Cisco Reorgs Product Development to Focus on Software, Virtualization

The company is consolidating several of its technology engineering groups into larger business groups to bring more efficiency into its product development process, said Charles Giancarlo, chief development officer, in a Q&A posted on the San Jose, Calif.-based company's Web site.

"We designed the new organizational structure to help us develop more integrated products and communications systems from conception through deployment, with the goal of reducing complexity for our customers and partners, thereby increasing quality," Giancarlo said. "Also, the creation of larger groups of related businesses will enable us to do more with less. It should help each team drive greater efficiencies."

The new structure will also give Cisco flexibility as it works to compete in multiple markets, he said.

The vendor has created four groups under its Cisco Development Organization, according to a Cisco statement.

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The Software Group, led by Senior Vice President Don Proctor, includes network software, management, unified communications and collaboration, as well as Cisco's software-as-a-service strategy.

The Data Center, Switching and Services Group, led by Senior Vice President Jayshree Ullal, will develop enterprise-class products under the vendor's Datacenter 3.0 and Campus Communication Fabric initiatives.

"This large software organization will bring greater consistency, quality and greater integration to our product line. It will also provide for greater career opportunities to our software professionals," Giancarlo said. "The changes in our data center business will facilitate development of our next generation of virtualization services. The integration of a number of our routing and switching technology groups will enable us to drive greater consistency throughout these systems."

Giancarlo called the transformation of the data center into a virtualized environment "one of the most exciting new market opportunities."

In addition, the Access Networking and Services Group, led by Senior Vice President Kathy Hill, includes Cisco's Integrated Services Routers, fixed-configuration switches, wireless and security products and will focus on integrating networking services into the vendor's full range of products.

The Consumer and Small Business Group, led by Senior Vice President Ned Hooper, will drive Cisco's business in those areas, including its Linksys division. Hooper retains his current role as senior vice president of corporate development.

The heads of Cisco's other technology lines, including the Service Provider Technology Group, which includes Scientific Atlanta, co-led by Tony Bates, senior vice president and Pankaj Patel, senior vice president; Emerging Technologies Group, led by Marthin DeBeer, senior vice president; Global Government Solutions Group, led by Brad Boston, senior vice president; and Research and Advanced Development, led by Joel Bion, senior vice president, will continue with their current roles and responsibilities, according to the statement.

The company has also created a new development council made up of leadership within the development organization, which Giancarlo will chair.

Giancarlo said the new structure is unrelated to Cisco's hiring this week of a new CTO. The company Tuesday named Padmasree Warrior, former executive vice president and CTO of Motorola, to the post.

"Her role will be to help shape and evangelize the technical vision for the company and work closely with top executives to guide the direction for Cisco's technology, markets, products, and services," Giancarlo said.