Cisco is probably the first vendor I was introduced to when I entered the industry in 1993 whilst at University. At that time it seemed a huge anonymous corporate that made metal boxes. Over the last 18 years I’ve grown up in an industry that has been ‘founded’ on the Internet, therefore Cisco. If it wasn’t for the Internet I wouldn’t have the business and opportunities and quality of life I have today. It is therefore with great sadness and concern that I read about how Cisco are struggling. Not financially, (they have one of the industry’s biggest war chests) but with its own identity and size and future direction. I’m a Cisco customer, an investor and a partner. Cisco are one of my top three partners. They are intrinsic to my success. I am intrinsic to theirs’. How can I help Cisco I thought ? What would I do if I was John Chambers ? What advise can I give Cisco ? In reality they won’t listen to little old me. But hey what have I got to loose by trying ?
Three short term (i.e immediate) things they must do.
1. re-energise their own employees that manage the channel. they need to drop the arrogance and roll up their sleeves and work with their partners to drive new business.
2. they need to sort out their supply issues. I’m fed up of telling customers in the UK about silly leadtimes for common kit
3. They need to drop this ‘licence’ complexity. Cisco were always well regarded for having ‘simple’ licensing. trying to complicate and milk licences is very, very dangerous. it annoys everyone and doesn’t inspire customers to back a brand that ties them in knots with licences.
Start doing what Cisco are famous for. Push technological boundaries. Wireless and Voice is dated. Switching and routing is not price competitive.
Buy yourself a storage vendor. You missed the boat with Equallogic. Would have been perfect for iscsi/switch sales.
Push video HARD. its the big one we’re waiting for. Especially with Call Manager customers.
Cisco. You are a great company. I NEED you to be the best. Your TAC technical teams are the best in the world. Your pre-sales is pathetic and only accessible via disti’s. Drop the arrogance, get tech hungry again, and the sales will follow. Keep the messages clear simple (you can learn a lot from the upcoming rebrand of Network Integration !) I love you to bits, but if you’re going to change, do what we did at Network Integration. Listen to your customers and your employees, and listen to your investors/partners. They want you to succeed.