Cisco users rock and roll all night

Here's a revelation: Some of the people running the biggest, most sophisticated and mission-critical networks in the world are into KISS.

And they are into the leathered-up, spandex-clad, platform-booted, flame-throwing rock band in a big way: Not only do they listen to KISS ... they paint their faces to look like the members of the band.

Would you trust your network to someone who looks like Ace Frehley? Well, apparently some of you do.

A KISS concert was one of the highlights of Cisco's Networkers user conference in the US last week. It was a fitting way to cap off the week's theme of Igniting Innovation -- and to throw its KISS-loving customers one hellfire of a party.

It was one eye-opening experience. As a customer from Minnesota remarked while waiting for an opportunity to use the portable facilities, "It's hard to believe that some of the smartest people in the world are here."

You could sense early on that the week would be interesting. Tuesday's keynote by CEO John Chambers was preceded by chiseled young men and women in tight-fitting red and black garb rollerblading, hula hooping and gyrating to pounding rock music while attendees made their way to their seats.

These greeters then hit the stage for one final synchronized rollerblading group gyration while "Cisco Inferno" -- yep, that same disco tune cleverly adapted for the host company's conference -- blared from the loudspeakers.

Ay, yi, yi ... Good thing there was some substance amidst all the flash.

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