When you move somewhere new, they say you should immerse yourself in the culture. In Colorado, that means scaling mountains. Whether you are grinding up a trail on a mountain bike, strapping on a headlamp at 4:00 a.m. to hike a 14er (a mountain peak with an elevation of at least 14,000 feet), or my personal favorite (yet least accomplished), jumping on belay and wedging yourself inside a crack in Eldorado Canyon and making the slow meticulous ascent to the top. You wedge your hands, feet, elbows, anything you can into the crack, and inch by inch, make your way up. You are roped in, but the stakes still feel extremely high. It’s sometimes painful, and it’s definitely hard, but there’s nothing more rewarding than when you complete that final move and step onto the summit. And when you do step onto that peak, one thing holds true no matter what–there’s always another summit to bag.

Rock climbing can be analogous to the experiences I’ve lived through my entire career in the Service Provider industry. Mass-scale networks go through cycles of major architecture transitions, and those cycles can be long and difficult. The general direction is often understood, but like climbing where you might not know every move that you will have to make, architectural transformations require agility and decisions to be made along the way. When the transformation is completed, the peak summited, our customers benefit from a whole new set of economics.

Helping our customers do just that—develop and grow new revenue streams, reduce costs, and mitigate risks just happens to be the mission for Cisco’s Mass-scale Infrastructure Group (or what we affectionately call “MIG”). The MIG team has a tremendous understanding of both the opportunities and challenges our customers face and also a passion for helping them navigate to the next set of transitions. We used to call MIG the “Service Provider” business unit, but we now realize that along with Service Providers, Cloud companies, Hyper Scalers, Public Sector companies, and very large enterprises also benefit from some of these same architectural transitions.

I’m thrilled to share that my next summit to climb at Cisco will be to lead the Worldwide Sales organization for the MIG business unit. I’m thrilled to leverage my 20 years of Service Provider experience to help customers ascend their next peak. I’ve learned from the transition to Voice over IP networks, the OTT transition that introduced content delivery networks, software defined networking, the emergence of virtual network functions, and now cloud network functions. Just as there is always another mountain to climb, there is always another architectural transition ahead.

My team will be laser-focused on helping customers grow revenue, reduce costs, and mitigate risk. We see SDN Converged Transport with the emergence of the Routed Optical Network (RON) and the transition to 5G as being two key areas where Cisco can bring insight and value to customers. RON is all about driving simplicity to operations and greatly reducing both CAPEX and OPEX for our customers. While we all may hear a lot about 5G at every turn these days, 5G is still in a very nascent phase. Cisco is committed to innovating with our customers to help them unlock new revenue streams in both the enterprise and consumer domains, be that IoT, private cellular, AR/VR, immersive sports viewing, etc.

I couldn’t be more excited to strap on my gear and jump on this next climb. I’m inheriting a world-class team that is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about driving business outcomes for some of the biggest names in the business. A team that brings important insight to customers and partners. Most of all, a team that knows that some routes will be hard, long, and sometimes painful, but there’s a summit waiting for us around the next corner. I hope you will join me for this next climb.




Shaun McCarthy

Vice President, Worldwide Sales

Mass-Scale Infrastructure Group