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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Tropo

Cisco has been on a mission to make collaboration super-simple. From our video devices that require no user’s manual, to our cameras that sense and automatically adjust when the speaker suddenly stands and walks to the white board, we’re paying attention to the details; we’re making collaborating less frustrating and providing a better user experience—so we can all get great work done.

With our laser focus on simplicity, it should come as no surprise that we’ve given lots of thought to real-time embedded communications. Given the market transitions of mobility, cloud, and the Internet of Everything, companies are seeking simpler and faster ways to communicate—both internally and externally—from any device in real-time through the cloud. The need for next-generation communications and collaboration platforms with modern, easy-to-use APIs is more important than ever. To address this growing need, Cisco is pleased to announce its intent to acquire Tropo, a privately held company providing a cloud API platform that makes it simple for customers and developers to embed real-time communications within their applications.

Helping people connect, engage and innovate on any device, Cisco and Tropo will provide a collaboration platform-as-a-service, which allows our customers and developers to create and sell new communications services with minimal development effort.

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Identifying Cisco’s Next-Generation Leader

By Roderick C. McGeary, Cisco Board Member and Chair, Compensation and Management Development Committee, and Francine Katsoudas, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer

McGeary and Katsoudas




Cisco CEO John Chambers has consistently said that the next time we would talk about CEO succession would be when a successor is announced. Today is that day, and we are proud that Chuck Robbins has been appointed Cisco’s next CEO.

Over the past 16 months, Cisco’s Compensation and Management Development Committee and Board of Directors have been focused on the succession process for one of the most dynamic, respected, and longest-tenured CEOs in the tech industry.

For almost a decade, we have led robust succession planning and leadership planning for all of our critical roles. And, as a result, since John Chambers has been CEO, we’ve managed numerous successions seamlessly, including our CFO transition last fall.

The board initiated the formal CEO succession process in January, 2014, knowing that the transition would occur at some point in the following couple of years. Early in this process, we adopted five key principles to guide our approach and decisions:

  1. Execute a transition that is thorough, strategic, well managed and, in hindsight, highly successful.
  2. Establish clear criteria that will define a successful CEO for the next decade and beyond.
  3. Assess and develop the leaders who will play key roles during the CEO transition and beyond.
  4. Lead a highly confidential process that minimizes the distractions to the business and is fair and respectful to all candidates.
  5. Given the speed of disruption in our industry, select a candidate who can both execute in the short term as well as drive a dynamic vision and strategy for the next decade.

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Cisco Partner Summit 2015 – Be Bold, Be Innovative, Be Profitable

Bonjour de Montréal! I’m excited to officially kick off Cisco Partner Summit 2015. I just stepped off the stage at the Palais des Congrès where John Chambers and I spent the past hour updating our 2,200 partners here on the ground and 7,500 virtual attendees on our partner initiatives for the year to come.

But it’s impossible for us to look forward without first taking a look back. In the past year, you’ve heard me talk a lot about the Cisco Partner Ecosystem—and with good reason. At Cisco Partner Summit 2014, we put a firm stake in the ground with regard to how we view partnering and how, inevitably, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is compelling us all to think about new and different partner types—whether independent software vendors (ISVs), cloud providers, IoE and IoT partners, or others.

Many believe that these partner types can’t work together—that even some are competitors. But we’ve found the opposite to be true; while others in the industry make moves to split their partner programs to accommodate individual partner types, we know that we can do more together. We can ‘Be Bold’ together.

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No Inclusive Growth Without Women and Girls in ICT

Last week we partnered with the WEF in launching the 2015 Global Information Technology Report highlighting the importance of closing the gender gap in ICT to ensure everybody benefits from ICTs. Today as we celebrate the ITU’s Girl in ICT day all around the world, we recognize the challenge in front of us: fewer women and girls than men and boys use mobile phones and the Internet, fewer girls have shown interest in ICT careers, and fewer women currently hold positions in this industry.

Some of the statistics are sobering:

  • Teenage girls are 5 times less likely to consider a technology-related career compared to boys of the same age, even though the way in which each gender uses computers and the Internet is nearly identical.
  • Only 18% of undergraduate computer science degrees were awarded to women in the United States between 2008 and 2011.
  • In OECD countries, women account for less than a fifth of ICT-related specialists.

The ramifications of not encouraging young girls to cultivate a love of science, technology, engineering, and/or math (STEM) – and more specifically, ICT – are broad reaching and impacts countries, communities and individuals. An enormous gap exists between the size of the ICT workforce demanded and the current global supply. Simply put, more positions are available or are in the process of being created than there are skilled workers to fill them. Employers around the world are struggling to fill hundreds of thousands of ICT jobs, and part of the problem is the lack of women trained in these fields.

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Myth-busting: White-box Switches are No Bargain

In the last episode of our myth-busting series, Cisco SDN expert Frank D’Agostino and I are debunking the myth of the bargain priced white-box switch. White boxes aren’t a new subject in the market, but customers are just now starting to evaluate them for return on investment. So, where to start? When considering a white-box deployment, it is crucial to do all of the math. You must consider both the capital costs and the ongoing operational costs of this type of solution.

Two independent reports show that the up-front cost savings of a white-box switch are marginal as compared to those of traditional vendors. Deutsche Bank published “Whitebox Switches are Not Exactly a Bargain” in 2013, while Forrester Research recently released a study titled, “The Myth of White-Box Network Switches,” (February 20, 2015).

While the cost of a white-box and traditional switch are fairly similar from a capital expenditure point of view, Cisco analysis shows that white-box switches are more expensive when you include operational expenditures, such as the integration of third party software, tools and support costs. In fact, these real-life deployment factors can result in a total cost of ownership for Cisco that is approximately 20-30 percent less expensive than the full deployment of white-box switches.

Bottom line: White-box switches have hidden costs that make them more expensive than traditional switches when fully deployed. When you add up the cost of hardware, third-party software, integration and support, they are clearly no bargain. Check out our video conversation for more on this topic.


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