Chambers Rallies Cisco Partners Following Long Year Of Restructuring


Cisco CEO and Chairman John Chambers told thousands of Cisco partners Tuesday that the networking titan's massive restructuring effort was paying off with a tighter focus, better systems and processes, and more investment in partner programs. Cisco is the best partner a solution provider can have, Chambers asserted, because the company spots market transitions and enables partners to capitalize on them better than any other.

Chambers' keynote kicked off this year's Cisco Partner Summit, where among other major moves, Cisco is launching a new program specific to services opportunities -- ideally, partners stand to make $5 in services for every $1 in Cisco product, Chambers noted -- and also expanding its Partner-Led strategy for SMB and midmarket accounts.

Chambers' message to about 4,000 attendees representing 90 countries in person -- and another 7,000 virtual attendees -- was that Cisco is a leaner, fitter organization that would continue to lead market transitions. To be a leader, the company has no choice but to outgun its competitors and be ahead of the curve in every way it can, he said.

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Cisco's major rivals -- Chambers called out Juniper and HP by name -- aren't as tough as they were a year ago, he said, but it's crucial for Cisco to continue to reinvent itself and embrace "mega trends" like cloud, mobility and video.

"Companies fail almost always because they became overconfident, lost their healthy paranoia and didn't listen [to customers]," Chambers said.

The speech included many familiar Chambers touchpoints, including the framing of video as "the next voice," and the discussion of Cisco's track record identifying -- and profiting from -- market transitions as they happen.

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