ability along with Cisco to mitigate business risks.

With more than 16,000 partners, we pretty much run the gamut from resellers to sophisticated partners. The challenge and definition of success for the former is to ensure we’ve the right programs to enable and empower them to drive value from Cisco. As for the latter, it is essentially about evolving our business model to create greater value to them. Partner satisfaction is one of the key indicators we use to measure the effectiveness of our programs and how we serve our partners.

At Cisco, success means that our partners remain integral part of the sales motion for every team within Cisco, including the enterprise, public sector, commercial and Service Provider segments. While there are other, more specific metrics, this is the overarching framework which I use to measure success.

Speaking of partners, I’m extremely excited about the upcoming Cisco Partner Summit in Montreal, Canada, from 27 – 30 April 2015. The event theme, “Be Bold”, is truly appropriate, given where we are as a company and the evolution of our partner relationships. We’ll have some great announcements that will solidify our direction in Cloud, Software and Solutions. From Asia Pacific, I’m excited to welcome a fantastic line-up of presenters from our APJ Leadership team, including Irving, Scott and Bastiaan. I think it is going to be great event for our partners and Cisco.

Follow the conversations at the Cisco Partner Summit in Montreal, Canada at @CiscoPartner and by following the hashtag: #ciscops15

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Cisco APJC leaders: Annella Heytens, VP for HR

Welcome to the Cisco Asia Pacific Japan and Greater China (APJC) leadership spotlight series, where Cisco executives share their expertise and vision, as well as hot topics in the APJC region.

In this first installment, we speak to Annella Heytens, Vice President of Human Resources (HR) in APJC on her career journey, mistakes job seekers make and diversity at workplace.

A veteran of the HR field, Annella has held various leadership positions since joining Cisco in 2007, playing an instrumental role in fostering local talent and leadership in APJC. Prior to Cisco, she was a Director at Towers Watson, helming the Beijing, Jakarta, Manila and San Francisco offices.

Q. You hold a master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics, how did you get into HR?

It happened completely by chance. My mother was a nutritionist. I had no idea what I wanted to be when I was going to the university, so I followed her footsteps. But I absolutely hated it and decided to make a career change, getting myself a Master’s Degree in hospitality management.

After that, I worked in real estate doing finance and business development for a healthcare informatics company. My family was about to move to China and I had a job opportunity with then Watson Wyatt (now known as Towers Watson) to start their HR consulting firm in Beijing.

I found myself in China unable to converse in Mandarin and not knowing anything. But despite the odds, I managed the consulting practice for 3 years, growing the business from a one-man office to many employees, and the amazing thing is that we were profitable from the first year onwards!

Q. With 17 years of HR experience, what do you see as the top 3 mistakes job seekers make?

For starters, not having a plan of any sort and taking a reactive approach to job hunting. You don’t leave your career to chance, relying on just online postings or job openings, but proactively network and involve others like recruiters who can help. These days, you have to invest time and take a holistic approach to secure a job.

Another reality is most HR people spend less than 10 seconds scanning through each resume. Instead of making a CV voluminous with flowery language, what you really need to do is to ensure the content stands out. Like most recruiters, I only picked candidates who could provide the information I wanted.

Lastly, you have to be authentic and show off your capabilities, demonstrate plenty of self-confidence and be able to articulate concisely. It is equally important to display a keen interest in the job, like asking the right questions, backed by a strong understanding of the hiring company.

Q. Women still constitute a modest percentage of the overall workforce in the APJC region. What can be done to improve female participation in the workforce?

For Cisco, we are able to attract women in their early career, when they are still single or fresh out of the university. However, once their life situation changes (they get married, have childcare or eldercare difficulties), we face the challenge of retaining them. Cisco aside, few companies have figured out what women need at different points in time.

We have a holistic and multifaceted approach to tackle this problem, flexibly mapping the needs of our female employees with what we can offer, as well as an amazingly supportive management. The latter includes female role models, who can understand the aspirations of women to nurture them throughout their careers, so that they will stay within the organization.

Q. What can other companies learn from Cisco on embracing diversity at the leadership level and what is your counsel to women who are trying to step up?

We now have a female CFO, CHRO, CTO, CIO and CMO, who are all exceptionally strong female leaders at the executive level. I think this is the first crucial step in encouraging diversity. These women role models will help to filter the trend downwards, proving to their peers there is no glass ceiling.

Personally, I think women need to step up and take more risk. It is really about empowering them to be on par with their male colleagues. For example, being vocal and assertive without – I hate to say this – being branded as bossy or arrogant.

Q. If you were speaking to women early in their career, what are the three things you wish someone had told you when you started out?

Firstly, always follow your passion and do what you are really good at. At the end of the day, if you are not driven and motivated, you will never excel and succeed in your field of work.

