Stronger Together: Cisco and VCE

I’ve been a regular attendee at Cisco Live, Cisco’s annual technology conference in Las Vegas – in fact I started my career in 1996 as a network engineer at Cisco. Each year Cisco has upped its game and delivered a better conference than the year before. This year was no exception. It was a forward looking event that focused on customer challenges and technologies that deliver meaningful results. The Converged Platforms Division of EMC was out in full force to support Cisco – one of our closest and strongest allies.

Our partnership with Cisco goes back to before the inception of VCE in 2009 and has resulted in billions of dollars’ worth of business and generated tens of thousands of customers around the globe. Together we have changed the face of the IT industry by creating a new market category – converged infrastructure. The Converged Platforms Division is the undisputed leader as the number 1 in Integrated Systems in 1Q16, according to IDC. The meteoric rise of VCE is testament to the fact that customers need an agile, flexible and scalable infrastructure that can transform their journey towards the modern datacenter and deliver excellent business value.

This theme was heavily underscored in a keynote in which I participated along with Cisco’s SVP and CTO, Zorawar Biri Singh, Sandra Rivera from Intel and Val Bercovici from Solidfire. My message was simple:  businesses around the world are looking to gain an edge in the race to digitize — to seamlessly incorporate new technologies, streamline operations and connect more closely with customers, suppliers, and partners. The Converged Platforms Division, along with allies such as Cisco, is playing a leading role in this field. Our transformative converged platforms enable customers to succeed with their critical digitization initiatives.

Keynote Discussion: Digitization in a Cloud-Native World
Keynote Discussion: Digitization in a Cloud-Native World

Watch the full keynote here

Chuck Robbins visits the VCE booth at Cisco Live
Chuck Robbins visits the booth at Cisco Live

There is no better validation of a portfolio than happy customers who are willing to talk about their experience and the benefits they have realized from a technology they have deployed. At Cisco Live one such success story was presented by Mike Somerville, from the University of San Diego, to a packed audience. Mike shed light on the challenges that led to the University opting for VCE’s converged systems four years ago and explained that their IT team was so impressed with the VCE solution that they recently not only bought another Vblock but also added a hyper-converged appliance, VxRail, to their arsenal. This highlights a key point – a large percentage of our business is associated with repeat purchases and is positive proof of how well our technology delivers what we promise it will.

You can read the full case study here.

Another VCE customer, a federal government department, presented at the event. He showcased the department’s success story by first highlighting the DIY pain they went through before migrating to an engineered solution from VCE, making a strong case for buying infrastructure rather than building it. He then contrasted the results from the department’s massively successful deployment with the VCE sponsored IDC whitepaper which assesses the business value of VCE Vblock Systems. I was pleased to see that the federal government department’s deployment results bested the metrics in the IDC whitepaper. Now that is what I call success!

We also hosted our VCE User Group (VUG) meeting, a forum for customers to connect with us and other customers. Another successful event, it allowed us to touch base with our customers and take a quick pulse check on their challenges and future plans.

By all accounts it has been an action packed last 12 months at VCE, the Converged Platforms Division of EMC, but one thing that has not only remained constant but grown stronger is our alliance with Cisco. Let there be no doubt we will continue to grow and invest in this relationship as we become Dell EMC.

Here’s to a strong partnership and another successful Cisco Live!

Watch Trey Layton’s Cisco Live TV interview – Trey’s section starts at 22:18

Trey Layton

About the Author: Trey Layton

Trey started his career in the US Military stationed at United States Central Command, MacDill AFB, FL. Trey served as an intelligence analyst focused on the Middle East and conducted support of missions in the first days of the war on terror. Following the military Trey joined Cisco where he served as an engineer for Data Center, IP Telephony and Security Technologies. Trey later joined the partner ecosystem where he modernized the practices of several national and regional partner organizations, helping them transform offerings to emerging technologies. Trey joined NetApp in 2004 where he contributed to the creation of best practices for Ethernet Storage and VMware integration. Trey contributed to the development of the architecture which became the basis for FlexPod. In 2010 Trey joined VCE, where he was promoted by Chairman & CEO, VCE, Michael Capellas to Chief Technology Officer, VCE. As CTO Trey was responsible for the product and technology strategy for Vblock, VxBlock, VxRack, Vscale and VxRail. During his tenure, VCE was recognized as one of the fastest technology companies to reach $1 Billion in revenues and one of the most successful joint ventures in IT history. The origional VCE products Trey has led strategy on continue to be leaders in their respective share categories around the world. In 2016 Trey was asked to lead from concept the development of an all Dell Technologies converged product. From that initial concept Trey led a global team of engineers to deliver Dell EMC PowerOne, the industry’s first autonomous infrastructure solution, embedding open source technologies which enable automated infrastructure integration based on declarative outcomes.