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Learning from Others: Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2012

“One of the most valuable things any person can learn is the art of using the knowledge and experience of others”

- Napoleon Hill (1883-1970)

I learned to swim in a day. I remember I was standing by the side of the pool, watching the various ways people propelled themselves through the water. The butterfly stroke seemed too hard, but the Australian crawl seemed simple enough. Being very young at the time, my sense of adventure outweighed my sense of self-preservation, and I jumped in and began flailing away. To my great surprise, it worked. It’s a lesson I have carried forward in life: You can learn a lot by just watching what other people do.

With that in mind, I am very pleased to be hosting a panel at this year’s Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2012 on the topic of “A Mobility Strategy for Business Success”.  Joining me on the panel will be three IT leaders with three very different approaches to mobility. They are Barry Libenson, CIO at Land O’ Lakes Inc, Ron Gilson, CIO of Johnsonville Sausage, LLC and Bhavani Amirthalingam, Vice President of IT at World Wide Technology Inc.

Just from talking to them beforehand, I was struck by the diversity of business reasons that went into their individual mobility strategies. I’ll be asking them to share some of their decision-making process, best practices and lessons learned from their mobility roll-outs. We’ll also be exploring how they have provided superior customer, partner, and employee experiences without compromising the security or policy of their respective businesses.

If you will be attending the Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2012 in Orlando, I hope you can join us and add your own perspective to the discussion. The panel will be on Monday, October 22nd, from 3:30 – 4:30 PM in Swan 1-4. With the proven experience of these three IT leaders to draw upon, it should be an engaging and thought-provoking session.

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Some Good News About Bad Decisions

When companies fail, conventional wisdom often blames outside factors. The economy, regulatory actions, and geopolitical challenges are but three prime culprits beyond the control of decision makers.

In reality, however, it is bad decisions—factors within the control of companies themselves—that overwhelmingly cause firms to lose their leading positions. Over the past 10 years, 159 of the 500 largest companies globally by revenue have been displaced. And in many of those cases, company executives may not have realized the impact of their own decisions—or been well informed when they made them.

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Cisco Submits Letter to the Washington Post

Cisco submitted the following Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post:

October 17, 2012

Washington Post

Letter to the Editor,

In a page one article last Thursday entitled, “US rivals lobby against Chinese firm,” the Post implies that Cisco engaged in a lobbying campaign against Huawei on Capitol Hill regarding national security issues, and describes a Cisco marketing document that compiled published views and concerns from around the world regarding  Huawei.  The article reports that, “Senior Hill staffers at three separate congressional offices say an array of American tech firms have lobbied them to increase scrutiny of Huawei, using language similar to Cisco’s campaign.”

The suggestion that Cisco engaged in a lobbying campaign with the House Intelligence Committee against Huawei on national security issues, and that the marketing document was distributed or its contents used for lobbying on Capitol Hill, is false.  In response to a request we received from the Committee, we provided committee staffers with publicly available information about the private intellectual property litigation between Cisco and Huawei that occurred in 2003 and 2004. This was the extent of Cisco’s involvement.

Cisco has been engaged in China for almost twenty years, supplying internet routing and switching equipment that has resulted in billions of people being connected to the global Internet.   As we do with other competitors, we compete vigorously with Huawei in the marketplace.  The Post’s article, however, provides a misleading impression regarding Cisco’s lobbying activities.


Mark Chandler

Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Cisco

Cisco Expands Citrix Alliance, Outlines Cloud Network Services Strategy

Today, on October 17th, at the Citrix Synergy conference in Barcelona, Cisco announced an extension of its successful partnership with Citrix Systems, covering areas of collaboration, mobility, cloud and data center. As a follow-up, I’d like to share information on elements of the announcement that touch upon the network and our L4-7 services strategy for the data center and cloud.

Cisco believes the data center is undergoing a fundamental transformation, with virtualization, cloud, mobility, and new service delivery models. Cisco’s systems based approach for network and compute as well as the rich portfolio of L4-7 services and a strong ecosystems approach have contributed to the successful adoption of a unified architecture. Building on Cisco strength and market leadership in Unified Fabric and Unified Compute we are continuing to evolve our L4-L7 “Cloud Network Services” strategy as a key element of our Unified Data Center and Cloud architectures.

Cisco’s strategy for Cloud Network Services integrates WAN Optimization, Security, Application Delivery, and Network Monitoring into a seamless converged infrastructure, while bringing consistency across physical and virtual environments.  The Cloud Network Services approach provides multi-service consolidation while delivering scale out, elastic instantiation, and multi-tenant operation, all with a common approach to service provisioning and management.  This ecosystem friendly architecture incorporates both Cisco plus partner best-in-class application and networking services to provide maximum customer value, while providing a consistent framework across physical and virtual services, including those running on the Nexus virtual services platform.”  

As part of the announcement, Cisco and Citrix intend to integrate  the Citrix NetScaler application delivery controller (ADC) into Cisco “Cloud Network Services” where Cisco market leading services, such as our Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), Cisco ASA, virtual Prime Network Analysis Module (NAM), the Nexus 1000V’s own Virtual Supervisor Module (VSM), and Cisco WAAS, will seamlessly coexist with the Citrix ADC.

The Cisco-Citrix partnership delivers a best of breed approach to designing next generation, cloud-ready networks, and couples Cisco’s leadership in data center and cloud infrastructure with Citrix’s strength in application delivery controllers.  Bringing these key technologies together into an integrated solution will help enterprise and service provider customers deliver true cloud service automation with deep network and application level intelligence, speeding service deployment, and simplifying networking services.

In the initial phase of the partnership, Cisco intends to immediately begin incorporating Citrix NetScaler ADC into our solution portfolio and validated designs.  This will include high-performance NetScaler MPX appliances, multi-tenant NetScaler SDX platforms, and software-based NetScaler VPX virtual appliances.  Cisco will also continue to support and provide feature releases on our existing ACE product line to provide customers maximum flexibility based on their unique needs in application delivery, and deployment lifecycles

Together, Cisco and Citrix will enable Cisco customers to accelerate the transformation to mobile, cloud, virtualization and new network service delivery models. The two companies also plan to collaborate on go-to-market initiatives, including joint account engagement and the publication of Cisco Validated Design (CVD) reference documents, to assist customers to fully leverage Cisco’s Cloud Network Services.

Doubling our Business Together: One Year After the Cisco-Citrix Partnership

I’m here today in beautiful Barcelona for Citrix Synergy.   It’s remarkable to think that it was only a year ago that Cisco and Citrix announced a strategic, 5-year agreement to accelerate mainstream adoption of desktop virtualization.

Last night the Cisco-Citrix alliance team met at a local restaurant to celebrate our success together.  Whenever we get together we realize that our visions are so closely aligned that it’s almost scary. But it’s true. We just come at the same problems from different angles—and that’s what makes our alliance so complementary and compelling. That’s great news for you — our customers and partners — because we’re going to continue to innovate together and bring more of our portfolio to market.

In the spirit of celebrating our partnership I wanted to share four interesting facts you may not know about the Cisco-Citrix partnership.

  1. Over the past year we’ve more than doubled our business together.
  2. Together we have deployed tens of thousands of new virtual desktops to small and large customers across the globe.
  3. Channel partners have increased their overall solution margin by as much as 25% by utilizing the resources in the Cisco and Citrix Partner Accelerator.
  4. Citrix XenDesktop is the cornerstone of Cisco’s Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) solution — our strategy to deliver high-quality mobile workspace experience on any device, from anywhere.

Adios from Barcelona!



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