Execs Exiting Cisco: What Does the Future Hold?
Is Cisco ready for some fresh blood?
Cisco, like many vendors in the communication environment of late, has seen a phenomenal amount of transformation in recent years. Trends like artificial intelligence, remote working, and the demand for better customer experiences have pushed today’s communication brands to think differently about the way they go to market.
For Cisco, this transition has meant supplementing their hardware-focused portfolio with one capable of greater flexibility through software. However, the delivery of new cloud-focused solutions hasn’t been the only major change. Cisco also seems to be refreshing it’s executive suite, with numerous exits occurring over the last year.
Cisco’s Most Recent Departures
The change in the leadership circle at Cisco began with the exit of Jens Meggers, the GM, and SVP for cloud collaboration technology. Meggers left Cisco in 2017 and is now acting as COO for Huddl.io. Following in Meggers’ footsteps, Rowan Trollope, the GM, and SVP of IoT and applications announced his departure in May of this year. Today, Trollope is working as CEO for the cloud contact vendor, Five9.
Of course, as they say, when one door closes, another one opens. Trollope’s exit from Cisco aligned with the introduction of a new acquisition for a business called “Accompany.” Amy Chang, the co-founder of that artificial intelligence brand is now filling one of the gaps in Cisco’s leadership team as head of the collaboration group. At the same time, Tom Puorro, a Cisco Veteran, has gradually worked his way towards the position of VP and GM of UC Technology.
Where Is Cisco Heading Next?
The question for most people watching Cisco’s transformation, is where will this new leadership team guide the company? We’ve already begun to see significant change in Cisco’s go-to-market strategy following the company’s decision to bring all of their UC and collaboration services together under the “Webex banner.” Going forward, Cisco plans to continue their focus in this area, particularly with the help of in-depth connections with brands like Google and Microsoft.
With their new leadership strategy in place, Cisco is moving full-steam ahead in their transition from hardware company, to software innovator, and connections with Microsoft and Google are sure to help them get there. After all, today’s consumers want more than just a one-size-fits-all strategy for communication. The golden ticket for many enterprises is “integration” – the ability to use the services they want, when they want, through a single platform.
Regarding their relationship with Microsoft, Cisco released a blog entitled “We can’t imagine a world without Microsoft.” The blog outlines Cisco’s current partnership and the future opportunities available, including a possibility for Microsoft Teams infused with Cisco Webex Meetings.
From Internal to External Communication
Part of Cisco’s current roadmap certainly seems to be focused on creating a cohesive and unified experience within the business environment. However, they haven’t forgotten about the consumer side of things either. Cisco has also been driving more investment and innovation into their customer care and contact centre solutions too.
Vasili Triant, who arrived in Cisco in February, coming from Serenova to head up the Cisco Customer Care business, acknowledged that Cisco has spent significant time and effort creating a flexible roadmap to the cloud for their large and mid-sized customers. To support the growing demand for flexible migration, Cisco has created three separate models of deployment for their contact centre environment, along with a migration plan for the cloud.
Ultimately, while Cisco hasn’t left it’s on-premises solutions entirely behind, the company is increasingly shifting its attention towards a new, more agile business model. For instance, Triant announced that he wants Cisco to become the number 1 vendor in pure cloud contact centre.
While Cisco’s portfolio changes have certainly helped the business to transform their reputation as an old-fashioned on-premises company, perhaps what the vendor really needed was a little fresh blood to strengthen their transition into the new world.