Secondly, focus on learning as a life-long journey instead of a destination, and try to learn as much as possible when you are young and blessed with a fertile mind. Moreover, learn how to apply this knowledge across multiple industries and functions, and don’t be afraid of exploring different things.

Finally, I wish I started traveling sooner to see the world and learn from the different cultures. Thanks to technology, the world has gotten a lot smaller and noticeably more accessible than before. That said, it is also harder to travel when we have a family and kids – thus, the younger we embark on it, the better it is!

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Smart, connected and secure Songkran in Thailand

Image courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Image courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Did you know: Songkran is derived from the Sanskrit word saṅkrānti and refers to astrological passage into the first zodiac sign and therefore, the start of the New Year.

Celebrated around the warm presence of family and friends, some of the traditions surrounding this festival include temple visits, paying respects to the elders, spring cleaning the home and poring a bowl of water on family members to symbolically wash off all misfortunes in the past year, thus welcoming the New Year with a fresh new start.

As Songkran takes on a more festive mood, the humble bowl has become a bucket, water guns, and even garden hoses! And where there are merry memories, there are selfies. Songkran celebrations now include selfies, hashtags, video clips of joyful moment, video calls with loved ones in distant lands (who are suddenly not too far away) – all thanks to the Internet.

With the proliferation of smartphones and other internet-ready devices, people are able to connect in ways that were unimaginable a decade ago. Now that the constraints of space and distance are eliminated by technology, the celebrations of Songkran can be extended to just about everyone.

In Thailand, connected devices and video have been bringing joy and warmth during holidays. Most Thai peSongkran selfieople head to their hometowns to get blessings from their parents and elder relatives. For others who do not have the luxury of making the trip home during Songkran, Internet video – whether posted online or live video calls – are bridging the gap, so that they do not miss out on this special occasion with their families and communities.

While we enjoy and embrace this connectivity, there is a need for caution. As we share the selfies and panorama and vine videos, please check that you are on a trusted network as criminals are disguising malware as everyday apps, although they are designed to infect and hide in plain sight on smart devices. Utilizing Web browser add-ons to distribute malware, this strategy is proving to be successful because non tech-savvy users inherently view them as harmless. Thailand currently ranks third in the world for having the highest number of location based attacks and most online breaches were ultimately traced back to user-installed malware.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand estimates that 2.4 million tourists will arrive in the month of April to join in the merriment of Songkran and to keep the everyone connected, there is a need to boost the modernization of infrastructure in Thailand. This is why it is important to build out the next-generation broadband and video support for the country wide network – not just for the increasing number of tourists, but also to embrace the inter-regional connectivity enabled by the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015 at the end of the year.

Image courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Image courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The Internet and connecting the previously unconnected is changing every aspect of how people live and communicate in Thailand, creating deeper connections despite being separated over great physical distances.

With the rise of more versatile smart and connected devices, the idea of festivities away from your family is slowly fading as these smart devices will allow us to connect and interact with our loved ones no matter the distance.

Happy New Year and here’s to our connected and secure future!


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Technology, Sharing and a World of Solutions: Cisco Live 2015, Melbourne

Great vibe at Cisco Live!Cisco Live 2015 - Audience 
What an amazing event we’ve had in Melbourne at Cisco Live 2015! Five exciting days filled with Cisco technologies and the energy of participants and speakers from around the world – subject matter experts, partners, IT professionals, students and customers across industries. They all came to Cisco Live 2015 in Melbourne to be part of the great things we’re doing.

As the Chief Technology Officer and managing director of Enterprise Networks for Asia Pacific and Japan, I speak and attend many events. But not many like this. The excitement around our innovations and the positive vibe from our partners and customers couldn’t have been more palpable! (more…)

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Celebrating Cisco Partner achievements in Australia and New Zealand

We deal with our partners and resellers every day, and have first-hand experience of how hard they work. The technology industry is constantly evolving, and it is always very challenging to thrive in such a competitive industry.

We believe that Cisco partners are the best in the business, and want the world to know what an amazing team we have around us.

So, in order to recognise the dedication and hard work of our partner network in Australia,  we hosted an event earlier tonight, where Cisco congratulated the winners of two Cisco Partner award programs, before the official opening of our annual event Cisco Live in Melbourne.

As the Director of Cisco Australia’s Partner Business Group, Jason Brouwers said that the Cisco Partner Insight Awards at Cisco Live is probably his favourite professional event of the year. Cisco is a business built on partners, and it’s incredibly important to focus on the people who constantly perform above and beyond expectations.

This year we also had the pleasure of recognising the four winners of the Partner Marketing Excellence Awards. These awards reward innovative, creative marketing programs that deliver outstanding business results.

