Cisco CEO John Chambers: We Intend to Be #1
During a briefing at Cisco Partner Summit in San Francisco, CEO John Chambers said the company has emerged as the top player in every market Cisco has entered. And he intends to continue that winning streak without entering commodity markets — an indirect reference to HP. Chambers and CTO Padmasree Warrior offered additional insights during a media briefing that ended moments ago. Here are the top 18 highlights from the discussion.
1. Management Style: Chambers says he’s adjusted his style “From command and control, to collaboration and teamwork.”
2. Upside: “This is the greatest opportunity we’ve had together,” Chambers said about rallying Cisco during the economic downturn.
3. Any to Any: Chambers reinforced his familiar theme of “any content to any device” networking and collaboration.
4. Cloud: Warrior opened her comments about cloud. “As we look at major disruptions such as cloud, we take a pragmatic approach.” In phase one, Cisco seeing movement in service provider space, Warrior said. In the enterprise, internal private clouds are starting, she added.
5. Video and Collaboration: The killer app, Warrior said. Video was the central theme at the conference. And collaboration sounded like a close cousin. Oh, and don’t forget Virtualization. Warrior was quick to mention its relationship to cloud.
6. Smart Cities and Communities: Warrior sees key opportunities in delivering IT services into brown (“existing”) cities.
7. Competition vs. HP: When asked why Cisco hadn’t said much about HP this week, Chambers noted that he’s never focused on “competition” with HP. Instead, it’s all about focusing on catching waves and innovating, he added. “We focus on market transitions,” said Chambers.
8. Big Hits: Chambers says 70% of Cisco acquisitions meet or exceed internal financial expectations. “Every time we’ve entered a market, we become the No. 1 player.”
9. On the Road: Cisco is the preferred tech and business partner with practically ever major auto company in the world, Chambers said.
10. Margins for Partners: “It’s not about delivering commodity products,” said Chambers. “It’s an ability to offer transformational change.” Hmmm… Chambers didn’t mention HP by name but he was certainly addressing HP with his words.
11. Managed Services: “One of the areas where [channel partners] have the most complexity and opportunity is service providers and managed services.” The VAR Guy captured some video with Chambers on that point. Stay tuned.
12. Why Video Is Killer App: “It has to be available in any form,” said Warrior. Added Chambers: “Ninety percent of the loads on networks will be video.”
13. Economic Turnaround: “It turned faster than expected. It was just two quarters that our orders were shrinking… then last quarter we saw momentum [all around the world]. It’s a dramatic turnaround.”
14. Small Business Video: Small businesses may get even more benefits from big business, said Chambers. But online exchanges have open standards so that there’s any-to-any connectivity to various telepresence networks.
15. The Electric Company: European customers and partners like GE are pulling Cisco in for big electric grid projects, said Chambers. Instead of moving around zeros and ones, the idea is to move around electricity within the utility market.
16. Common Game Plan: Cisco uses Geoffery Moore’s Crossing the Chasm to help identify, enter and engage new markets, Chambers said.
17. Succession Plan: Chambers plans to lead Cisco at least three to five years as chairman and CEO. After that, Chambers believes he may transition to chairman with a new CEO stepping in. More thoughts from Chambers on the succession plan in a video later today from The VAR Guy.
18. Closing Thought: Cisco’s entire strategy is to catch transitions and execute on those transitions, Chambers concluded.