Cisco CEO: Internet of Everything Has Reached Tipping Point

At Cisco Partner Summit 2014, will CEO John Chambers have a Cisco CEO successor in the audience amid cloud and Internet of Everything chatter? Hmmm... Here's a live blog from Chambers' keynote.

The VAR Guy

March 25, 2014

3 Min Read
Cisco CEO: Internet of Everything Has Reached Tipping Point

Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers is addressing Cisco Partner Summit 2014 in Las Vegas this morning. Yes, he touched on the newly updated Cisco cloud strategy. But the big push is on the Internet of Everything strategy — which has reached its tipping point, Chambers said. But The VAR Guy still wonders — is Chambers’ ultimate CEO successor in the room? Hmmm…

So far, Chambers hasn’t spoken about the CEO succession plan — which has generated chatter in Silicon Valley over the past year or two. But it’s interesting to note that Cisco President Rob Lloyd and Cisco Senior VP Chuck Robbins apparently are confirmed to join Chambers in a media Q&A later today. The VAR Guy has previously speculated that Lloyd and Robbins are the two leading internal contenders to succeed Chambers, who plans to retire within the next couple of years or so.

John Chambers Cisco Partner Summit Keynote Recap

Here’s what Chambers has covered so far in his keynote:

  • Senior VP Bruce Klein opened the keynote session. More than 2,000 partners from 93 countries are on hand. More than 5,000 people are attending the virtual conference as well.

  • Klein: “We’re on the path to become the No. 1 IT company in the world.”

  • Now on stage, John Chambers…

  • Cisco has a “drive to 4.5” program in place to lift partner satisfaction from the current 3.97 figure (on a 5-point scale). By next year, Klein bet Chambers, Cisco will lift the figure to 4.2…

  • Chambers: “It was almost 20 years ago, that we decided we will be a partner-led company. It’s the best decision we’ve ever made.”

  • Whether it’s cloud, mobile, social, big data — the network is central to everything, Chambers stated.

  • Internet of Everything will be 5 to 10 times the impact of the original Internet’s impact.

  • Chambers is touching on his familiar theme: Catching IT waves together — especially as the pace of change accelerates.

  • Chambers respectfully poked at Hewlett-Packard, which is hosting the HP Global Partner Conference down the road. He suggested Cisco’s roots with partners run far deeper than HP’s.

  • 80 percent of Cisco’s revenues involve partners.

  • A chart suggested application centric data centers will be succeeded by Internet of Everything.

  • “We won the first stage of cloud” based on Infrastructure, he claimed.

  • Rob Lloyd is leading the charge to stage two of cloud — Cisco’s own public cloud strategy.

  • Innovation: Chambers said organic innovation is on fire at Cisco. But he also pointed to acquisitions like Meraki, which has enjoyed 100 percent year over year revenue growth.

  • Cisco’s core strategy: Be number one or number two in every market in which the company competes, while growing to at least 40 percent market share in each segment.

  • Internet of Everything: It’s all about getting the right information to the right devices or people at the right time to trigger the right decisions.

  • Chambers is now talking about smart cities and digital countries. Without mentioning rival IBM by name, Chambers is positioning Cisco as the true digital city or smart city enabler.

  • Side note: Chambers is still a strong, dynamic speaker. But he’s slightly off his game today — stumbling over a few facts and figures multiple times. None of the stumbles were terrible, but Chambers keynotes are typically flawless…

  • Lots of Cisco software demonstrations, a few of which reveal how workloads can be moved and managed across multiple clouds.

  • Chambers positioned Cisco vs. HP, IBM, Oracle and Microsoft in terms of growth, showing that Cisco’s quarterly growth has largely outpaced rivals over the past two years or so.

  • Cisco’s top server rival in terms of growth is the white label server market, Chambers conceded. He pointed to SDN and software/hardware integration as a way to beat the alternatives in terms of cost of ownership.

  • Chambers sees an “Inter-cloud” opportunity where the company allows enterprise private cloud, Cisco powered partner clouds, Cisco Cloud Serivces and public clouds all work together.

Stay tuned for more minute-by-minute updates.

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