700-020 learning - Cisco Video Sales Essentials Updated: 2024
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Exam Code: 700-020 Cisco Video Sales Essentials learning January 2024 by Killexams.com team
700-020 Cisco Video Sales Essentials
The Cisco Video Infrastructure Design (VID) version 1.0 Cisco®
Training on Demand course is designed for individuals that install and support the Cisco Expressway™ video network solution. You will learn how to install, configure, operate, and maintain core visual communication components, including Cisco TelePresence® endpoints, and to integrate on-premises solutions with cloud solutions, meeting solutions, and management software.
You also learn about Cisco Meeting Server and the Cisco Collaboration Meeting Rooms (CMR) Cloud solution and how you can deploy large-scale telepresence conferencing quickly using Cisco TelePresence Management Suite (TMS). Youll be introduced to Cisco WebEx® and Cisco Spark™, and will learn how to administer Cisco Spark and how Cisco Spark integrates with Cisco Expressway. In addition, you gain an understanding of the APIs and automation features of Cisco Meeting Server and Cisco Spark.
Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:
● Define Cisco TelePresence solutions components and architecture
● Understand Cisco TelePresence Video Communication Server (Expressway) for basic and advanced video networks
● Understand Cisco TelePresence Management Suite (TMS)
● Define Cisco Meeting Server features
● Describe the integration of Cisco collaboration on-premises solutions with Cisco Cloud
● Demonstrate how Cisco TelePresence Content Server (TCS) interacts with other products within Ciscos TelePresence solution
The knowledge and skills necessary before attending this course are:
● Basic computer and IP network literacy
● Basic knowledge of video conferencing and streaming fundamentals Course Outline
● Section 1: Cisco Video Network Solutions
● Section 2: Cisco Endpoints Overview
● Section 3: Cisco Expressway Basic Setup
● Section 4: Components of Cisco Expressway Security
● Section 5: Call Control on a Cisco Expressway
● Section 6: Fundamentals of Subzones and Zones on Cisco Expressway
● Section 7: Clustering on the Cisco Expressway
● Section 8: Cisco Meeting Server Features and Capabilities
● Section 9: Cisco Meeting Server API
● Section 10: Cisco Meeting Server Resilient and Scalable Deployments
● Section 11: Additional Features with Cisco Meeting Server
● Section 12: Cisco CMR Cloud, Premises, and Hybrid Products
● Section 13: Cisco TelePresence Server and Cisco TelePresence Conductor
● Section 14: Cisco TMS Solution
● Section 15: Cisco WebEx and Spark Cloud Solutions
● Section 16: Cisco Spark Administration
● Section 17: Cisco Spark Hybrid Services
● Section 18: Cisco Spark APIs and BOTs
This course is designed to teach technicians that install and support Cisco TelePresence solutions to install/configure, operate and maintain core visual communication components, including Cisco TelePresence endpoints, integration of premise with cloud solutions, meeting solutions, and management software.
In this course, students will add Cisco TelePresence to existing Cisco Expressway environments. This training is also appropriate for end-user technical staff, such as video system administrators and first-line support personnel.
Upon completing this course, students will be able to:
Define Cisco Business TelePresence Solutions components and architectures
Understand Cisco TelePresence Video Communication Server (Expressway) for basic and advanced video networks
Understand Cisco TelePresence Management Suite (TMS)
Define Cisco Meeting Server features
Define integration of Cisco Collaboration Premise Solutions with Cisco Cloud
Demonstrate how Cisco TelePresence Content Server (TCS) interacts with other products within Ciscos Business TelePresence Solution
End-user technical staff
Video system administrators
First-line support personnel
It is recommended, but not required, that students have the following knowledge and skills:
Basic computer literacy
Basic IP network literacy
Basic knowledge of video conferencing and streaming fundamentals
|Cisco Video Sales Essentials
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Cisco Video Sales Essentials
According to Gartner, how much technology spending will by outside of IT by the year
Which WebEx Center has polling and break out rooms?
