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The Facts about Innovation Leadership in Networking.

I just arrived home from a couple of days visiting customers in Asia and I was a little surprised by all the attention around Cisco’s increased competitive posture. It seems some people are surprised Cisco is calling out its smaller networking competitor by name, although I’ve heard few mentions of their Wall Street Journal cartoon advertisements ridiculing Cisco a while back. I guess that didn’t count.

Here’s the issue. If you’re going to claim innovation leadership in networking, you better be prepared to back it up with facts.

What matters most to customers is whether their networking partner is ready right now to help them adapt to, and benefit from, the massive network-centric changes that are transforming their businesses and their customers’ businesses.

My recent trip to Asia provided some great examples of exactly what I’m talking about:

First, Mobility is red hot. Tablet growth is exploding as the shift from the PC to new consumer based devices accelerates. With our service provider customers, the new Mobile Packet Core is THE number one conversation. The Cisco ASR 5000, combined with our CRS-1 and CRS-3, is the most innovative technology available to handle this explosion of mobile data and develop new services to help service providers monetize mobile content.

Twenty of the world’s top twenty five mobile operators are already deploying the Cisco ASR 5000 and this number is only going to increase. We also hear growing interest in Asia for SP Wi-Fi as an alternate method to address the escalating requirements for mobile bandwidth and data services. For sure, there’s a lot of competition for the mobile packet core and SP Wi-Fi, but our smaller competitor from Sunnyvale just doesn’t seem to be relevant in these conversations.

Cloud is on fire as enterprises accelerate their migration to private cloud to capture the economic, operational and agility benefits. In this area Cisco innovations have rocked the industry. Let’s check the facts. From a decade long position of undisputed leadership in data center switching based on our flagship Catalyst family of Ethernet switches, Cisco led the market with the first purpose built data center core switch and operating system, the Nexus 7000 with Cisco NX-OS software. Then we led the market with the introduction of Unified Fabric on the Nexus 5000, the first to consolidate data center networks over FCoE. We also introduced the first data center fabric extension on the Nexus 2000. And the Nexus 1000 was the industry’s first distributed virtual switch for VMware environments. The Nexus 3000 ultra low-latency switch has achieved immediate success in financial services customers and at massively scalable data centers.

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Trust, Relationships and Reputation: How Cisco Differs from the Competition

As Cisco re-focused, reorganized and became stronger and leaner in the past two quarters, maintaining trust with our customers and partners was always front of mind for me.

For more than 25 years, Cisco has systematically and passionately invested in customer relationships and developed a reputation for doing whatever it takes to deliver on our commitments. We operate as our customers want us to: as business partners, not just as a vendor. We’re in it to win together and drive shared business success.

That philosophy is a big reason why Cisco consistently ranks No. 1 among technology vendors for overall performance and quality of products and services in studies of customer satisfaction.

It’s also a big reason why our customers have stood by us as we faced challenges in the past year. I have been consistently impressed -- and humbled -- by how many customers have told me they want Cisco to succeed; to continue to innovate and to be an even stronger business partner than before.

Recognizing the power of those trusted relationships also made us more resolute in the face of competitors who consistently broke their promises as if that were the norm in business today. I’ll say more about that in a moment.

Management guru Tom Peters once offered a simple formula for building trusted relationships in business: “Under promise and over deliver.”  Sounds simple, but has a wiser piece of business advice ever been given?

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A Simpler Cisco: New Articles Cover Changes, Partner Profitability

July 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm PST

It’s no secret that we’re looking to simplify things at Cisco, streamline, provide stronger marketing support for partners, and increase partners’ profitability. 

Now, new in-depth coverage from CRN gives more detail around the changes based on discussions with Rob Lloyd, EVP of Cisco’s WW Operations.

Here’s a quick recap and links to the coverage:

Cisco Gets Back To Business
Years from now, Cisco Systems’ landmark restructuring could be viewed as a highly profitable sales game changer that effectively squelched the rising competitive threat from from aggressive competitors like Hewlett-Packard, Juniper Networks, and Brocade.

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It’s Your Lucky Day, We’ve Got Your Top Cisco News Headlines

May 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm PST

Many believe that number 13 equals bad luck. And on Friday the 13th some may take extra precautions to ensure nothing bad happens. There are literally hundreds of myths out there around things that could bring bad luck: a black cat crossing your path, walking under ladders, and breaking mirrors, to name a few.

One thing that’s guaranteed to bring good luck to all, however, is watching the latest Partner Update newscast. What could be more lucky than getting all of the latest Cisco partner news in less than five minutes?

It’s been a busy week! In this newscast, we share ways that Cisco is simplifying and making easier to do business with us, we cover the top networking myths, new IT cloud and print solutions, give you a recap of our B2B lead generation and marketing webcast with tips on turning leads into customers, a way to turn your customers’ old networking equipment into money for you, showcase B2B blogging tips, and highlight our Tweet of the Week.

Keep reading for highlights and links to everything we covered in this week’s Partner Update along with timestamps so you can easily jump to each item. Read More »

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Webcast Recap: Seven Myths of the “Good Enough” Network and Other Urban Legends

April 28, 2011 at 11:31 am PST

We’ve all heard some pretty outrageous myths and urban legends. You know, your mom probably warned you that if you swallow chewing gum, it will remain undigested in your gut for seven years.

Or did you hear that penguins will fall on their backs trying to see airplanes flying overhead?

And, finally, you may have heard that a “good enough” network will work just fine for video, voice, and mission-critical applications.

The truth is, none of these myths is true.

And there was some major mythbusting going on yesterday during the “Debunking the Myth of the Good Enough Network” webcast.

Bob Cagnazzi, CEO of BlueWater Communications Group (Cisco Master Partner); Rob Lloyd, Cisco’s EVP of Worldwide Operations; and Mike Rau, Cisco’s VP and CTO of Borderless Networks helped to debunk the seven most misleading myths of the “good enough” network. They talked about the dreaded Single Purpose Myth, the horrific Security as a Bolt On Myth, and the scary Application and Endpoint Ignorant Myth, just to name a few.

After he debunked those myths, Mike then provided key questions for our partners to ask their customers to find out if their network is ready.

Ready for what? Read More »

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