During a recent company meeting, our Chairman and CEO, Chuck Robbins was asked, “What are some of the things that make you most proud?” I was very touched when he responded that he is most satisfied when the world experiences the “hearts and minds” of our people at Cisco.

He went on to highlight how feedback from our employees has helped Cisco increase positions in the Best Places to Work rankings to #6 in the US and #1 in many countries around the world. And he shared that our culture is at the heart of why our employees love working for Cisco.

Having been at Cisco for more than 21 years, Chuck’s statements resonated strongly with me. I am grateful for being a part of an amazing journey that has included building and scaling, not just the internet, but also the lives and careers of many including myself. Today, I want to share what is in my heart and mind about the Cisco Service Provider (SP) team. The Cisco SP team is at the unique intersection of global telecom, mobile communication, and web scale providers. The innovation spectrum in this space covers scale, resilience, economics, and security of the internet.

Our mission is simple and yet powerful—deliver cost-effective and secure internet access that is highly available to billions of people and devices around the globe. And do it in a way that keeps the end-to-end value chain healthy (e.g., where service providers and networking vendors remain profitable to keep on delivering new services and keep those services affordable to end users).

To accomplish this inspiring mission, innovation is key. Over the years, the Cisco SP team has fostered a culture of innovation across multiple domains—networking (routing/switching), mobility (packet core), automation and access technologies (cable/ethernet/TDM). Each of these innovations—including networking (MPLS, segment routing), advanced silicon, optics, carrier-class programmable network operating systems, large scale systems, networks, and network services—has had a profound impact on the evolution of the internet as we see it today.

I often share with my team that the criticality of their work is best measured during the rare occasion when something fails to work. The impact on people, as well as on the entire socio-economic fabric, can be immense when the network does not deliver. That’s even more motivation for us to spend every day, with much pride and enthusiasm, to improve design and quality in order to systematically eliminate points of failure. And delivering on this high availability expectation while being at the cutting edge of innovations in silicon, optics, software, tools, processes, and scale makes it even more fun.

When I think of the engineers on the Service Provider team, I see a diverse group of talented people who challenge themselves every day to create great products and solutions that will connect the unconnected and enable the digitization of the whole planet. In other words, to make it a better world for us all. The opportunity to be part of such a team is what makes Cisco the best place to work for me.

In my opinion, being an engineer on the Cisco SP team is a great way to bring our “hearts and minds” in the service of the planet!



Sumeet Arora

SVP Engineering

Core Software Group - US