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Cisco’s Software Journey

- October 14, 2014 - 2 Comments

Last week I attended the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando, where the theme of the event was “Driving Digital Business.” One of the key themes was the Internet of Everything (IoE) as well as some of the key enabling trends like mobility, cloud, big data, and analytics. A lot of attention was focused on  the changing role of the CIO and how in this new generation of IT, CIOs need to become better equipped to help drive the digitization of the business. In particular, there was discussion around the importance of the user experience, whether customer or employee, and the emergence of “Chief Digital Officers” to oversee the full range of digital strategies to transform businesses as their products evolve digitally.

It’s clear that cloud, mobility, IoE, and big data analytics are fundamentally changing the business landscape in which we operate today. They are leveling the playing field and triggering business outcome-based innovation and investment in IT.  And software-driven solutions are key to driving innovation in any organization.

This is precisely why I joined Cisco just over a year ago: to develop Cisco’s software strategy and accelerate growth of our software businesses. Cisco is positioned to have a massive impact in this market, and I’m excited to play a role in addressing some of the challenges in this space through software – whether that’s in collaboration, across our traditional core businesses in network infrastructure, data center, or mobility.

Today, Cisco’s software journey is well under way. Based on revenues from our software products and services, we already rank as the 5th largest software company in the world. We’ve grown from the 7th largest enterprise SaaS vendor in 2012 to now the 3rd largest SaaS vendor by revenue in 2014.  Nine out of 10 of our most recent acquisitions have been companies driven by software.

What does this mean for our customers? It means they can rely on Cisco to innovate faster, provide richer employee and customer experiences, connect the unconnected, and use big data analytics to gain new insights.

In the coming weeks, you’ll hear more from me and my team about how we’re helping to accelerate and bring about this software transformation at Cisco across our entire portfolio of products and services. You’ll hear how we’re radically changing the way our customers and partners consume, manage, and use our software products and how we’re bringing more application-centric and cloud-ready infrastructure to market.

What do you think about software at Cisco? Let me know in the comments below.


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  1. By the way, here's my own take-aways from the recent Gartner Symposium -- it's entitled "Strategic Leadership in the Digital Business Economy" I welcome your thoughts about my commentary.

  2. You said "Today, Cisco’s software journey is well under way." What do I think? I'm guessing that you would agree, when most people think of Cisco, software isn't going to be top of mind. That said, you have an epic Commercial Storyteller opportunity that's limited only by your own imagination. I have a suggestion, for your consideration. It would be very beneficial, for most Cisco internal and external stakeholders, if you created a Story-World Map for your journey. What points-of-interest would you place upon the story-world map? Specifically, tell the story across the three phases of event chronology for the Cisco Software timeline -- where we've been (hindsight), where we are today (insight) and where we're going (foresight). Also, are you willing to share some of the backstories for your journey? It would surely aid you in achieving full comprehension of the software transformation that you envision. What's a backstory? It’s the *context* that explains why Cisco arrived at a new juncture – it’s often the untold part of the journey, not just the destination outcomes. How did Cisco decide upon its chosen solution to a given scenario? What were the options that were considered? Which options were not suitable, and why? When did Cisco select the best-fit solution and how was it a transformational experience? Anyway, I look forward to learning more about your quest.