A. Support Center
B. Meeting Center
C. Event Center
D. Training Center
What is a common education industry need?
A. Reducing the cost of communicating with suppliers.
B. Addressing environmental impacts.
C. Deploying faster manufacturing cycles.
D. Offering or scaling online learning.
Which premise-based conferencing solution is designed for highly scalable meetings,
with servers designed for highly scalable meetings, with servers that can be deployed
across an enterprise without financial penalty?
A. Telepresence Server
D. Cisco Meeting Server
Which conferencing solution is designed for messaging, meeting, calling and persistent
B. Cisco Meeting Server
C. Telepresence Server
What is a common human resources line of business need?
A. Surpassing the increased service expectations from consumers.
B. Decreasing low office utilization.
C. Improving online experiences.
D. Increasing employee retention.
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That's the word from Kevin MacRitchie, vice president of worldwide channels operations at the networking hardware vendor, based here.
In his role at Cisco, MacRitchie is charged with the mission of leveraging the Internet to increase partner productivity by some 5 percent per year, he said.
MacRitchie: Cisco will provide online courses for its entire product line.
A major part of that effort is Cisco's Partner E-Learning Connection (PEC) site. Launched in March 2000, PEC provides online courses for all Cisco technology specializations.
The move to online-based courses was a huge productivity enhancement, said Tom Adams, vice president of strategy and partnerships at Calence, a Tempe, Ariz.-based Cisco Gold partner. "It saves significant time and money, especially on travel costs," he said.
Cisco's e-learning site is currently in its second generation. The first generation basically consisted of books and PowerPoint slides converted to HTML, MacRitchie said. The second generation provides "prescriptive learning," where students take a test before each course, and based on the results of the test, the PEC recommends which modules of the course a student needs to take, he said. Prescriptive learning cuts the number of course modules by between 40 percent and 60 percent, he said.
Calence's Adams said the prescriptive learning system is a timesaver, but the pre-course test isn't always the same as the official certification test. "It's a situation a lot like the SAT," Adams said. "You can ace the SAT prep test and think you are prepared, but when you go for the real test, it's a whole different animal."
The next stage in development of the PEC will be third-generation e-learning, or curriculum-based prescriptive learning, MacRitchie said. Under that scenario, a student enters certification objectives, such as IP telephony and wireless certification, and the system creates a test based on the entire curriculum for those certifications. Then, based on test results, the system determines which modules of which courses the student needs to meet those objectives.
MacRitchie said Cisco expects to test the third generation of the PEC within the next six months and to roll it out within a year.
"We need the time to test it because we need to make sure that the recommendations the system makes are actually what the students need to pass the certification tests," he said.
The PEC also contains a 3-D virtual equipment lab, where students without access to a particular piece of Cisco equipment can view virtual equivalents. "You can supply somebody all the course training in the world, but if they have never actually seen the router or the switch they will be working with, you can run into problems," MacRitchie said.
In the virtual lab, students can view all sides of the equipment and zoom in on particular parts as well as remove and install interface cards, he added.
MacRitchie plans to have all of Cisco's equipment represented in the 3-D lab within six months.
Another online productivity project at Cisco is Partner Access Online (PAL), through which partners can send customer satisfaction surveys and view their own customer satisfaction results on PAL. Cisco recently added attach rates for sales of its SmartNet maintenance program as well as tracking information on calls to its technical assistance center.
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Under UMass Lowell’s Core Curriculum, students must have the opportunity to master each of seven Essential Learning Outcomes (ELOs). These ELOs may be met within the major or through other courses, including courses that fulfill Breadth of Knowledge requirements. Consequently, all departments may identify courses within their majors that allow students to demonstrate particular ELOs, and submit these courses for ELO designation approval. Approved courses will be tagged in the catalog—in course listings and on Degree Pathways—and on Advisement Reports in SiS.
The seven ELOs are:
To find upcoming courses that meet any of these requirements, scroll to the bottom of the Course Finder to search Core Curriculum options.
