Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins On AI, Splunk, And Why ‘The World Needs Companies That Care Today’
“I think a lot of the challenges in the world over the last five to 5-8 years had been a result of people feel that feeling left out and feeling like they haven’t had an opportunity, so to the extent we can help bridge that divide, I think we should,” Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins tells CRN. The tech leader also discussed partner opportunities in security, observability, collaboration and sustainability.
As the leader of one of the biggest networking giants that has gone through a couple of major transitions in recent years, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins has been busy juggling a lot.
Cisco Systems several years ago announced that it would be shifting its legacy as a hardware-centric company to a software and services-focused tech behemoth. As of its latest quarterly earnings, Cisco’s total software revenue grew 17 percent, software subscription revenue rose 20 percent year over year and 85 percent of software sales were subscription-based, highlighting that its efforts are paying off and the company is indeed becoming one the largest providers of software, according to Cisco. Another major shift is toward becoming equally known for its security chops. Cisco has long been known for its networking portfolio, but the company had a number of point security solutions that have been unified under a platform approach — Cisco Security Cloud — to the security market over the last year and a half. Now, Cisco is attributing its increasing strength in security to its unified approach to security management and its platform play.
But that’s not all. Now, there’s a whole new set of priorities on top of the company’s existing efforts around AI, sustainability, and the impending Splunk acquisition.
Robbins sat down with CRN during Cisco Partner Summit 2023 to talk security, full stack observability, the opportunity for partners around AI, and of course, what the imminent $28 billion Splunk deal — Cisco’s biggest acquisition yet — will mean for the company and what partners can expect.
Here are excerpts from the conversation.