Have you given much thought about what to expect from the Internet of tomorrow? Candidly, this topic has been foremost on my mind lately after I sat down with executives from Cisco to discuss the company’s vision of the Internet for the Future.

If you missed my interviews with Cisco’s Jonathan Davidson, SVP and GM of service provider business, and Bill Gartner, SVP and GM of systems and optical systems and optics group, please check out them out in the archives.

In December, I was sworn to secrecy about its big “Internet for the Future” announcement. Cisco put on an impressive show, and the news was indeed very exciting. For me, perhaps the most interesting takeaway was when Davidson pointed out how Cisco wants to build a new network that is more resilient for customers, as well as making it simple, modern, and trustworthy.

Cisco introduced Silicon One, a new networking silicon architecture designed for universal adaptability. Interestingly, Cisco insists no matter your service provider or market, Silicon One is for you. And with so many customers struggling with capacity, Cisco explained that now is a good time to help customers grow capacity economically. Fortunately, the cost per bit has come down, but to get it even more affordable, companies need to simplify.

With Silicon One, Cisco is hoping the new architecture will deliver that simplification and capacity.

Talking to some non-Cisco people, it seems like Silicon One really nails it. The three pillars of Cisco’s “Internet for the Future” strategy are its investments in silicon, optics, and software.

If you think about it, this is actually a business play and not just a technology play for Cisco. Cisco has set its sights on a whole new business model for selling chips to customers. The company first started this with its optics portfolio, and it’s following suit with Silicon One.

Recognizing a change in how customers want to consume technology and various components of this technology, Cisco came out saying: “you know what, yeah; if you want to pick and choose what components you want. It’s a very adaptable model…

Cisco is letting customers choose whether they want an integrated system or if they want to piece something together on their own. Cisco considers its flexible business model as “changing the economics of the internet.

I think the market needed this kind of solution and Cisco needed a disaggregation business model to compete better in markets like web-scale and 5G.

I think times are a changing and competitors will be blurred. Cisco is saying there used to be a clear boundary between customers and suppliers, but that’s changing, and it’s disruptive.

Instead of seeing this blurring of the line as a threat, you can’t help but love how Cisco in embracing the change that is rapidly occurring and it is truly disrupting itself. Times are a changing, are you ready for the changes?

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