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Cisco Connect kicks off in Dubai

Tech summit to focus on IoE, smart government

Cisco Connect kicks off in Dubai
Dabboussi: We believe the next 10 years are going to dwarf the previous 40 years, by miles.

Cisco Connect 2015 got underway this morning at Atlantis the Palm, Dubai under the theme of "Tomorrow starts here".

The two-day conference includes presentations, breakout sessions, and a World of Solutions centre for Cisco's partners. The company claimed around 1000 delegates had signed up for this year's summit.

"Cisco Connect is about our investment in this nation," said Rabih Dabboussi, managing director and general manager, Cisco Middle East, in his opening keynote address. "It's about our vision and strategy to be relevant to the UAE; it's about empowering the UAE to achieve its social and economic transformation and continue its journey to lead, and accelerate its global competitiveness. Because these are the variables of our sustainability. And we feel very proud of this partnership.

Dabboussi made plain that the tech firm's focus was not, strangely, primarily on technology.

"It's about the outcome that technology delivers," he emphasised, "it's about what technology enables."

Cloud, software-defined networking, security, mobility, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Everything are all to receive attention at the summit, and "most importantly", in Dabboussi's estimation, security, which he said was now an agenda-topping issue for "country leadership, the board level of every company and... every customer I interact with".

As part of the growth in the number of connected devices, Dabboussi warned of associated growth in attack vectors for malicious parties. As he put it, "the attack surface has grown".

As usual Cisco is upbeat about the future, particularly in regard to growth in smart services and connectivity.

"We believe the next 10 years are going to dwarf the previous 40 years, by miles," Dabboussi said. "And we are ready for it."

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