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Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins’ 10 Boldest Statements From Best Of Breed 2021

‘Software … allows us to move faster, innovate more quickly and allows the customer to actually get to the outcome faster. And if we get it right, it’s better for both our business models because [it provides] more predictability. But we have to get it right because it’s complicated to figure all that out,’ Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins tells an audience of solution providers.

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On Customer Demand For Consumption-Based IT

We really shifted hard to it at the beginning of the pandemic based on a set of assumptions that I had [and] I think a lot of people had about what was going to happen economically during the pandemic, which didn’t happen economically during the pandemic. We were all sort of taken aback by what really happened and so I think we’ll have to see, but I think there’s going to be demand for it. Some customers just want to buy that way, particularly in the compute space, and then we’ll see if we can financially make it attractive enough on the Ethernet switching sides and router sides. We’re really looking at campus infrastructure data center hardware, everything else has already kind of transitioned--[like] the collaboration portfolio where we’ve had hardware as a service that we will continue to move forward as well.

I think the number I’ve been told is that there are over 2,000 managed services that are being delivered by our partners with our technology already. So, the partner guys have been doing this all along; we’re just going to try to make it easier. The big thing we want to do is give our customers flexibility [and] embrace some of these options available.

Some customers don’t want to move to an as-a-service model, so we have to maintain both. Some want Capex models and others want to move completely to [as a service]. And then there’s more coming out. You talked about complications, like how do you sell a campus Ethernet switch? How do you financially price it? So, there’s a lot of work going on there.

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