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Exclusive Interview: Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins On The Dell-EMC Fallout, Avoiding A VCE Bloodbath And The Need For Apple To Embrace Partners

Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins took center stage at the Best of Breed conference to discuss the Dell-EMC deal, the impact on Cisco's relationship with the VCE alliance, and his company's new Apple partnership.

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Talk about the Apple relationship. What do you expect to get out of that and how does it work with the channel?

I think you will see a shift. I'm happy to tell [Apple CEO] Tim [Cook] that he needs to get more active with [partners], especially around this announcement and the IBM announcement. There's a few things that I think this really brings. Number one, our customers are asking us ... [for] seamless integration of our video assets with Apple iOS devices. The second is ... creating a world where that iPhone or iOS device is a fully integrated endpoint in the unified collaboration platform just makes sense. That's the second piece of what we've done. The third is ... there's a natural need for us to give native prioritization and traffic management capability at the operating system level. Then, iOS apps you can prioritize over someone watching a cat video in the cube next to you.

Tim's view is that they need to be more enterprise-centric, that they need to respond more to what the enterprises need as these devices have proliferated in the enterprise, and I think it's smart. He's looking for the top players.

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