Friday, November 18, 2011

A New Cisco

I've covered Cisco for years and this week attended their Collaboration Analyst and Partner Summit in Miami. While Aragon Research will be publishing a First Cut with our Analysis of their new product announcements, this blog post is about the changes I see occurring at Cisco.

Cisco really only started to make the true shift to Collaboration Software after it bought WebEx and it took a while to get the integration done. Cisco pioneered HD Video with its Telepresence offering and now it is poised to take that to the masses. Cisco has also innovated too. It's Enterprise Social Networking offering, Cisco Quad, was developed internally and is now deployed globally at Cisco.

CEO John Chambers has been the lead evangelist for Collaboration at Cisco, but that is changing. This week, Cisco SVP Barry O'Sullivan's General Managers were focused and on-message. The messages were integrated and so were the products.

Sometimes it takes a crisis to motivate a workforce and today I see a very motivated Cisco team that is ready to deliver their Collaboration vision to their customers. Since there were customers at the event this week, it was nice to see them start to tell the execution story.

What I see emerging is a new Cisco, leaner and more focused. In fact, I spent time with one of Cisco's  Account Managers, Matt Coleman, who brought one of Cisco's flagship customers to the event. Matt has the passion for Cisco Collaboration and it is clear that his customer does too.

Finally, what should have been the opening video at Cisco's event was shown at the end. It takes a lot of guts to show Executives doing a Rap Video (see below). You need to watch it several times, but the messages are as compelling as the video is entertaining.

What I see is an inkling of a new Cisco that is beginning to emerge. It isn't all about hardware anymore.


  1. Jim - it looks like the video has been removed :(

  2. Note: Cisco updated the video and reposted it. It gets their message across.