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Cisco launches Gen AI platform

At the Cisco Live conference in Amsterdam this week, the networking giant announced Motific, a platform that will reduce generative AI adoption from months to days, writes ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK.

Cisco this week entered the generative artificial intelligence race in earnest with a platform called Motific, which allows for “trustworthy generative AI deployments in organisations”.

The platform has emerged from a Cisco’s incubation division called Outshift, which builds solutions for emerging tech needs in cloud native applications, security, generative AI, and quantum computing.

“Motific provides a central view across the entire GenAI journey, empowering central IT and security teams to rapidly deliver trustworthy GenAI capabilities across their organisations with control over sensitive data, security, responsible AI, and cost,” said Cisco in its announcement this week.

“Since the expansion and breadth of access to GenAI, 97% of companies have reported that the urgency to deploy AI-powered technology has increased. However, many organisations face challenges in ensuring the AI being utilised includes trustworthy, use-case specific data that complies with organisational policies. One of the biggest hurdles facing organisations is the ability to tailor GenAI applications and solutions on knowledge bases and data sources that are custom to their specific use cases. Current and clean data are critical to operating effectively and can be achieved via techniques such as Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG).”

Papi Menon, vice president and chief product officer of Outshift, told Gadget that a goal of Outshift was “to establish Cisco as a credible player in the AI space”.

Motific, he said, was its first product in that direction. 

“What we want to do is to advance the use of AI within the enterprise. We want to allow enterprises to more quickly and easily adopt and use AI and enable their developers to build AI applications very securely.”

As important as the development of AI products was the development of Cisco’s image, he acknowledged.

“Thereby we want to push the boundaries of what Cisco can do and push the market perception of Cisco as a company. We want to change the market and we want to change Cisco’s role in the market. 

“Our shift is not about incremental changes to existing Cisco products, which other parts of the Cisco business are already doing very well. Our goal is to take Cisco into new markets, new personas, with products that do things in a different way from the traditional Cisco portfolio.

‘I think any enterprise at scale today should be thinking about how to use generative AI to serve their businesses and serve their customers better. I don’t think this is restricted to any particular type of enterprise. Every enterprise should be worried about it. They should be thinking about it and Motific provides value to them no matter what they do.”

Menon had a word of advice for any business that has a digital component: “If you think your enterprise doesn’t use AI, think again. They are using it, whether you like it or not. What our product does is that it allows you to monitor all of that usage and do it in a secure way.”

Cisco says Motific allows customers to:

  • Deploy GenAI faster and more effectively: Motific cuts GenAI deployment times from months to days with compliance controls for over-usage, overrun spending, and integration of organization-specific data sources. With just a few clicks, Motific automatically configures assistants, abstracted APIs, and RAG on organisation-wide data sources and foundation models while delivering optimal accuracy, cost, security, and access control.
  • Reduce risk and ensure continual compliance: Motific provides built-in policy controls that organizations can use or customise in days, allowing companies to provision based on their own internal policies. These automated controls are built for sensitive data such as personally identifiable information (PII), security such as prompt injection and access controls, and trust-related risks such as toxicity and hallucinations. The platform offers enterprise controls for security, sensitive data, and trustworthiness that can accurately detect and mitigate issues or risks between user inputs and Large Language Model (LLM) responses.
  • Track return on investment (ROI) and business insights while optimizing costs: Motific tracks business process and prompt usage intelligence with ROI and cost analysis, including consolidated monitoring audit trail and key metrics tracking of all user requests. The product deters shadow AI usage in organisations by providing visibility into use of unapproved third-party GenAI capabilities and helping IT admins provision organizationally compliant alternatives. Motific can also establish cost budgets and estimations to prevent runaway spend.

Vijoy Pandey, senior vice president of Out shift, said: “Cisco is rapidly accelerating its product offerings for customers in the Generative AI space to meet the growing artificial intelligence and security compliance demands of enterprises Motific accelerates the time to value an enterprise organization spends on GenAI usage and deployment by mitigating the risk up-front and enabling teams to innovate faster.”

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