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So talk brass tacks: specifics in terms of what you mean by simplifying. Rob, you have a channel background, you came from the channel side, you get what makes a VAR, what makes a solution provider tick and they crave the difference between talking about simplification and the programs that are going to filter down to them. What's Cisco going to do specifically, can you give me an example?
Well, sometimes when I visit with partners, when I visit with customers with our partners, there seem to be too many people required to make decisions. This is a business moving quickly. The networking industry has never moved more quickly than it is today. What we're doing is aligning our resources in a way in which there's much clearer accountability for decision making. [When it's] a matter to make a decision on a deal with our partner, we're going to do that faster, require less internal approvals to make these things happen. I know the processes we engage in every day sometimes take too long, so I think cycle time, simplification on the kinds of decision we need to make on a deal or program going to help us.
We've moved a lot over the last 60-90 days to create two key places in our organizations where final accountability resides for decisions. They reside in my Worldwide Field Organization -- you could call that sales and channels -- and they reside in the Engineering Organization. So we expect we're going to move faster, if need to make a decision or a change on something, we're going to move more quickly. I expect we'll react in competitive situations in a more aggressive fashion, and continue to deliver the consistency our partners expect of us. Our partners expect consistency. They want to see our processes implemented and our decision making quicker. We've done a lot of things, Chad, so that as we enter the next year, the next fiscal year, we're going to be faster in decision making with more accountability, less people who need to be in a room to make a decision, and more people who will be empowered to say "yes."
So what will partners see as a result of these internal moves? There are faster decisions on who to call, who to speak to when decisions need to be made,…you're telling em you're getting more nimble?
Exactly. That's exactly the issue. I would say we don't need as many people involved in decisions. More accountability and faster to the "yes."
So where up the hierarchy of decision makers are you removing layers? I know you have folks moving around, but we have heard form partners that it takes too long to escalate things with so many layers of decision making. What layers are being removed?
You know what? The basic realignment for us is to realign all of the resources in a geographic area -- under these three new geographic regions and just to make it real simple. All of the resources in the Americas, we generally operate within four hours of the same time zone, are now aligned with one leader, Chuck Robbins. That means our entire channel partner team, with Jim Sherriff, that means the entire architectural resources, the support expert capabilities with our partners, the sales teams in each of the market segments we serve across the Americas, service provider, commercial, enterprise and public sector.
The resource pool is there. Because the resource pool is there, I expect those teams can optimize the opportunities without having to crossover barriers or organizational steps every time. That's what we're doing right now. It's not a matter of going up or going down, it's a matter of how we optimize those investments, and that process is underway right now. It's happening in the three regions around the world: Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia, Japan, Pacific and China, and obviously, in the Americas.