Cisco CEO highlights evolution in network value

Cisco CEO highlights evolution in network value

11 SEP 2015

CTIA SUPER MOBILITY 2015, LAS VEGAS: Chuck Robbins, recently-installed CEO of network infrastructure giant Cisco, said that the industry growth enabled by pervasive connectivity is being accompanied by a shift in customer demand.

“If you think about the crazy, real-time world that we live in, our customers are looking at how to get to the benefit of the technology faster – that’s all they care about,” he said.

With the growth of IoT and M2M, data volumes will increase sharply and assets will also be “massively distrusted”, meaning that the importance shifts to “having to provide the insight that help our customers make decisions based on these new connections”.

“As we begin to connect mining operators, or automobiles, these things provide data and insights that allow customers to make different decisions at a different pace,” the CEO said.

“The network is going to be a key enable of releasing those insights, and the network is going to be a key enabler of security, which is the number one priority that everyone has as we do this,” Robbins observed.

Framing the debate, the Cisco chief said that, to date, the industry has been driven by two factors: the benefit of connectivity itself to improve productivity and drive online commerce; and the convergence of different technologies to IP.

“I think both of those are necessary in the future, but they are not sufficient,” he said.

This evolution has also changed the way in which suppliers engage with customers, Robbins (who previously led Cisco’s worldwide sales and partner organisations), said.

“The pace of change is greater than anything we’ve ever seen, and it’s more important than ever to listen to our customers, even if they are telling us something that we may not want to hear. We may not feel comfortable, but that’s when we have to listen more intently,” he noted.

“We’ve built our company on catching market trends and accelerating them, and I’ve told our teams we have to embrace market transitions even when they might not feel so comfortable,“ Robbins observed.

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Steve Costello

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