Networking giant Cisco is undergoing a “massive revolution” as it moves to an outcome-based consumption model with the rise of software-defined networking, Internet-of-Everything and the application-centric data centre.
Cisco vice-president A/NZ, Ken Boal, told ARN that the industry took a bit of a breather in in 2013, with a change in government and significant market disruption contributing to the-slow down.
“The change of government promised an unleashing of new budgets and investment,” he said.
“But it's only now we are starting to see that. The markets are looking for a vision, the government is looking for a vision, the economy needs a vision.”
“It feels like the 90s, when e-commerce was just kickstarting.”
Boal said Cisco was transforming from a hardware company, to a hardware plus software company which wraps its services and its partner’s services around products.
“There have been some philosophical changes at Cisco with delivery of outcomes, not just products for customers. The more substantial customers will move to a more outcome-based model over time.
“That’s a massive revolution for Cisco and we are really rolling up our sleeves in A/NZ with this vision.”
Boal said industrialisation of the Internet was also driving a shift to new partners in the operational technology sector, such as GE, Rockwell and Schneider Electric, with the emergence of the Internet-of-Everything.
“IOE in A/NZ is extremely focused for us - it’s a vertical play and it’s a horizontal play. “We are going in ‘holus bolus’, it’s on.
But Cloud, video, security (at the network level) and mobility are also key areas of focus for the company.
It recently announced an agreement with Telstra to offer Cloud services. Boal said key announcements relating to the Telstra partnership would be made in coming weeks.
“With the Telstra announcement we are starting to help those providers run the Cloud themselves and build that out to a global, hybrid, Cloud,” he said.
“There ain’t going to be one Cloud to rule them all. It ain’t the Lord of the Rings.”
With telepresence hitting a wall and plateauing in 2013, Boal restated the company’s commitment to video conferencing technology, and UC in the coming year.
“Our vision is to put video in every office, in every company around the world. Totally transform the cost effectiveness and affordability of video.
“IT has got less budget to work with, and just because the future is technology doesn’t mean they are absolved from company savings.
He said, in the last six months, the company had achieved mid to single digit revenue growth, but that there was capacity upgrade occurring that would drive a mult-billion dollar refresh, taking customers onto a converged nextwork.
“The datacentre and Cloud market is going to go gangbusters for us. We have high 30 per cent market share in blade and we expect further growth in enterprise network,” he said.
“We expect to see further growth in enterprise network because we have a capacity upgrade that’s going to drive a significant multi-billion dollar refresh taking our customers into a converged infrastructure.
However, the shift to an outcomes-based consumption model will make channel partners more important than ever, according to Boal.
“In this new space our partners are just as much our customers in Cloud,” he said.
“They are the buyer and supplier of the service. They wrap their value around it and they take that to market.
“For us the partner model is more important than it ever has been. They are our primary route to market.
“It’s just as important that we understand their propositions, the value-add to our raw platforms.
"The partner relationships are at an all-time high, but some partners are adapting faster than others and not everyone is going to make it.”