On Thursday 24th November, Cisco brought its UK Partner Forum to Brighton, attracting delegates from across the UK to Ideal's home city. Having the event on our doorstep gave us a fantastic opportunity to renew and strengthen our already strong relationship with Cisco, network with industry colleagues, and catch the various speakers and events on the day. Here are some of our highlights.
Paul Davies, account director
My highpoint was the forward-looking presentation by Cisco's UK and Ireland CTO Alison Vincent. Alison's talk, engaging and amusing in equal measure, looked through the lens of technology to see what the future has in store for us. A particular theme was the continued blurring of technology and reality. Alison gave the example of augmented reality game Pokémon Go, where you collect virtual Pokémon overlaid on your actual surroundings. She suggested that in the next iteration they might interact with items around you, for example hiding under a table or behind the curtain.
Tim Misson, sales manager
I saw plenty of interesting things, but the standout for me has to be the discussions around Cisco's advanced software features, and particularly StealthWatch. Here's an app that runs on your network hardware, monitoring activity and learning what's normal. It's got the intelligence to recognise abnormal behaviour on the network, and let you know when there's a potential security or configuration problem you need to act on.
Daren Vallyon, solutions architect
Cisco talked about two interesting new products. CliQr has been rebranded and updated into Cloud Centre, providing a single management interface for the many individual APIs of competing and complementary cloud services. It should help simplify cloud management, automation and monitoring. There's also the new Tetration Analytics platform, which promises a brilliant new way to visualise the data centre in real time.
Feonix Tahany, account manager
Head of technical strategy Rob Price's presentation on security was a high point for me. I sometimes talk to clients who don't seem overly concerned by the new wave of security threats, but Rob was excellent at framing them in the business context. He used the concept of a security triangle that encompasses the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your data - and how the business might suffer if you're compromised on any point.
Rich Harvey, solutions architect
I was also impressed by Rob's presentation, particularly his point that there's now an added dimension to security: control. By compromising your IP camera, hacking into your car or stealing data from a compromised device, hackers are giving themselves a control point in your life - a lever they can use to manipulate you. A partner like Ideal is perfectly placed to help customers assess their risk profile and design the optimum solution that ensures that they maintain security and control.