Cisco departure latest sign of transformation

Cisco departure latest sign of transformation

Cisco is transforming itself from a pure networking vendor into more of an overall provider of IT systems

"When HP/EDS finishes, the total number of employees will be less than the two separate companies - it will be a place to get talent from," Kerravala says. "The more tightly integrated computing and networking become, the more it is required for Cisco to have that talent."

But Cisco is not looking to become an "old world" IT and outsourcing company like IBM or HP/EDS; Cisco is instead more aligned with Google's model of IT, Dzubeck says.

"It's IT based on Web 2.0 and collaboration, TelePresence and software-as-a-service," he says.

But rather than transformational, Dzubeck believes Ullal's departure was more out of frustration with recent operational changes, such as the establishment of the Cisco Development Organization (CDO). Formed late last year, CDO is a council of development managers chartered to oversee Cisco's technology initiatives and its ability to deliver more integrated products to customers.

"The problem is simple," Dzubeck says. "The operations structure does not fit people's way of managing."

Dzubeck says the CDO council is a loosely coupled structure as opposed to a closely knit matrix structure favored by Ullal and perhaps other Cisco managers. He says the committee-driven council is lengthening the time to market for Cisco products.

"The development time frames are not in synch with the rest of the industry," Dzubeck says.

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