Last week saw Optus' sixth year as Platinum Sponsor of Cisco Live. It was a busy, exciting week, and I personally loved the opportunity to meet and talk with lots of customers.
Optus' major theme during this year's event was the Network of the Future. On the opening day of Cisco Live, Rob de Nicolo from Cisco and I explored what tomorrow's network infrastructure may look like, what it promises to deliver, and how our customers will be using it.
We shared our view that the Network of the Future is not defined by the technology itself, but instead, by the opportunities it enables. At the recent Cisco Partner Summit in San Diego, Cisco chief executive Chuck Robbins said the same when he claimed that cloud and software-defined networks (SDN) are 'not what customers want'. It's the benefit of these technologies that they are after - things like automation, simplicity, and lower costs of running infrastructure.
In the presentation, I shared my thoughts on the characteristics of the future network:
- Ubiquitous access
- Seamless transition and a common experience across access paths
- On-demand or cloud speed
- Flexes in real-time
I also heard from customers excited by the promise of the Network of the Future - faster provisioning, decision-making based on real-time analytics, and a closer connection to customers.
These benefits create an environment where organisations can switch their attention to innovation and creativity, rather than being focused on or weighed down by technology. With business agility comes the opportunity to build a platform for competitive advantage and differentiation. Without an adaptable network, it will be more difficult to create or defend against the business models of the future.