The University of Manchester Library has won the Innovative Blended Learning category of the 2014 Blackboard Catalyst Awards for its new My Learning Essentials skills programme.
The Innovative Blended Learning Award recognises innovative practices in education that are at the forefront of blended and online learning, and which enhance the student experience and Boost academic achievement.
My Learning Essentials, launched in September 2013, has been designed to empower students to become proactive, independent learners. It offers a blend of support opportunities via face-to-face workshops, skills clinics and interactive online learning resources. The programme is openly available to all students on a self-selecting basis via the My Learning Essentials webpages; the online resources are also available for schools to embed in their Blackboard learning environment as part of a curriculum-linked offer.
The award was presented at the Blackboard Teaching & Learning conference in Dublin on 30 April.
“This award serves as a wonderful endorsement of the success of My Learning Essentials. The programme supports a key strategic goal of the University of Manchester to ensure our students develop the academic skills to support their progression and success.” Jan Wilkinson, University Librarian & Director of The John Rylands Library.
Cisco partners say the networking giant is making a bigger bet on machine learning and artificial intelligence as major enablers to transition into a software and services-centric company.
The San Jose, Calif.-based network leader unveiled on Thursday its plan to acquire Perspica, a startup specializing in the use of machine learning to analyze streams of data in order to provide visibility throughout the entire application infrastructure stack. Perspica's technology and team will be injected into Cisco's AppDynamics division.
In May, Cisco spent $125 million on the acquisition of artificial intelligence startup MindMeld who built a platform that makes it possible for companies to create intelligent conversational interfaces for any app or device. MindMeld is being integrated into Cisco's flagship unified communications solution Cisco Spark in an effort to "bring voice AI to meeting rooms".
Just this week, Cisco launched a slew of new services powered by AI and machine learning that can anticipate IT failures, mitigate risk and reduced maintained costs for businesses. On Wednesday, the network leader teamed up with McAfee for AI-powered cybersecurity.
"The momentum that's behind machine learning and AI, there's a whole lot of opportunity there because if players like Cisco acquire these companies and make their solutions better by picking up these niche players, the overall message becomes a whole lot better," said Faisal Bhutto, vice president of enterprise networking, cloud, and cybersecurity for Computex Technology Solutions, a top Cisco partner.
"These bets Cisco is making on AI, machine learning, what the Internet of Things creates – that's what's going to help the business move more to software subscription services than the traditional hardware," Bhutto.
Cisco's push to tuck-in intelligence across its large portfolio was front and center in the company's biggest announcement of 2017, the Intuitive Network, an intent-based networking system that anticipates actions, stops security threats and continues to evolve and learn.
The subscription-based platform represented a significant shift in transforming Cisco into a software-centric vendor through new automation, encrypted traffic security analytics, machine learning capabilities and a new IOS, to name a few.
"[Cisco] is trying to have intelligence in every conversation. You saw that in the Intuitive Network, Perspica is another piece of the puzzle – they're trying to solve line of business problems faster," said one top executive from a solution provider who is a Gold Cisco partner, who did not wish to be named. "They're pushing that AI, automation, real-time message. You can see it in their commercials, every Cisco event seems to have 'intelligence' in the theme … so bringing intelligence up the entire IT stack."
The subscription-based Intuitive Network platform represented a significant shift in transforming Cisco into a software-centric vendor through new automation, encrypted traffic security analytics, machine learning capabilities and a new IOS, to name a few. Cisco spent $610 million in August acquiring software-defined WAN specialist Viptela to further this strategy.
The executive said Cisco's go-to-market messaging around technology like AI and the Intuitive Network isn't resonating in a big way with customers quite yet, saying its "confusing" to "many of our customers when we try to start that conversation."
"But this is just the beginning of Cisco's transformation. We're all in. I think we almost have to be [because] it's where they're going and where they want partners to invest in," said the executive.
