Auf dem Weltwirtschaftsforum in Davos ergab sich die Gelegenheit, Fragen an Chris Dedicoat zu stellen, der beim Netzwerkausrüster Cisco als President für die Märkte Europa, Mittlerer Osten, Russland und Afrika zuständig ist. Das Gespräch kreist vor allem um die digitale Datenwolke Cloud und wie Cisco damit umgeht. Es ist hier im Blog aus Gründen der Schnelligkeit und Authenzität zunächst im englischen Wortlaut dokumentiert. Seine These: Unternehmer und Konsumenten in Europa haben die Cloud längst angenommen.
How important has the Cloud become for Cisco’s business?
In a world of many clouds, mobility, bring your own device, and the Internet literally connecting everything, the network has never played a more central role – connecting people, processes, data and things, anywhere, across any device. Cloud is one of Cisco’s five key priorities – not only do we see a huge increase in interest and focus from the market and our customers, but we are also increasingly winning business to provide solutions in three major cloud areas: Public Cloud, Private Cloud and hybrid infrastructures.
Is there more reluctance or even fear from customers in Europe than in the United States when it comes to the Cloud?
No. While most of the global Cloud Providers are US based, the adoption of Cloud services in the consumer and business market is fast in Europe. We see the propensity to buy Cloud delivered applications and services is very strong in Europe; perhaps there are more complexities about where clouds are built with respect to national boundaries and local rules and regulations, but we are seeing a healthy growth in Partners wanting to build Cloud infrastructures and customers wanting to adopt this method of IT delivery.
What could one do to reduce the reluctance that is left in Europe?
Barriers to adoption are not restricted to Europe, but similar across the globe and include: risk (security, privacy, reliability and compliance), the ability to deliver quality services, changes required to organisational capabilities, culture and governance processes, adaption or migration of legacy architectures and the ability to support different paths to Cloud. Cloud is neither an instantaneous nor simple transformation, but can be adopted in a controlled and pragmatic way. Cloud involves new technologies, new service and deployment models, and new IT skills sets and processes. Migration of legacy applications to Cloud can be a real challenge. That said, legacy platforms can co-exist with Cloud deployments and be migrated only as appropriate. Cloud is not a „one-size-fits-all“ proposition-the right approach depends on an organisation’s needs and priorities. Different service and deployment models can be adopted to match the requirements of different types of workloads from across the business.
Where do you see the biggest advantages of the Cloud?
Most importantly cloud transforms the economics of IT from capital-intensive to pay-as-you-go. Service level agreements guarantee the capabilities you need, when you need them. Costs are tiered and metered to accurately reflect your requirements and usage. Clouds also make new business models possible and unlock revenue potential, for any business. Companies can enter new markets, respond more quickly to changing customer needs, collaborate more effectively with employees, customers and partners to drive innovation and business value, and execute on strategies that might not have been cost-effective in the past.
In which way can Cisco help with this?
Together with our partners, we provide platforms, solutions and services that leverage the network platform to: speed time to capability and business impact; achieve transformational agility and efficiency; unlock more effective collaboration with employees, customers and partners; and enable others to build advanced functionality and offer innovative services.
Do you think that Cisco within the last two years has been underestimated – also at the Stock Exchange?
We believe in efficient markets; share price has reflected what investors believe is the fair value. Cisco concentrates on creating value for shareholders, driving earnings faster than revenue and good capital allocation. In Q4 2012 we committed to a capital allocation strategy to return a minimum of 50 percent of our free cash flow annually through dividends and share repurchases to shareholders.
In which areas can we expect Cisoco to do further acquisitions?
We closed several strategic acquisitions last quarter, including vCider and Cloupia, Meraki, and will be active with the right acquisitions to drive our growth and value proposition with customers. We expect to selectively add to our portfolio with a focus on our five foundational priorities including leadership in the Core; Collaboration; Data Center; Video and Architectures for Business Transformation. We will continue to prefer small to medium sized deals.
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