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Chambers: Cisco will become the number 1 IT company

John Gallant | July 23, 2013
Cisco boss talks about how SDN fits into its architecture, what Insieme is all about and why the Internet of Everything matters to IT pros.

How big an opportunity for Cisco is 802.11ac?
Mobility was our Achilles' heel just three and a half years ago, now we're No.1 in every area of mobility, except radios. Think how far that's gotten.


Every acquisition fits into that. Here's what was small cell, here's what was the access level, here's what is analytical and here's the orchestration level, here's how it interfaces to the cloud. So it's that cloud all the way through the data center combination.

Everybody describes Cisco as the network company. What do you want Cisco to be known as?
We're an IT company. No.1 is defined by our customers in terms of value we bring to them to achieve their top business goals. And a company that does this in a way that allows them to drive productivity, quickness of revenue generation, ability to compete with new business models by reducing their CAPEX and OPEX dramatically in the process. So that's our ambition and goal. We want to be the best partner in meeting their most important needs.

This might be a great closing note. Two years ago, if you talked about us transforming our company, we were really innovative in certain siloes. But in terms of having the whole company coordinated on innovation from services to sales to engineering to supply chain, and then within engineering, having every one of our major functions or business groups within engineering, IT integrated together with world class innovation, I couldn't tell you that we were there. We were not.

Today, watch the talent that we're bringing on board in the last 15 months. David Ward [from Juniper Networks], who is probably the top fellow in the whole communications industry, is at Cisco. He's the CTO now, but he prefers to be called a Fellow. I asked the definition of "Fellow" and he says: It's a billion dollars in revenue for you, John. I said: I like you. Paul Perez in storage. Doesn't get any better, out of HP. Bret Hartman, security, RSA, world class. John Apostolopoulos, CTO Enterprise, out of HP, application awareness.

Paul Mankiewich it's as good as it gets in mobility, out of Lucent, Juniper. Paul Polakos, another one of these top players [from Alcatel Lucent]. Nick Thexton out of the NDS acquisition, video, he's as good as it gets. I haven't missed on a recruitment in a year in regards to the technical skills or business skills, our ability to attract the best and brightest. John, it's back to what it was like in the mid-90s. We didn't miss very often.
What we're attempting to do with the unified platform, with the applications on top, infrastructure below, the north/south API capability, in my simple terms, maybe the network finally becomes the platform we envisioned conceptually 20 years ago. That's what cloud and the data center architecture does.  But we'll see.


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