Computex's Bhutto said Cisco is moving beyond the term "solution selling" by pushing solutions that have been injected with intelligence.
"It's, 'How about we build an intelligent solution, not just build any solution,'" said Bhutto. "A large company like Cisco will have to make these acquisitions [like Perspica] to have a comprehensive portfolio on that front."
Perspica's combination of online machine learning algorithms and real-time streaming analytics allow companies to automatically baseline system performance to identify what is normal and rapidly flag actionable alerts while providing full-stack observability, according to the company.
Partners expect the networking giant to make similar acquisitions like Perspica on the AI and machine learning front that can be quickly be implement into existing products.
"These are the right bets Cisco is making," said Bhutto. "We saw the beginning of this when ACI (application centric infrastructure) was launched, more about application control and moving the network layer up to talk to applications, then subsequently you see the intuitive network and all the innovation that they've done. I think it's the right investments, especially if they want to drive the subscription software services business."
Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], December 20: In a seismic move set to redefine the landscape of the Indian IT industry, global tech giant Cisco has inked a transformative partnership with edForce, the avant-garde of workforce skilling. This strategic alliance marks the dawn of a new era in upskilling, promising to reshape the future of learning in India.
Ravi Kaklasaria, the dynamic Co-founder and CEO of edForce, expresses his excitement, stating, "This partnership with Cisco is a game-changer for edForce. We are on a mission to empower Indian professionals with globally recognized certifications and skills. Get ready for a learning revolution!"
Cisco, boasting a record revenue of nearly $57 billion, up 11% YoY, reinforces its unparalleled expertise in Networking, Security, Collaboration, Data Center, and the Internet of Things to the Indian subcontinent through this partnership. Over 95% of companies leveraging Cisco's learning products report turbocharged efficiency, making this collaboration a gold standard in IT upskilling.
This partnership with edForce promises not just courses but an experiential journey backed by world-class instructors, certifications, and hands-on labs. It might just be the next revolution, setting the stage for organizations and professionals to not just adapt but thrive in the digital future.
In the dynamic landscape of IT, this collaboration stands as the guiding beacon propelling India's workforce towards global excellence. As witnessed with AXELOS PeopleCert's introduction of certifications through edForce, the Cisco-edForce partnership marks the crescendo of a transformative journey—a symphony of innovation and learning echoing beyond borders. Just as with esteemed partners like AWS, Microsoft, and others, edForce emerges as a disruptive force, poised to reshape and reinvent the Indian IT industry. With a trajectory marked by exponential growth and world-class partnerships, edForce is not just entering the arena; it's defining a new era with unparalleled vigor and vision. For more details visit http://www.edforce.co
edForce, a Workforce Upskilling Accelerator, helps Enterprises, big and small, with all their learning needs – training, fresh hire onboarding, certifications, learning paths, assessments, labs, infra etc, and is handpicked as a knowledge partner by some of the finest names in the industry such as Infosys, Walmart, Siemens, Sony, Microsoft, HP, Dell, Flipkart, Amazon, Mindtree, DXC, Boston Scientific, Tech Mahindra, ITC Infotech, etc, to name a few. With a diverse ecosystem of partners and a vast portfolio of training programs, edForce delivers high-quality learning experiences in areas such as cloud computing, agile, cybersecurity, project management, and IT service management.
For more information, visit https://www.edforce.co.
Alan Bressers and Brandon Hightower, the founders of Axom Partners
Bresser's relevant deal experience: Spacemaker's $240 million sale to Autodesk, NXP's proposed $47 billion sale to Qualcomm, and Linear Technology's $15 billion sale to Analog Devices.
Hightower's relevant deal experience: Magento's $1.64 billion sale to Adobe; Afterpay's $27.96 billion sale to Square, now known as Block; and Intuit's $7.1 billion acquisition of Credit Karma.
