Cisco CEO on new Google Cloud partnership


Cisco Systems’ recent partnership with Alphabet’s Google to create a seamless cloud network “plays a tremendous role with security [and] policy,” Cisco’s Chuck Robbins said Tuesday.

In an exclusive interview with CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer, the Cisco chairman and CEO said the partnership came in response to what customers of his networking hardware company were looking for: the ability to move their workloads from private to public clouds.

“They’re looking for the public cloud economics and the ability to actually have applications and write applications one time and then deploy them to any cloud,” Robbins told Cramer.

So when it came to Cisco’s attention that Google and its software platform Istio had pioneered an open-source solution to this growing need, the companies decided to join forces.

“We’re actually integrating that [software] into our technology, allowing our customers to run that on premise but then also building the capabilities for those applications to seamlessly move into Google Cloud if that’s what our customer would like to do,” Robbins said, speaking from his company’s Cisco Live US conference, where Cisco announced the partnership.

“The network plays a tremendous role with security, with policy and actually allowing our customers to make that happen and that’s what we talked about this week,” the CEO said.

Cisco’s focus on security is a running theme. On Tuesday, Robbins touted his platform’s defense capabilities when asked about competition from Palo Alto Networks, which just underwent a CEO change.

“You have to be able to ingest thread information from endpoints, from the network, from email, from the cloud and actually correlate that very dynamically and then defend automatically to actually solve the problem we’re trying to solve in the future,” the CEO said.

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“We’re the only company that has that architecture and we’re the only guys that see 20 billion threats a day and are able to correlate those in real time and actually defend across our entire customer base,” he continued.

On May 1, Cisco acquired privately held artificial-intelligence play Accompany, which Robbins told Cramer would help bolster its data-driven products and fuel partnerships like Cisco’s venture with Google.

“I think the modern software capabilities, the massive platform they built, the A.I. and data experience they have are going to really take our collaboration portfolio to the future,” Robbins told Cramer.

Watch Chuck Robbins’ full interview here:



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