At the Cisco Expo 2013, Cisco will demonstrate a live infrastructure rivalling many enterprise networks

A comprehensive architecture demo will be built at Expo 2013, taking place in March 2013 at Sun City, giving delegates a deep insight into every part of the portfolio, in a live environment.

“At the last Expo, we had enough IT on the ground to run a small bank,” says , systems engineering country lead at South Africa. “We had fully equipped, redundant data centres, a high-speed network backbone… the works. For 2013, we’re going to go even further.”

has focused on demonstrating the user experience with the opening of its Experience Centre, a technology showcase at ’s Bryanston offices. The centre demonstrates the latest networking and collaboration products, running on a comprehensive stack of infrastructure technologies. Visitors can experience the full gamut of interactive solutions, from desktop VOIP handsets to a fully immersive telepresence room. Every component is fully operational, showing live services, management, , provisioning and more.

The Expo 2013 will take that experience a step further, with the vendor’s own solutions supported by partners showcasing additional solutions.

Expo visitors will not only be able to see demonstrations of technology in action, they will be able to actively participate, Wright says.

The Expo, embracing the BYOD (bring-your-own-device) ethic, will allow visitors to connect their own mobile PCs, smartphones and tablets to the network, with the architecture managing hundreds of wireless clients making simultaneous use of mobile video, collaboration services, and productivity technology.

The BYOD trend is driving usability pressures to new levels, Wright says, and refocusing network managers on their architectural capabilities. Users expect devices to be able to seamlessly integrate into enterprise environments, while CIOs expect that integration to happen with no compromise in , performance and management. IT departments, Wright says, need to be able to rely on their network architectures to facilitate that integration.

“One of the biggest problems is usability. Every product looks the same until you use it. And if technology isn’t immediately relevant to the business user, it’s useless. The moment technology fades into the background we believe we’re being successful.” Anticipating the demands of the enterprise, from user to the board, has driven the experience-centric approach Wright advocates.

“How does the integrate into the solution that enables you to get on to the network successfully, and securely access business applications, using a device owned and maintained by the individual?” Wright says. “You need to build a foundation of intelligent network infrastructure that is able to identify and process different types of applications over the infrastructure, all requiring a separate quality of service, with individual profiles.”

Increasingly, and driven by BYOD practices, wireless networks are becoming central to enterprise infrastructures, not secondary. “Fifty percent of devices manufactured this year will not have a wired port at all,” Wright says. “Access points need to be able to intelligently detect environment conditions and interference, and reconfigure themselves to deliver a consistent experience to every user in range.” Intelligent infrastructure, he concludes, is critical to delivering consistent, business-relevant architecture. Delegates to the Expo in March 2013 will see each component in that strategy operating live.

Register online for Expo South Africa 2013 at