Axom Partners is one of the latest tech-centered M&A advisory firms on the Street and appears to be the first to make AI-related dealmaking the fulcrum of its business. Three alumni from the tech-advisory firm Qatalyst Partners — Bressers, Hightower, and the attorney Ross Weiner — started the firm in September and are betting on AI as a total game changer. They even used the chatbot Bard to help them come up with the name "Axom."
Bressers and Hightower told BI that Axom will focus on earlier-stage companies that rivals may view as too small, not just companies in the artificial-intelligence sector.
"We saw a chance in starting Axom Partners to service clients at transaction sizes that Qatalyst has outgrown," Hightower told BI. "We're nimble and we're building our brand to service the most innovative companies as they scale."
"We don't want to just be software bankers and AI as a part of software. We want to be able to say we understand AI down to the chip level, up to the application level, and even the impact on consumer users," Bressers said.
Bressers grew up in Pittsburgh, where his summer job in high school was giving tours of the USS Requin, a World War II-era submarine parked in the Ohio River. At 6'2", he would've been disqualified from serving on the vessel and said he had enough bumps on the head to understand why.
He graduated from Wharton and the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied economics and engineering. He started his career at Credit Suisse's San Francisco office in 2006 before joining Qatalyst in 2009. He focused on semiconductor companies there, which he says conveniently dovetailed into covering AI. He left Qatalyst in 2021. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and their 3-year-old son.
He said he's seeing companies quietly readying themselves to come out on top, including by teaming up with the companies they see as winners down the road, such as Microsoft and ChatGPT.
"They're making alliances today in order to build their companies," he said. "Those alliances will have some long-lasting impacts on them from an M&A perspective."
Hightower studied business and finance at Brigham Young University. He worked at the boutique advisory firm GCA Savvian Corporation before joining Qatalyst in 2014, where he covered consumer internet, fintech, and software companies before leaving to start Axom earlier this year.
His Christmas wish list for the next wave of AI includes an AI-supported way for marketers to reach customers better.
"If I were an Adobe or any of the marketing cloud-related companies, what I'd want under the tree is an AI solution that takes all of my customer data and helps me to really target my customers in a more automated and more cost-effective way so that I'm not spamming the wrong people and spending aimlessly on user acquisition," he said.
Hightower and his wife, Laura, welcomed their fifth child this past summer. When the big moment arrived, the couple tried to head out the door for the hospital, but the baby had other plans.
"My wife said the baby was coming, and I said yes, let's get to the hospital. I didn't realize she meant right now! You don't have time to think in those situations, so I just played catcher, and we delivered our little baby girl right there in our hallway, with my wife standing upright, only 15 minutes from the first contraction."
Hightower used zip ties and kitchen shears to cut the umbilical cord. Luckily, his wife is a nurse, so they never went to the hospital after checking in with the doctor by phone.
Bank of America's Neil Kell
Relevant deal experience: $500 million sale of Dynatrace stock for Thoma Bravo, Arm's IPO, Mobileye's IPO, and Intel's $1.62 million sale of its stake in Mobileye.
As the chair and global head of TMT — or technology, media, and telecom — equity-capital markets for Bank of America, Kell decides which clients need more capital to develop AI technologies and which companies would benefit from buying new IP or products.
He anticipates the AI craze to kick off a wave of fundraising activity for banks as companies across various industries — such as healthcare, aerospace, defense, and manufacturing — seek to build or acquire AI solutions.
"I do think there's going to be some very tangible M&A that's going to evolve because of this — pretty sizable and significant pick-up in capital formation. And it's all within this concept of, 'We've spent 20 years in various forms of artificial intelligence and technology. How do we monetize it now?'" Kell told BI. "That's where the Street is looking. It's all beginning to converge, so it's a pretty dynamic period."
Kell, who has been at Bank of America for 25 years, has helped clients around the world raise more than $150 billion via public and private equity financing. When not in his Palo Alto office raising money for clients, Kell likes to play the bagpipes, an instrument he's played since childhood, after his doctor suggested picking up a wind instrument to help recover from a lung injury. Kell has traveled all over the world playing the bagpipes, but one of his favorite places to play is Scotland, where he played in different competitions as a teenager.
