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Cisco Channel Chief Bahr On Winning In AI And Machine Learning, The Software Services Bonanza And 'De-Fragmenting' The Security Market

Wendy Bahr sat down with CRN to discuss how she is pushing Cisco partners to drive the services, software technology and subscription-based consumption models upon which the networking giant is staking its future.

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Cisco is making efforts to tie its security portfolio together. Do you think the company is in a position to lead the consolidation of what is right now a very fragmented market?

We're really excited about the opportunities in security. We think through our acquisitions and innovation we're building out a very robust portfolio, end-to-end, from the edge of the network, through the cloud. It gives our partners an opportunity to enter into the security conversation in many different places. It's a journey. When you have a conversation with a customer about security, you can't go in and say, 'I can do all of your security.' You have to go in and prove yourself. With something like Umbrella, that's an easy opportunity to present a security solution for the Internet. You can go in and say I'll help advise you on security posture if you're talking about ISE or StealthWatch, provisioning, segmenting the network, and that's right in many of our partners' core competency. They are the experts in the network, so segmenting the network, setting that policy in ISE, deploying StealthWatch is an adjacency that makes a lot of sense to many customers who've trusted their partners with the network implementation.

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