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Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins On The 'Proven' Subscription Model And 'Huge' 5G Opportunity

‘We've been investing significantly over the last few years in 5G,’ Cisco's Chuck Robbins tells CRN. ‘We've been investing in this space for four years and we haven't even announced our first product yet. That's a big commitment to spend that long in today's world with the pace things are going.’

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5G Is In The Air

Cisco Systems CEO Chuck Robbins believes that the opportunity around 5G is going to be "huge" for the channel.

"I think the opportunity for partners in 5G is going to be around how enterprises think about consuming 5G services and how they build out IoT applications that are made possible by 5G connectivity, like autonomous mining vehicles, for example. … I think those industries’ solutions are going to be huge," said Robbins, who will celebrate his four-year anniversary as CEO in July.

The San Jose, Calif.-based IT giant has been quietly investing "significantly" in 5G for the past four years, without even releasing a product. But that will soon change, according to Robbins.

[RELATED: Cisco CEO: ‘People Didn't Think We Could Do' Network Subscriptions]

That's because 5G is set to take off, and Cisco is supplying the core infrastructure that is going to be required to run 5G networks. As 5G greatly extends the reach of connectivity, the threat surface also will grow. This, coupled with the demand for 5G-powered IoT applications, will be keeping partners busy, Robbins said.

Robbins, Cisco’s former channel chief, is now the driving force behind Cisco's software and services charge. He sat down with CRN to talk about 5G and IoT, public cloud repatriation, technology integration, and why the channel is in Cisco's "blood."

Here are excerpts from our conversation with Robbins.


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