Kell says Bank of America has dedicated bankers positioned "where there is a nexus of AI development," such as Silicon Valley and budding markets such as Austin and Denver. But he expects the bank's AI coverage to take many shapes over the coming years as its teams adapt to the constantly evolving landscape. And he expects the bank to keep investing in AI banking.
"This is something that's here to stay and something that's likely to grow and become a large and tangible part of our business," Kell said.
Citi's Sirisha Kadamalakalva
Relevant deal experience: Clients include Alteryx, Cloudera, Confluent, Coveo, C3.ai, Elastic, Introhive, Klaviyo, and MuleSoft.
Kadamalakalva joined Citi in January to head the bank's artificial-intelligence investment banking efforts — and it's been a whirlwind ever since.
The sector is advancing so fast it's "dizzying," she said in an interview. She equated one year in AI to five to 10 years in other sectors.
"We are so early in the cycle that evaluating winners and losers is almost an everyday exercise," she said.
Because AI impacts other sectors and subsectors within technology, Kadamalakalva often works with bankers without tech experience to bring her expertise to their respective industries.
Before joining Citi, she worked as a software-investment-banking unit leader at Bank of America for nearly a dozen years. But she says working with AI companies is far different from working with traditional software.
"There's a lot of strategic challenges that these companies deal with," she said. "It's not just about being a banker, but a strategic partner."
To that end, Kadamalakalva tries to build relationships with budding AI companies — some of which will hopefully become her clients and mint her millions of dollars — early on.
Looking to 2024, Kadamalakalva said tangential technologies that directly impact AI's growth — or, put another way, the ingredients that add up to make AI possible — will shape AI dealmaking. That's why Kadamalakalva is monitoring tech trends such as the shortage of GPUs, which are special and expensive chips critical to training AI models.
Goldman Sachs' Jung Min
Goldman Sachs' Jung Min
Relevant deal experience: Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard; McAfee's $14 billion sale to investors who took it private; and Intuit's $8.1 billion acquisition of Credit Karma.
To best navigate AI M&A in 2024, bankers will need to be more like they were in 1990, Min, the co-COO of Goldman Sachs' technology, media, and telecom division, said.
"In the 90s, people would've said, 'I'm a tech banker.' They would not have said, 'I'm a software banker,' or 'I'm a semiconductor banker.' But we kind of need to go back to doing that," Min told BI.
That's because AI touches so many different layers of the tech stack, or the infrastructure that makes it possible to develop and run AI applications. That means bankers specializing in software companies are melding more with semiconductor bankers. And other bankers, including Min, are working to cut across the different layers and advise on all aspects of tech.
For his part, Min covers the hyperscalers, or the large cloud companies that have made names for themselves developing front-end software services. But the same cloud companies have also started developing their own GPU chips, which are in short supply but are essential for training the big models behind the latest AI tools. Min also covers large semiconductor companies building GPUs "because I need to know what's going on across the different stacks or different layers of the tech stack," he said.
That approach appears to work for Goldman Sachs, which played a critical role in Microsoft's acquisition of Nuance Communications in April 2021 for $19.7 billion, S&P Global Market Intelligence data shows.
It's still early in the AI M&A cycle, but Min sees AI deal activity accelerating as more companies realize their AI shortcomings. That could lead to tech companies looking to acquire one specific layer of the tech stack — such as data analytics — needing to acquire other parts, such as data storage or computing.
Min also expects to see non-tech companies with strong customer bases and lots of data get into the AI game. "They're going out to buy the tech companies that do have those AI capabilities, so that they can create those products and they can monetize the value," Min said.
Lazard's John Gnuse
Relevant deal experience: Google's $2.6 billion acquisition of the data-analytics business Looker in 2020; Intel's $2 billion acquisition of the AI-chip company Habana Labs in 2019.