The Cisco partner team and our reseller community enjoyed an amazing dinner, and shared many laughs, stories and memories, and Cisco is looking forward to enjoying it all again next year!

The official winners of the evening are listed below, but Jason wants to acknowledge all of Cisco’s hard working partners, and thank them for everything they achieved through 2014.

The full list of 2015 Cisco Partner Insight Award winners:

Learning Partner of the Year Dimension Data Learning Solutions
Cisco Capital Partner of the Year Optus Business
Services Partner of the Year Optus Business
Application Platform Partner of the Year Contexti
Cloud Partner of the Year Telstra
Cloud Solution Excellence Partner of the Year Dimension Data
Smart and Connected Partner of the Year iiNet
Software Solutions Partner of the Year Data#3
Community Contribution Award Dimension Data
Internet of Everything Partner of the Year Bridge Point Communications
Innovation Partner of the Year NEC Australia
Innovation Partner of the Year Spark Digital New Zealand
Small Business Partner of the Year Mercury IT
Mid-Market Partner of the Year Harbour IT
Vertical Solution Innovation Partner of the Year Telstra
Technical Excellence Award Lee Stafford, Dimension Data
Alliance Manager of the Year Chris Losco, Telstra
Distribution Partner of the Year Ingram Micro Australia
Teaming Excellence Award Lianne Cummins-Toi, Telstra and John Kent, Cisco
Solutions Delivery Excellence Award Arthur Thodis, NEC Australia



The full list of 2015 Cisco Partner Marketing Excellence Award winners:

Best revenue marketing program Optus
Best vertical marketing program Amcom
Best Cisco Powered marketing program Data#3
Best Distributor marketing program Dicker Data




Calling all hackers… Join us @ Cisco Live Melbourne for the first ever DevNet!

For the first time in Australia, Cisco will host DevNet and a Hackathon at Cisco Live 2015 – exclusively for the developer community. This is a new addition to the Cisco Live program which is our premier annual event for customers, partners and IT professionals in Melbourne from 17 – 21 March, 2015. It is the third of its kind and Cisco is planning to expand these globally.

What is DevNetCLMel_DevNet_1?
DevNet is a series of practical sessions designed to help developers stay informed on the latest Cisco technologies. Developers will get involved in a range of sessions which cover basic to advanced tutorials across platforms including: IoT, ACI, SDN, Openstack, Data Virtualisation, and Collaboration. They’ll walk away with the ability to create new apps and solutions on Cisco technology platforms for a global market coupled with practical tips and insights from Cisco technical experts.

Ultimately, DevNet will help developers build applications to enhance and manage Cisco networks and/or create new network-enabled software applications. An essential benefit of the forum is the opportunity to connect and network with fellow hackers and experts.

The Hackathon
Cisco will host its first Hackathon in Australia with developers competing to create an app that solves a real-life problem whilst leveraging Cisco technologies. The Hackathon will be a great opportunity to meet other developers who will unleash their coding and design talents, provide hands-on support and come up with the solution to the big challenge.

What you can score?
If you’re registered for DevNet Hackathon you can take out a share in a cash prize of $9,000!

To sign up to the DevNet program and Cisco Live Melbourne visit:

For news and updates from Cisco Live Melbourne 2015, follow me at @KevinBloch and @CiscoLiveMEL


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Increasing Philippines’ Competitiveness through IoE

The internet has evolved from a message medium to a network grid connecting numerous computers and people throughout the world. Millions of people connect to the internet for entertainment, interaction, work and study. It has been such an integral part of the modern man’s life that the United Nations declared the internet as a fundamental human right. At Cisco, we believe that Education and the Internet are the great equalizers of the next century. (more…)

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Bigwigs, bugs and bad traffic – building better models for Asia

In case you missed it, the planet’s bigwigs met at the World Economic Forum (WEF) last month to discuss global issues and drink wine amongst the Alps.   A couple of weeks earlier the WEF published their annual Global Risks Report which detailed a litany of macroeconomic, socio-political and governance problems which threaten our fragile world. Two other ‘companion pieces’ released around the same time made for further uplifting reading: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report laid out graphically the environmental challenge engulfing us, while Oxfam’s Wealth – Having it all and Wanting More paper shocked with the statement that by next year 1 percent of the globe’s population will own more wealth than the ‘bottom’ 99 percent combined.

Here in Asia, it is sometimes easy for us to be a little too sanguine about the world’s problems. We have economic growth rates which others can only dream of. Unemployment remains low, especially compared to Europe. And we have so far avoided the deadly Ebola virus, while our political climate remains stable compared to the conflict and political paralysis seemingly endemic to other parts of the world. (more…)

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