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3 things Cisco's new CEO Chuck Robbins needs to focus on

Zeus Kerravala | Aug. 20, 2015
As Cisco transitions from long-time CEO John Chambers to Chuck Robbins, here are three important goals for the networking leader's new era.

I'd like to see Cisco be more aggressive with emerging technologies and use its position as the networking market leader to define markets, instead of letting startups and competitors do that.

Expand the open Cisco 

Historically, Cisco has been beat up by the competition for being closed and proprietary. However, over the past few years, Cisco has embraced the concept of openness and some of its products are among the most open in the industry. For example, Cisco's SDN platform, ACI, was designed to be open, and the result is an ecosystem that is a veritable whose-who of the data center that includes the likes of VMware, F5, Citrix, VCE, Microsoft, and others.

Security is another area where open has meant a broader ecosystem, including Lancope and Radware. I understand why vendors think being open creates a risk to their business, but it's been proven over and over again that being open is a good thing, as long as the vendor has quality products. I'd like to see Cisco use this open strategy across all of its products, and see its ecosystem of technology vendors become even bigger.

I'm certainly looking forward to seeing what the Robbins version of Cisco becomes, but I believe the three points above are all critical in the company going to the next level.


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