Gnuse is a Lazard lifer — he joined the firm in 1992 as an investment-banking analyst and has been with the company ever since. The only time he spent away was in the mid-90s for his two-year grad-school program at the University of Cambridge, where he studied history and philosophy.
Gnuse has covered the tech sector at Lazard through decades of changes, starting in New York and then in San Francisco, where he moved in 1999 during the dot-com bubble. In exact years, his team has represented large-cap technology companies, including Google, IBM, and Intel, at the center of the AI conversation.
He said he thinks the winners of the AI frenzy will be the companies that integrate AI capabilities into existing tools and workflows. "Application providers that can embrace these capabilities quickly and provide incremental value to their end users have the potential to capture a big part of the value," he said. "And ones that don't could face growing questions from investors about the threats of AI to their core business."
Gnuse said he's seeing a lot of activity in application areas where generative-AI capabilities have already proven relevant, including code development and customer support, and in fields such as law and education, where paperwork is necessary but tedious.
"These are areas where outputs often follow a very standard form or syntax, and you can train models to mimic that pattern," he said — companies with a relevant user base in these domains could be where we see early activity.
Gnuse is no stranger to academia — he majored in physics and philosophy at Yale as an undergrad, has a master's degree in history from the University of Cambridge, and an MBA from INSEAD Business School — and says it's important to be in a sector you love to study. His career advice to the next generation of dealmakers is to align themselves to a sector or subsector they're passionate about like he did with technology.
"Thirty years ago, many top bankers could afford to be generalists and somewhat sector agnostic, but today, clients really value advisors who intimately understand the nuances of their business and sector-specific strategic issues," he said. "Find a segment that you love to research and study. I'm blessed that I get to work in tech because there are fascinating developments every day."
Morgan Stanley's David Chen
Relevant deal experience: IPOs for Barracuda Networks, C3.ai, and Salesforce; $28 billion sale of Splunk to Cisco; sale of Archer Technologies to Cinven; Thales' $3.6 billion acquisition of Imperva from Thoma Bravo.
Chen started his career at UBS Wealth Management in 1998 but has been at Morgan Stanley since 2002. He traces his interest in the sector back to his college days.
"From the time that I was an undergrad at Stanford, I have been hooked on technology," Chen told BI via email.
That early interest has held strong through his 24-year career. Now at the helm of Morgan Stanley's technology-investment-banking practice in Menlo Park, California, Chen has worked on some of the most formative deals in the AI space yet — including as an advisor to Splunk in its historic $26 billion sale to Cisco.
"I have had a front-row seat to the transformation of the technology industry while advising industry stalwarts over the years. The dynamism and innovation of tech have kept me deeply interested over the years, and I anticipate this to continue to be the case for many more to come."
If there's a road map for future deals we can glean from the historic Splunk acquisition, it's that 2024 deals will value two things: data and talent.
"AI makes the data a company has even more powerful," he said. "So far, most are looking to take data and talent and then create an in-house solution or partner with other providers instead of acquiring AI-based products directly."
The way he sees it, M&A in the AI space has been muted compared to the surge in interest for several reasons. First, valuations are high. Second, large companies under pressure to move quickly are considering other solutions, including building their tech in-house or partnering with a large language model provider. He expects that trend to continue before unleashing a torrent of activity.
"I'm expecting a slow burn in the first half of the year with companies still determining their AI product strategy and then a boom of activity as companies gain conviction in their plans and as macro pressures are reduced," he said. "Acquisitions will mostly be about accelerating product roadmaps, and I think 2025 would be the year that we see some very exciting IPOs in this sector."
AI will not only influence deals, he said, but also impact the way tech-banker bosses, including Chen, run their teams.
"AI copilots and AI research bots will infuse everything we do over time," he said. "From creating presentation materials to helping our bankers conduct market research, this will be more transformative to our work than search engines have been."
Qatalyst's Rob Chisholm
Relevant deal experience: Tableau's $15.7 billion sale to Salesforce; Qualtrics' $12.5 billion sale to Silver Lake and CPP Investments; Zendesk's $10.2 billion sale to Hellman & Friedman and Permira.
