The need to provide seamless connectivity and always-on network reliability has become increasingly important with the rampant growth rate of data consumption. According to figures in Cisco’s 2017 Visual Networking Index (VNI) Complete Forecast, annual global IP traffic will reach 3.3 ZB (Zettabytes) by 2021, an increase from 1.2 ZB in 2016. To give you a sense of the magnitude of this, 1 ZB is the equivalent to data on 250 billion DVDs. We’re looking at a 3x increase in five years – and a 127x increase since 2005!

Marquis trade shows are a perfect microcosm for this kind of pressure to meet high expectations for a consistent connection on a crowded network. Everyone knows how maddening it is to be on the conference floor, waiting endlessly for the loading circle to stop spinning. Luckily for the 28,000 attendees of Cisco Live US in Las Vegas this week, CenturyLink will support the event’s Network Operations Center, delivering one of the largest total transport capacities for a trade show.

This is only one of the many pieces of the show we’re excited about. As Cisco’s first Gold Partner, CenturyLink is proud of our long-standing relationship working together to provide joint solutions to our customers. With the expansion of our Alliance programs in February, we are even more committed to putting our partner ecosystem first. This innovative structure empowers us to focus on our partners’ needs and customize solutions for them through collaboration.

The recently announced CenturyLink Managed Enterprise with Cisco Meraki is a perfect example of how we are combining resources to produce a better outcome for our customers ­– opening up access to opportunities previously unavailable. Data from Cisco’s VNI forecast indicates WiFi and mobile devices will account for 73 percent of internet traffic by 2021, punctuating the need for businesses to get ahead of the demands on their WiFi network. The managed enterprise solution with Cisco Meraki addresses many of the priorities of businesses looking to transform their network, supporting lower and more predictable IT costs, faster site turn-up, and increased visibility and security.

Last month we also unveiled our Managed SAP HANA solution, developed in partnership with Cisco and NetApp, another excellent model for how we are leveraging our partner network to leave no stone unturned when it comes to providing value to our common customers. If you are  at Cisco Live this week, we hope you will make time to visit us at Booth #2915 and check out several demo stations and our interactive tunnel, where you can see first-hand how these partnership solutions have benefited customers across multiple verticals.

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