How a big idea changed the culture of the world’s largest networking company

Sometimes, one person can change the culture of an entire corporate giant.

At Cisco Systems Inc., that person is Susie Wee (pictured), vice president and chief technology officer of DevNet Innovations, the company’s developer program. From a standing start three years ago, DevNet has grown to include more than 400,000 developers, and its annual event now outdraws the company’s longstanding user conference.

Cisco never saw itself as a development platform in the past. The company builds network hardware and the software to support it. Partners could add value to the core infrastructure, but the idea that the infrastructure itself might be support business applications wasn’t even on the radar.

Wee’s simple but powerful brainstorm was that applications are data. In a Cube Conversation interview, she offered the example of the capabilities in Cisco’s Meraki wireless access points: Application program interfaces “tell you how many mobile devices are connected, where they’re connected from and where they’re located,” she said. “You can tell how many people have been to your store before and how many are new customers. I’d think any app developer would like to have that information.”

It turns out many of them would. DevNet was launched as a skunk works project. “It was me and a couple of rebels,” she said. “We built one site and brought all the APIs into one place so the developers could access them. We silently launched and people started discovering.”

It’s not that Wee’s ideas didn’t command respect. A former chief technology and experience officer of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group, a recipient Women In Technology’s Hall of Fame award and the holder of 45 patents, she was already clearly one of Cisco’s rising stars.

Right place, right time

But the timing of this idea was also right. Cisco was just beginning to define its strategy around software-defined networking. As functions that were once embedded in hardware began to move into software, new avenues of creativity were opening, challenging Cisco’s hardware-first mindset. If customers could program their networks, they could also derive new insight from how they were used. As organizations move to expose more of their services through application program interfaces, they can mine patterns of activity to better manage their business.

“For example, with AppDynamics [which Cisco acquired in January], you know how many times APIs were called, who’s using them, how often and what they’re using,” she said. “So infrastructure isn’t just about delivering computer, network and storage. It’s also giving insights into how it’s being used.”

It wasn’t clear three years ago whether developers were ready to wrap their minds around the idea of building applications on top of networks. “Then we held our first event, and it was packed,” Wee said. “They are ready.” (And so is Cisco, apparently. On Monday, it bought SDN wide-area network startup Viptela Inc. for $610 million.)

Wee credits former Chief Executive John Chambers and current CEO Chuck Robbins with getting on board early. As word spread and developers began to pile in, the executives championed DevNet as a vendor-neutral resource where developers could plug in to Cisco APIs, test their innovations in free sandboxes and share their work in a showcase called DevNet Creations.

Developer acceptance was so fast that DevNet was quickly wrapped into Cisco Live. The next big idea for Wee and her team is DevNet Create, a first-year conference being held in San Francisco later this month that is expected to bring thousands of developers together to hear from more than 40 speakers and to participate in 80 hands-on sessions.

This isn’t the typical Cisco conference, Wee said. “At a traditional Cisco event you’ll hear about what Cisco has to offer, but 90 percent of the content at Devnet isn’t about Cisco,” she said. “This is an open event for the community.” Sponsors include Docker Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Red Hat Inc.

DevNet events have now become a global fixture at Cisco. More than 6,000 of the company’s engineers are taking DevNet training and flooring dozens of regional DevNets.

The result: “There’s a lot of culture change going on at Cisco as people have seen the success of Devnet and developers,” Wee said. “We see a huge transformation in front of us as applications meet infrastructure. That’s a whole new world.”

[ Source.. ]

 

Share this post

66 thoughts on “How a big idea changed the culture of the world’s largest networking company”

  1. Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?
    My site addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we
    could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested
    feel free to send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you!
    Superb blog by the way!

  2. This article is good and fruitful in favor of all new Personal home pages related web programmers; they must read it and perform the practice.

  3. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each
    time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!

  4. When you contact the vast majority of dumpster rental firms, they may inform you one thing alongside the lines
    of, We have plenty of dumpsters- come on out and pick the one
    you want.” While this will likely sound like a
    profitable proposition, the issue is that 99 p.c of individuals don’t know with regard to
    what dimension of dumpster they need, which oftentimes leads to them paying excess of mandatory. http://www.cumberlandwoodcraft.com/montana/dumpster-rental-59422/

  5. hello!,I like your writing so much! percentage we keep
    up a correspondence more about your article on AOL?
    I require a specialist in this space to unravel
    my problem. Maybe that’s you! Looking ahead to see you.