Chisholm thinks of AI as a total game changer for the industry, the likes of which we haven't seen since Apple rolled out its groundbreaking smartphone.
"People talk about the 'iPhone moment' for gen AI. There really is this sort of pivot moment in history that we're all going to look back on and see as the moment when our world changed in, frankly, very unpredictable ways, but mostly in exciting ways."
Chisholm, who joined Qatalyst in September, helps lead the enterprise-software group and spearheads the firm's AI efforts. He says the speed and disruptiveness of AI have made liaising between companies a bigger part of his job.
"Almost overnight, all of these people — both the disruptive people starting new companies and the established, successful large software and broader technology companies — they all wanted to be talking to each other," he said.
He was previously a partner at Goldman Sachs, where he spent five years on its TMT investment-banking team.
He's the first to admit that his Wall Street story is unusual. Hailing from a small town in Nova Scotia, he went to Princeton on a hockey scholarship. Still, he left in favor of a small liberal-arts school in Vermont, Middlebury College, to study environmental policy. At the time, everyone told him he was making a mistake.
After graduating, Chisholm worked at an environmental nonprofit in Boston, but after finding the work "a little bit lower intensity than suited my personality," he took a job at the investment-banking boutique AGC Partners, later working at Deutsche Bank and then Citi before ultimately ending up at Goldman Sachs in 2018.
He clearly remembers when he knew Qatalyst would be the right move during a conversation with the firm's famous founder.
"When I interviewed with Frank Quattrone, I asked him, 'What will dictate whether I'm successful at Qatalyst or not?' And he said, 'Come to Qatalyst if you want to be an active participant in how the technology industry changes and not just a passive agent of what is happening around you.' I almost jumped out of my chair when he said that to me."
"Of all the things that investment bankers do, M&A is by far the most interesting to me," he said. "And that is everything we do at Qatalyst. You can wake up on a Monday morning, and the world will be different than it was Sunday night when that deal you were working on for six months or a year gets announced."
Tidal Partners' David Handler and David Neequaye
Handler's relevant deal experience: Cisco Systems' $28 billion acquisition of Splunk, ServiceNow's acquisition of G2K, and Bloom Energy on convertible notes offerings.
Neequaye's relevant deal experience: Mixpanel's $200 million in Series C funding from Bain Capital; Motorola Inc.'s $9 billion spinoff of its Mobility & Connected Home businesses; Motorola Mobility on its $12 billion sale to Google.
Starting a new business is risky, especially in the stodgy world of investment banking. But Handler and Neequaye knew they could leverage their years of dealmaking experience.
"The relationships and trust we've built over the last two decades and our proven track record of industry-defining transactions serve to differentiate the value Tidal will bring to our clients," Handler said in an August 2022 release announcing the launch of Tidal Partners.
Despite being one of the latest M&A firms in the space, Tidal Partners is already making a name for itself in the AI landscape, advising on Cisco System's $28 billion acquisition of Splunk and ServiceNow's acquisition of the AI platform G2K.
"We've known David (Handler) and his partner David (Neequaye) for a very long time," Chuck Robbins, the CEO of Cisco, told Reuters in September after announcing the pending acquisition of Splunk. "They did a great job for us."
Handler and Neequaye, who declined to be interviewed for this story, have a long history together. Before Tidal, they were founding members of the technology practice at Centerview Partners, where they worked for 14 years, according to their LinkedIn profiles.
Following his 2022 departure, Handler sued Centerview over a pay dispute. Handler and Neequaye also overlapped at UBS, where Handler was the cohead of technology investment banking, and Neequaye was the director of technology investment banking, according to their LinkedIn profiles. Both men also worked at Bear Stearns in the early 2000s.
In launching Tidal, Handler said: "The tech landscape is more dynamic and evolving faster than ever. We see an opportunity for a trusted strategic partner who will help clients connect dots and move with greater agility and creativity."
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