Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

3 things I learnt at Cisco Live Europe 2016

March 7, 2016

Cisco Live Europe is always something special. The 2016 event held in Berlin was no different, with over 12,000 attendees and 300 presentations and breakout sessions over five days. This year I also took time out to visit openBerlin, Cisco’s very own innovation centre – a sister to IDEALondon, which we co-run with UCL and DC Thomson.

Here are three top highlights from my visit to Berlin.

Our new CTO Zorowar Biri Singh’s first Cisco Live Zorawar Biri Singh copy 2

Six months into the job as our Global CTO, it was Zorowar Biri Singh’s first Cisco Live. He took to the stage to share his vision for the company, talking about the fourth era of computing and digitisation. 

Biri said the fourth era of IT was essentially about two things: machine-centric digitisation and people-centric digitisation.

Biri talked about how business processes and models need to be transformed and re-codified. He described the power of automation and applying machine learning and deep learning to analytics.  He also spoke about how this relates to empowering colleagues, so that our friction points around exchanging information securely are minimised. Biri said the final piece of the jigsaw is all about the interaction and experience you share with your customers and partners.

It was interesting to hear that half of Biri’s experience comes from a start-up background as a founder, investor and CTO – being involved in eight start-ups in his career. With big company experience from Nortel, IBM and HP, he brings a lot to Cisco and if you get the chance to hear him speak, I can highly recommend it.

In the meantime, here’s an interview with Biri, conducted at the show.

openBerlin the innovation centre with a loft space to die for

While I was in Germany I took the opportunity to visit openBerlin, which is a wholly-owned Cisco innovation centre.

We have innovation centres all over the world – including two in the UK – to help foster collaboration, build solutions with partners and start-ups, and engage in rapid prototyping.

openBerlin is an amazing space, with particular focus on manufacturing, transportation and logistics. There’s lots to touch and see, with prototypes and demonstrations to get your hands on. If you get the chance to visit openBerlin, I can recommend it – if only to see the ‘connected loft’.

It was also a pleasure to spend some time with Amy Lai, founder and CEO of WITTOS, who has the rare distinction of graduating from the Cisco EMEA Entrepreneur In Residence Programme and being featured at openBerlin. Amy has secured a pilot with the DDR Museum in Berlin and will be featured in an interview on the Start-up Hub soon – so watch this space.

Switching on Cisco Network-Powered Smart Lighting Solutions

CDCCisco Live also saw the official launch of Cisco Digital Ceiling Framework which enables the convergence of building systems – including lighting, heating, cooling, sensors, and other actuators – to increase efficiency and enable unique user experiences.

There are a couple of important points here. Firstly, it’s about the cost savings – with up to 40% of a building’s operation expense is keeping the lights on. And secondly, it’s about transforming the experience of building users.

Imagine walking into a room and it automatically adjusting the light intensity, colour, room temperature and phone and video profiles to your preferences. Take that a step further and incorporate daylight harvesting, dimming controls and presence based lighting to save energy. These are just a couple of aspects that the Digital Ceiling Framework addresses. You can find out more by checking out Tony Shakib’s blog post and a further post by John Baekelmans.

There’s also the video below, taken at the Digital Business Transformation booth, which summarises some of the elements from the Digital Ceiling, along with the Workforce Experience.

Did you attend Cisco Live in Berlin? If so, what were your highlights? As always, any comments are welcome.

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