Cisco focuses on Collaboration

Editors Note: This Blog Post was originally published on November 18th, 2011.

By Jim Lundy

I’ve covered Cisco for years and this week attended their Collaboration Analyst and Partner Summit in Miami. We published an Aragon Research First Cut with our Analysis of their new product announcements; this blog post is about the changes I see occurring at Cisco.

Cisco and Collaboration

Cisco really only started to make the true shift to Collaboration Software after it bought WebEx and it took a while to get the integration done. They pioneered HD Video with its Telepresence offering and now it is poised to take that to the masses. They have also focused on innovation. It’s Enterprise Social Networking offering, Cisco Quad, was developed internally and is now deployed globally at Cisco.

CiscoCEO John Chambers has been the lead evangelist for Collaboration at Cisco, but that is changing. This week, SVP Barry O’Sullivan’s General Managers were focused and on-message. The messages were integrated and so were the products.

Sometimes it takes a crisis to motivate a workforce and today I see a very motivated Cisco team that is ready to deliver their Collaboration vision to their customers. Since there were customers at the event this week, it was nice to see them start to tell the execution story.


A new Cisco (more focus on Collaboration)

What I see emerging is a new Cisco, leaner and more focused. In fact, I spent time with one of Cisco’s Account Managers, Matt Coleman, who brought one of his customers to the event. Matt has the passion for Cisco Collaboration and it is clear that his customer does too.

Finally, what should have been the opening video at Cisco’s event was shown at the end. It takes a lot of guts to show Executives doing a Rap Video (see below). You need to watch it several times, but the messages are as compelling as the video is entertaining.

What I see is an inkling of a new Cisco that is beginning to emerge. It isn’t just talk about Collaboration and  it isn’t all about hardware anymore.



  1. Jim,

    I completely agree with you. I attended the Collaboration Summit as a partner, and for the first time, didn’t leave with more questions than I showed up with. I think the up hill battle Cisco faces is that the partner landscape largely isn’t equipped to support this “new Cisco”, in the sense that the lion’s share of partners are box plus services organizations, and as you’ve stated, it isn’t all about the hardware anymore. Cisco partners are going to have to build, buy, or partner in order to adapt to this new collaborative integration model. There are a few, but a very few, that have both the girth to support the largest enterprises and the depth to be nimble across all disciplines like the boutique resellers out there today.

    Interesting times are right in front of us.


  2. Steve, we’re on the same page. Interesting times for sure.

Speak Your Mind