Connectivity needs are growing and how are you looking at these new evolving needs of enterprises. What exactly do you have to offer to them?
We have seen a handful of major shifts in the last few years. And I think COVID has really opened people’s eyes up in a couple of ways. And the two biggest changes we have seen are around hybrid work and hybrid cloud. And in hybrid work, we just talked about it today, we have really looked at one just building a really tight integration between the networking, collaboration and security. The technology needed to deliver this kind of hybrid work unified experience for end-users. And the collaboration has seen countless innovations, including third-party support and third-party integrations. But we found a lot of power and integration between a Cisco portfolio – ThousandEyes and WebEx, for example. And the reason why is this simplifying that experience for IT, and how IT deploys these hybrid work experiences, makes a huge difference in the kind of experience in the unified experience that they are able to deliver to their end-users. The more we simplify the management, provisioning, the orchestration, Cisco technology becomes unified, more reliable and more resilient.
Do you have a third-party or vendor-led approach?
We have tons of partners in the collaboration space. And they all work with WebEx natively. But now they can work with Zoom and Teams as well. That’s an enormous benefit. And it just comes from customer focus. Customers want the best possible experience, if they are already using a competitor’s solution, that doesn’t mean they can’t use our devices. We have partnerships with technologies across the board, in just about every area in order to just bring that unified experience.. As we know it’s a multi-vendor world, and we are going to partner deeply with third parties to make sure that it’s the customer experience that matters.
Cisco seems to be banking on predictive networking. What does it operationally mean?
We spent a lot of time across our whole industry, not just at Cisco, but everywhere, talking about artificial intelligence that analyses network data and network analytics. And it brings up insights about what is currently happening and even can help you troubleshoot current problems. I don’t think there is anything in the industry that is actually predicting future problems that are not happening yet. I am super excited about it. So what it does is – it is pulling in data from across all of our SDN fabric and across the whole internet with ThousandEyes infrastructure. It is finding patterns within that data and actually predicting an outage that has yet to happen. And then it can recommend or remediate SD-WAN changes that would route around that outage.
When it comes to hybrid work, do you have any case studies? Have you recently deployed it anywhere in the world?
I mean, it’s perhaps the number one thing we are deploying right now. We have enormous demand, for example, Wi-Fi. And we are because people are building denser and denser Wi-Fi networks in their sites because they know it’s going to be a much more collaborative space there. And so we see that everywhere we actually built-in, in New York, Penn Plaza office, just a straight-up case study site for how to build out for hybrid work included the smart workspaces application that allows you to see telemetry from all of our systems, including sensors and cameras and Wi-Fi that shows you where people are in the office, which rooms are being used, what the air quality is, what the comfort of that room might be, lets you book, the room, automatically get lets you find rooms that have the right type of WebEx equipment that you would be for that meeting. It’s a beautiful experience, we deployed that. But we also deployed IoT technology. We are building sites like in Chicago and Atlanta.
Coming to 5G, how do you see it? What are your views on using Enterprise networking services, and private networks?
I think private 5G is definitely going to have some use cases, especially in industrial culture, and that sort of thing. We are starting to see them roll out, maybe it’s still early days. When users with laptops are operating, there’s going to be a Wi-Fi network. Wi-Fi is multi-vendor, it’s widely deployed. But I think there is going to be a real space for private 5G, in particular use cases, and it’s going to be a blend of 5G and Wi-Fi. And that’s why we have spent a lot of time on technologies like open roaming, which allows devices to seamlessly move between 5G and Wi-Fi networks. And that way, you can manage a single fleet of devices with a single identity and a single security policy to move through. A private 5G rolls them over to their Wi-Fi network seamlessly, because that’s why it is going to be Wi-Fi and 5G, not core.
What are your views on open RAN? Considering this is the radio side of the network, are you partnering with some of the open RAN vendors?
We have, for sure, OpenRAN has been very successful for us and we are believers in OpenRAN for sure. We are looking at a 5G, 5G private network, we think it’s a big opportunity for us. I think private 5G is a big opportunity for us, especially as we deploy, we are deploying 5G as a sort of private 5G as a service so that we can host the whole back end, the whole 5G core, and partner with vendors and our folks are able to deploy the physical components.
What is your go-to-market strategy for working alongside your partner ecosystem?
We are deeply partner focused at Cisco, and especially in my business and networking business, we have traditional systems integrators, we have technology partners, and we manage service providers. For us, number one is to get 99% channel and partner, practically on the whole basis. Cisco does just a tiny bit of direct business. We have amazing partner relationships in India. And that is our go-to-market strategy.
Are you getting a few partners in India?
I just met Infosys. They were out in San Jose, a couple of weeks ago. I have a lot of relationships with those guys. As soon as I can get to India, I am super excited to go engage with the partners there. But you should know I mean, we are deeply a partnership organization all the way around the world but in India as much as I can get to the list of the top partners in India.