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Chuck Robbins’ 10 Boldest Remarks On Cisco Plus, Webex Investments, And Enterprise 5G Opportunities

‘Every company on the planet came to the realization that they needed to [have] modernized IT infrastructure. So, the opportunity for all of the partners here is also that everyone is moving [forward] from wherever they are. If they were advanced, they’re trying to get even more advanced. And if they were behind, they realized they never want to be in that situation again,’ Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins tells CRN.

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A ‘Few Good Years” Ahead

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cisco, a historically hardware-centric provider, ambitiously kicked off a company-wide transformation, complete with a commitment to transitioning the majority of its portfolio to be served up as-a-service.

Cisco Plus, the tech giant’s financial model for selling IT as-a-service that was announced last month at Cisco Live, was music to the ears of both Cisco’s loyal base of channel partners, as well as customers who were looking for a more flexible, cost-effective approach to buying IT. Cisco Plus’ first two “turnkey” offerings include a networking and hybrid cloud solution.

At the same time, demand for Cisco’s popular and industry-leading collaboration platform, Webex, began “exploding” last year as companies around the world shut their doors and sent employees to their home offices, said Cisco Chairman and CEO Chuck Robbins. But the calls for Webex are still rolling in as businesses shift gears and adopt hybrid work strategies that will include remote and in-office employees.

And that’s just two major trends that san Jose, Calif.-based Cisco has been contending with for the last 14 months. At The Channel Company’s Virtual IT Best of Breed (BoB) conference, Robbins virtually sat down with CRN to talk about the company’s push to the as-a-service model, how Webex can help customers create more inclusive meetings, enterprise 5G and the future of work.

The next couple of years will be busy, but rife with opportunities for channel partners, Robbins said. Here’s what he had to say.

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