Is the Next Cisco Systems Really Here?
And so it begins. After a bleak summer that included 6,500 job cuts, Cisco Systems (CSCO) is working hard to raise its voice and rally partners. Channel Chief Edison Peres has issued a video blog to crystallize the company’s partner strategy. Andrew Sage, Cisco’s VP, Partner Led, is set to provide strategy updates soon. And CEO John Chambers (pictured) recently rallied the Cisco sales force to further support partners. All of the chatter includes Cisco executives talking about the “Next Cisco.” But has the Next Cisco really arrived?
In the video blog, Peres reinforces the fact that 80 percent of sales involve partners:
As expected, Cisco has also simplified its messaging. Instead of focusing on roughly 50 markets, Cisco is zeroing in on five opportunities:
- Core (routing and switching/Cisco routers&Cisco switches)
- Data center/virtualization
- Architectures for business transformation
Some folks on Wall Street are embracing Cisco’s streamlined focus. Auriga USA, an institutional broker, predicts that Cisco can grow faster than rivals over the next years while taking market share from Hewlett-Packard and Juniper Networks, according to Tech Trader Daily,
Still, let’s not forget that Cisco stumbled badly only a few months ago. First, the company essentially said “all is well” during Cisco Partner Summit (Feb. 28-March 3, 2011). But by April, Chambers conceded that Cisco had lost its focus. Cisco soon killed the Flip video camera. And by August 2011, Cisco cut roughly 6,500 positions.
But here’s where things get extra interesting. Sometime around the time Cisco started layoffs, Wall Street began to think that Cisco was in better shape than some of its rivals. And more recently, Hewlett-Packard’s decision to potentially sell or spin-off its PC division may have triggered some distractions within the halls of HP… potentially helping Cisco to gain some ground in the server market (though servers are not part of HP’s potential PC spin-off plan).
Yes, Cisco still has massive market share in switching and routing. And folks like Peres and Sage have the channel’s respect. But here’s one remaining riddle: How exactly does Sage’s role differ from Peres’s role? The VAR Guy expects to gain more answers and insights within the next few days…