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Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins On Supply Chain, XaaS And The Mission To Integrate And Simplify

Gina Narcisi

‘What we have seen in the partner community is a serious uptake on taking our technology and delivering managed services to the customer. I think the desire for these kinds of services from the customer is real,’ Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins told CRN about the company’s XaaS and managed services push.

How is Cisco prioritizing its record-breaking backlog in the midst of a constrained supply chain?

We have a team of people that are doing this. And obviously, when the customer ordered matters. That’s the basic principle. But then you can imagine that we are working hard to prioritize first responders and those who have regulatory requirements. And a lot of those come in sort of ad hoc from customers who send us notes. I will say, though, that customers have been very conscientious about escalating for exceptions only when they need them. And in many cases, that conversation is around, ‘I need this stuff, I don’t need that—you can push it out, so don’t worry about that—but I need this stuff if you can help me.” And so, it’s actually allowed us to, in some cases, serve other customers. It’s just been complicated. It’s a daily triage for our team to try to get this done.

Do you think the supply chain crisis will accelerate the XaaS trend?

Considering that a lot of our services have hardware built into the core service, I wouldn’t say that it’s a significant accelerant because I’ve actually had some conversations where some of our challenges in getting some of these things adopted is actually still supply chain and trying to get that stuff out there. Like [for Cisco Plus] Hybrid Cloud, we went out and we allocated some equipment from our capacity to make sure we were getting those early adopters up and running so we could get the feedback because otherwise it would have taken a little longer, so I don’t think that you’re seeing an accelerant. I think [XaaS] is not immune to supply chain challenges, unfortunately. For pure SaaS offers, it’s obviously a different story.

 
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