  6. Hi everybody, here every person is sharing such experience, so
    it’s fastidious to read this website, and I used to visit this weblog every day.

  7. Howdy! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from
    an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog?

    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any ideas
    or suggestions? With thanks

  8. Have you ever thought about creating an ebook or guest authoring
    on other blogs? I have a blog based upon on the same subjects
    you discuss and would really like to have you share some
    stories/information. I know my audience would enjoy your work.
    If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e-mail.

  9. Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa?
    My website discusses a lot of the same topics as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you happen to be interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic
    blog by the way!
    Read Online and Download Your Favorite Book https://bhealth.science/sitemap-post/list_692.xml https://bhealth.science/sitemap-post/list_692.xml

  10. Magnificent beat ! I would like to apprentice while you
    amend your web site, how can i subscribe for a weblog site?
    The account helped me a appropriate deal. I have been tiny bit familiar of this your broadcast provided vivid clear concept

  11. Υou actually maҝe it see so easy with your
    presentation bbut I find ths mаtter to be really something that I
    think I would never understand. It seems too ϲomplicated and very broad for me.
    I am ⅼoooking fоrѡard for your next post, I’ll try to get the hanmg of
    it!

  12. Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your blog.
    You have some really good articles and I feel I would be
    a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write
    some articles for your blog in exchange for a link
    back to mine. Please shoot me an email if interested. Many thanks! http://www.dead.net/member/ppssppmaster

  13. My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from
    PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on several websites for about a year and am
    nervous about switching to another platform.
    I have heard very good things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any kind of help would be really appreciated! https://bestworkboots.kinja.com/best-work-boots-1823640618

  14. I was suggested this bloց bby my couѕin. I’m noot sure whether tһis ⲟst is written by him as no
    оne else know such detailed about my trouble.
    You are amazing! Thankѕ!

  15. Ηey there, I thіnk youг wеbsite might be having browser compatibilіty issues.
    When Ilook at yoᥙr blog site in Oρera, it ⅼooks fine but when opening inn Ιnternet Exploreг,
    it has some overlapping. I just ᴡanted tto
    give yߋu a quifk heads up! Otһеr then that, terrific blog!

  16. Aԝ, this was a really good post. Taking tһe tie andd actual effort to
    produce a great article… bᥙt what can I say… I hesitate a llot and never manage to get nearly anythiing done.

  17. I ԁon’t know whethe it’s jᥙst me or if everyone
    else experiencing іsxues ᴡih your blog. It appears aas though some of the written text in your pⲟsts
    are running off tһe screen. Can somebody eⅼse please provide feedback and
    let me kmow if this is haрpening tⲟo tһem too?

    Thhis might be a problem with my weeb browser beⅽause I’ve
    had this happen beforе. Many thanks

  18. A person essentially assist to make severely posts I might state.
    This is the first time I frequented your website page and up to now?
    I surprised with the research you made to create this actual
    post incredible. Wonderful process!

  19. These problems were among the top issues on the recent annual gathering of the World
    Aquaculture Society, which brought three,000 contributors from 89 nations to
    Seattle.

  20. It is perfect time to make some plans for the long run and it’s time to be happy.
    I have read this publish and if I may just I wish to counsel you some attention-grabbing
    things or tips. Maybe you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read more issues about it!

  21. Subsequently, by using a nifty hydroponic system, the scarcity of land
    for planting is not going to decrease the production of meals,
    which is the important want of people with a purpose to survive.

  22. I could not refrain from commenting. Very well written!|
    I will immediately take
    hold of your rss as I can?t to find your e-mail subscription hyperlink
    or e-newsletter service. Do you have any?
    Kindly let me recognize in
    order that I may subscribe.
    Thanks.|

  23. You really make it appear really easy together with your presentation but I find this topic to be actually something that I feel
    I’d by no means understand. It seems too complicated and very extensive for me.

    I am having a look forward on your next submit, I will try
    to get the grasp of it!

  24. I all the time used to study post in news papers but now as I am
    a user of internet so from now I am using net for articles or reviews, thanks to
    web.

  25. Hi, I do think this is a great website. I stumbledupon it 😉 I may revisit once again since i have bookmarked it.
    Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and
    continue to guide other people.

  26. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this weblog and
    I’m impressed! Very useful information specifically the last section 🙂 I take care of such information much.
    I used to be looking for this particular information for a long time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *