Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins Has Had A Busy Week

When Chuck Robbins took over as Cisco's CEO last July, one of his main priorities was to make the networking giant, ’faster, faster, faster, faster.’

So far, channel partners and analysts both agree that Robbins has put his money where his mouth is. He has taken Cisco’s motto of build, buy, partner to another level. Under his leadership, Cisco has gone on an acquisition spree, formed partnerships with the likes of Apple and Ericsson, and focused on building moreopen solutions.

What Cisco unveiled just this week alone is staggering.

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He’s announced amajor restructuring planto shift Cisco’s focus on faster growing markets such as security, cloud and the Internet of Things. Additionally, in a historic move, Ciscolaunched a new productthat allows its collaboration solutions to interoperate with Microsoft’s Skype for Business.

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After taking a look at Robbins’ restructuring plan, which includes layoffs of 5,500 employees, channel partners said it simply makes sense.

’Freeing up dollars to accelerate market alignment is what partners would like to see,’ said Kent Macdonald, a vice president of converged infrastructure and network services at Long View Systems, a solution provider and Cisco Gold partner. ’It’s sad to see the departures, but it’s a reality that we all face. We all have to make those transitions or we lose our market relevance.’

A key priority area with the restructuring is aroundcollaboration, which Cisco has been revamping under the leadership ofRowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's IoT and Collaboration Technology Group. Trollope’s goal is to make Ciscocollaboration solutions more cost efficient, simplerand more open.

On Aug. 15, Cisco unveiled its newCisco Meeting Serversystem that allows customers to easily connect people in Cisco video rooms with others who are using Skype for Business. Additionally, the system allows anyone to join a collaboration meeting regardless of whether they’re using competitors’ gear such as Avaya or Polycom.

As networking transitions to the cloud,partners are cheering on Robbinsto continue to reinvent the San Jose, Calif.-based network leader. Long View’s Macdonald said, ’Chuck is the right guy to take Cisco through this market transition. In Chuck we trust.’