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Inheritance, Esprit de Corps, Collaboration

F.Y. Teng | Nov. 4, 2010
Ciscos MD for Singapore and Brunei Irving Tan on the value of job experience, team building and tapping mature markets.

Overall, I think my experience in the past has been really helpful in providing me with a very balanced view of the world and being very well rounded in all aspects of the job.

Would you agree that Singapore is a well tapped market, a mature market, and that it could well be your biggest challenge?
Yes, I would say that Singapore is a mature market and with maturity comes its own set of challenges and obviously youre not going to see the high growth rates that you might see in, say, Indonesia or in Malaysia or in some of the other emerging markets in Asia. But at the same time, there are opportunities here. We just need to move up the value stack. We cant just continue to offer the same old services, so innovation is important. New business models are becoming very, very important discussions whenever I talk to any of the CEOs or CIOs that I meet, whether theyre in FSI, the telco or manufacturing industries.

They are saying, How can we not continue to work with Cisco in the way that we have done in the past? But they are also saying, Some of the newer technologies that we are looking at may change the way we operate as an organisation…How do we work with you to also create new business models to enable us to partner in a collaborative manner to offer those services that help us transform our own organisations?

What are your plans going forward?
The next 12 months is the next step of a three-year plan Ive put in place. This year was really about getting us back on track on a firm growth footing from where we were last year, and I think weve accomplished that. Weve probably exceeded some of my expectations by some degree. The next year is about using the momentum that we have to drive the significant, exponential growth that we are looking for. In practical terms, next year a lot of our focus will be on new business models and innovative services. They are meant to accelerate our growth in the market. We are not going to be able grow double the businesswhich roughly equates to 33 percent this yearif we are just going to do things the way weve been doing them. Between half to 60 percent of the growth we forecast should come from these new business models that provide innovative service and solutions.

What do your customers need the most at present and how are you serving them?
I think two key areas weve seen strong demand fromand this is in all the analysts report from Gartner and IDC as wellare cloud computing and virtualisation. The challenge is not so much the challenge but how we are working with customers to enable them to realise the vision, and extract the benefits [of cloud computing and virtualisation]. I think new business models will be key to developing that marketspace.


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