Saturday, April 28, 2012

Is the new Cisco spin-in Insieme or Insiemi?

Insieme or Insiemi? I heard this question quite a bit recently and have not checked with my friends there but according to my business partner at Big Switch Networks, the real name is Insieme Business Unit (IBU).

Cisco can of course name it however it wants for now but the reality is that it is an off the balance sheet business unit that sooner or later will be folded back in.  This BU is working on things harder for other BUs to execute with their "normal" constraints.  This ain't bad news for Cisco although it hurts morale for the current employees loyal to the Cisco mothership.

Like any business in silicon valley, the key to success is the people.  In order to compete with tier-1 start-ups on talents, they must call themselves a start-up not the "IBU".  At the end of the day, for talents who want big company insurance yet can tolerate capped/limited financial upside, corporate decoder ring, top-down engineering culture, and top heavy management, it is one of the better BUs to work for.  Great news for people looking for a stable and good paying job!

Cisco's joining the SDN battleground is like Microsoft's going after the server virtualization battleground 7-8 years ago, which not only validated the new emerging industry immediately but also did the customer a big favor by having another player in the market.  Customer will win as a result!

I wish IBU good luck and I also wish the industry take this unique opportunity in thinking through how to leverage the tremendous momentum and deliver unprecedented customer benefits.

1 comment:

John Dobyns said...

Great post on Cisco's latest spin off, Howie. I like the comparison to Microsoft's focus on server virtualization several years ago with their Hyper-V technology, once it had become clear VMware had all but defined the segment. To me though the analogy ends there, since as of yet there is no clear leader that has defined the SDN market with practical products that deliver on the promise of the technology. There are many in the making, including Big Switch Networks, and last week's Open Networking Summit was evidence of the amount of activity and investment pouring into area. Cisco's new venture still has the opportunity to set the standard for this latest trend in networking, but they will need to move quickly. It should be an interesting year, regardless of what Cisco names their new business unit.