Cisco's Lloyd Talks Intercloud, Reorg, And CEO Succession Plans


As Cisco moves full speed ahead with its Intercloud strategy, Cisco President of Sales and Development Rob Lloyd recently shared with CRN how he sees partners playing a role. The 20-year Cisco vet also detailed a recent reorganization within Cisco's engineering unit, why Cisco will remain partner-centric even after CEO John Chambers retires, and how he feels about partners widely considering him a potential successor to Chambers himself.

CRN: Some partners still aren't clear on the margin opportunities with Intercloud. What can solution providers expect?

Lloyd: The market we are addressing with Intercloud is hybrid. The vast majority of the market that we will capitalize will be private and managed services for enterprise, business and government customers, combined with a series of new network-centric cloud services that will come from the cloud.

Some markets will move more to consuming pure cloud services, others will move more slowly. I have been on a call since early this morning with a European customer, and we have to recognize that the market will move around the world in different speeds and in different ways. It will be different by industry, it will be different by country. And so the vast majority of Intercloud opportunities will be consumed in the private and managed services, which is the business of our partners. They will be providing on-ramps into these new Intercloud capabilities that I think service providers are naturally equipped to provide.

But no matter which data you look at, the fastest-growing part of this marketplace is hybrid cloud, growing at 40 percent a year vs. public cloud services growing at 17 [percent], expected to grow for that same five-year period of time.

So our partners -- the partners we have worked so hard on with our data center portfolio, with our collaboration portfolio, with our security portfolio -- will simply be providing new ways for our customers to consume some of that offer and that will come from Intercloud-based public or managed services. But, quite frankly, we want them to do more of what they are doing and accelerate other successes we are having with private and managed services. And that is their business.

CRN: How do Cisco Powered cloud partners fit into the Intercloud strategy?

Lloyd: One of the reasons we asked [the head of Cisco's new Cloud and Managed Services Organization] Edison [Peres] to lead the development of the partner element for Intercloud is because that's been a very, very key focus for us. I'm not sure if we have fully announced those directions, but we are having the conversations right now as to how we will embrace and connect the Cisco Powered offers, how people with Cisco Powered offers in the marketplace can evolve those to an Intercloud offer, which fundamentally have some foundational building blocks that we think are part of the Intercloud differentiation, including embracing ACI or APIC Controller, including embracing OpenStack orchestration and a common services catalog. … I believe Edison is working on a program that will allow existing Cisco Powered providers to connect with Intercloud or allow their services to become Intercloud-certified. And that conversation is going very well.

NEXT: The Competitive Landscape For Intercloud