Cisco Partner Summit: 7 Questions for John Chambers
Somehow, The VAR Guy has scored press credentials at Cisco Partner Summit. Next up, he’ll be hanging out with President Obama in the White House… But first, our resident blogger will participate in a media Q&A with Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers (pictured) on April 29. Here are seven questions The VAR Guy plans to pose during Chambers’ annual sit-down with the channel press.
First, let The VAR Guy set the anticipated scene. When Chambers enters the room, he will personally hand a business card to each seated reporter, and thank the media for spending time with Cisco. Look closely, and you may notice an upscale ice bucket close to Chambers’ seat. Within the bucket will be four deeply chilled cans of Diet Coke. (The VAR Guy nearly walked away with one of those cans at least year’s briefing with Chambers… A low-tech souvenir of sorts…)
Chambers typically opens the conversation by sharing his vision and high-points from the conference. Then, he’ll answer numerous reporter questions. The VAR Guy types fast… but sometimes even our resident blogger struggles to keep pace with Chambers’ rapid-fire answers.
Throughout the conversation, Chambers will invite the media to tell him why he’s wrong on certain points or issues. No doubt, Chambers likes course corrections — turning Cisco five degrees to the left or five degrees to the right — based on the feedback around him.
Seven Questions for John Chambers
Now that you’ve got a feel for the anticipated room, here are seven questions The VAR Guy plans to pose during his shared media time with Chambers:
1. Unified Computing System?: How is UCS performing in the market so far? And what have partners learned from early UCS deployments?
2. Acquisitions?: No, Chambers can discuss future deals by name. But he can share some thoughts on whether Cisco will buy small, midsize or large players. And he can also describe key markets Cisco hopes to infiltrate through acquisition.
3. Succession Plan?: Is there a clear succession plan at Cisco these days? Sure, Chambers has previously stated that he plans to stick around. But is there a contingency plan in case Chambers hits the senior tennis tour?
4. Open or Closed?: Without mentioning Cisco by name, HP CEO Mark Hurd says customers need to beware of closed, proprietary solutions. HP plans to scale its x86 architecture across servers, storage and networking. Is Cisco’s UCS alternative open our closed?
5. Consumer Opportunities?: From the Flip video camera to set-top boxes, Cisco is now firmly entrenched in the consumer market. But are Cisco’s consumer moves profitable? And what steps will Cisco take next in the living room?
6. Hosted Unified Communications?: Where will Cisco play in the hosted market? And where won’t Cisco play?
7. Future Rivals: Which companies — beyond Microsoft, Google and HP — keep Chambers up at night?
Sure, The VAR Guy has plenty of additional questions. But our resident blogger is running out of energy. Time for dinner — and a break from blogging here at Cisco Partner Summit. Back soon.