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Market Transitions Don’t Wait
Five years down the line, Chambers said, IT and business processes will be so entwined they’ll be practically one and the same. It’s Cisco’s architecture vision that will best accommodate that trend, he said.
“In people’s minds that might have been a stretch three to five years ago, but when I talk to the top 5 percent of CEOs in the world, they not only get it, but when you sit and listen to them, you can’t tell what’s IT and what is their business,” Chambers said. “It’s starting to occur and plays extremely well for Cisco and our partners.”
The architecture strategy is part of what takes Cisco beyond its legacy as a network plumber and pushes it into the upper echelons of tier-one IT vendors: a long-haul competitor to the Hewlett-Packards and IBMs of the world.
It’s also driving Cisco’s ambition to be the ruling technology power in 30 or more “adjacencies” -- Chambers’ preferred term for market and product segments such as health care, smart grid and video, where he believes Cisco can be the No. 1 player, and where challenges are solved in the network.
“Have we spread ourselves a little bit thin? I’ve always spread us thin at Cisco,” Chambers said. “The key is market transitions wait for no one. This verticalization, whether it’s good or bad, is happening. And unlike our peers that we’re competing against, we share the majority of our direction with our partners, including even the services level where I would expect our partners to generate five, 10 times the services revenue we do, even though we’re all needing to move to a services-led sell and services-led implementation.”
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