Cisco unveils product consolidation plan

Cisco has unveiled details of the product line consolidation it hopes will turn around the company after its struggles with poor financial performance.

Cisco has unveiled details of the product line consolidation it hopes will turn around the company after its struggles...

with poor financial performance.

The networking giant’s chief technology officer Padmasree Warrior told delegates at the Cisco Live Europe 2012 conference at the London Excel Centre that the supplier has consolidated into five key areas of business - collaboration, datacentre, enterprise, security and service provider.

According to Warrior, the move is to “simplify the way customers buy our products.” Previously Cisco organised its portfolio by product line instead of topic area.

Cisco’s consolidation efforts have largely been in reaction to criticism that the company had strayed into many side businesses, losing focus on its core enterprise and carrier networking customers. 

Last year, Cisco CEO John Chambers (pictured) vowed to refocus the company, and has since started shutting down non-core operations such as the Flip digital video camera business. In July last year, Cisco also announced 6,500 job cuts, equivalent to 9% of its global workforce.

In a Q&A session during Cisco Live, Warrior dismissed the idea of adding storage to its datacentre model: “There’s danger in trying to do everything,” she said.

However, she also mentioned “cross pollination” between the vendor’s IOS, NX-OS and XR network operating systems, to make them more programmable and share some common features.

But she said the three operating systems would never be made one as “the requirements are different” for each.

Warrior told delegates, “The days of being average are over” and stressed the need for organisations to stay agile.

She said the explosion of the network and the explosion of devices on the network, coupled with virtualisation of the datacentre, means network managers now need to provision both physical and virtual devices.

“The network is the foundation to drive business value and country transformation. The next decade will be mobile, social and virtual,” she said. 



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