Conf24: Cisco's Splunk Acquisition to Make Splunk 'Only Better'

Cisco's Splunk acquisition was built on delivering greater innovation together.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

June 11, 2024

4 Min Read
Splunk acquisition comments from Gary Steele and Chuck Robbins
Splunk's Gary Steele (left) and Cisco's Chuck Robbins on stage at Splunk Conf24 in Las Vegas, June 11.

The goal of Cisco’s Splunk acquisition is to make everything partners and customers have done with Splunk “just better.”

That’s what Chuck Robbins, Cisco’s CEO and chair, said when he joined Gary Steele, Splunk’s former president and CEO, now Cisco’s president of go-to-market, during the opening keynote of this week’s Conf24. Cisco closed its $28 billion Splunk acquisition in March.

“Our job is not to screw up anything that you guys do really well today, but to bring you incremental capabilities,” Robbins said. “Cisco has visibility to 1 billion endpoints. We see 400 billion security events a day. We've got massive information coming out of the network. With ThousandEyes, we see everything going on in the internet, everywhere. We can actually predict where there's going to be outages. So when you talk about digital resilience and you take all the insights that we have that Cisco had before, and we feed it into what you already do with Splunk, that just makes it better.”

Splunk Acquisition Accelerates Digital Resilience

Steele said Cisco accelerates Splunk’s journey for digital resilience, “and I think that makes such a huge difference in what we've always wanted to accomplish.”

“Now, one of the things that I've really enjoyed about my short time with Cisco since March 18 is I’ve just been blown away by all the cool innovation and interesting things that I didn't know about,” he said. “I feel like I was sort of dated, honestly.”

Related:Conf24: Splunk Partners Crucial to Success of Cisco Combo

Cisco has continued to innovate in its core capabilities around networking, Robbins said.

“We've been building a pretty meaningful software business,” he said. “We have a software business now that's in excess of $20 billion at Cisco. But at the same time, we have to build hardware that runs the internet, that runs the cloud infrastructure that actually underpins the GPUs and the AI infrastructure, so we've been working on that. And I'd say probably three or four years ago we made a decision to really double down on the investments in the innovation that we were going to drive in our security portfolio. In particular, some of the innovations that we've delivered on the security side, that is where we're seeing a lot of the early integrations with Splunk. They are some that I'm most proud of.”

Steele said one of the things he’s been most enthusiastic about is the role that Cisco will play in driving this broad inflection and transformation around AI.

Cisco is deploying security for AI and AI for security, Robbins said.

“We're actually deploying security for these AI models, but we're also leveraging AI to help all of you drive a higher degree of security as the bad actors become much more proficient at using AI themselves,” he said. “We're going to deliver productivity through AI assistants.”

Continuing ‘Drumbeat’ of Innovation

Steele said he and Robbins are focused on continuing this “ongoing drumbeat of critical innovation that all of you need,” and “that’s how we prove that this is really working.”

“This whole combination of our companies, the model was built on … in financial terms we call revenue synergies, but effectively it's built on delivering greater innovation together,” Robbins said. “This is not a cost play. In fact, a lot of companies, when you do these acquisitions, we'd be sitting in rooms figuring out how do we cut $250 million, $300 million, $400 million. We're actually not doing any of that. Our model actually allocated more dollars to R&D to make sure that Splunk can continue down their innovation path, Cisco can continue down our innovation path, and we had money to actually fund the integration work so that we didn't have to take resources from the same road maps that existed before we brought the companies together.”

Steele is sitting in on every decision that Cisco is making, “and that should give you confidence that we're going to deliver value for you,” Robbins said.

“We're going to be the Splunk you love, only better,” he said. “Seriously, it's not enough not to screw it up. We're going to not screw it up and we're going to deliver great value to make you happier about being a Splunk-Cisco customer a year from now than you are today.”

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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