Cisco’s EMEA Chief Lays Out Challenges Facing Region

Cisco EMEA president Wendy Mars listed the challenges – and opportunities – facing EMEA organizations at Cisco Live Amsterdam.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

February 7, 2023

2 Min Read
Business challenges

CISCO LIVE AMSTERDAM — Cisco EMEA president Wendy Mars has laid out the numerous challenges facing organizations in the region. Among them: geopolitical turmoil, the energy crisis and economic turbulence.

Mars was speaking Tuesday at the customer event, Cisco Live Amsterdam.

“We all know that this year ahead presents many challenges that we’re going to need to tackle,” she said. “We have a war in our region. Security risks are increasing exponentially, and that’s partly due to the geopolitical turmoil. The economy is challenged, and in many of our countries, and we have inflation at 40-year highs. We also have an energy crisis that we’re trying to manage as citizens and within our businesses. We’re feeling increased pressure on sustainability and a need for all of us to play our role there. Supply chain of course, continues to be a challenge. And we have to make sure that we remain focused on the skills agenda because we face a growing digital skills gap in our societies.”


Cisco’s Wendy Mars at Cisco Live Amsterdam, 7 Feb.

However, Mars said that despite the scale of these challenges, there remains “a lot of opportunity and untapped potential.”

She told attendees at the event: “None of us can do it alone. When we come together, all of you our customers, our partners, our ecosystem, and governments, we can achieve incredible things. Together, we are building an inclusive and sustainable future for all, and I know that we are all in on that. We’re working to do our best to be the most strategic partner that we can possibly be.”

Pace of Transformation

Mars also reflected on the pace of transformation since the last in-person gathering in EMEA three years ago.

“Since we were last together at Cisco Live in 2020, we have turbocharged digitization across many industries. From transportation to health care from education, to energy, sports and entertainment. We’ve demonstrated what can be done digitally, is being done digitally.”

She also pointed out that the number of connected devices continues to grow — and won’t be slowing down.

“5G adoption is well underway, and we’re starting to explore the potential for 6G. And we’re evolving from digitizing manual processes to really focusing on experience using technology to drive exceptional experiences in many different types of settings. And we’re automating processes, which of course frees up time and increases productivity for all of us.”

Keep up with updates to Cisco’s networking, security and operations portfolio, also unveiled Tuesday.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Christine Horton or connect with her on LinkedIn.


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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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