TalkingHeadz Podcast with Sri Srinivasan, SVP GM Cisco Collaboration

by Dave Michels
Sri Srinivasan

The @CiscoCollab team has gone through some big transitions. Some were caused by acquisitions and some were caused by changes in leadership. The big acquisitions were Selsius (1998), Webex (2007), Tandberg (2009), and BroadSoft (2017). Each of them resulted with significant unified communications and collaboration portfolio changes. 

On the leadership side, I will only go back as far as Rowan Trollope, who introduced a large portion of the industry to team chat and messaging. At the time, Slack was less than a year old and Microsoft Teams wouldn’t make its debut for three more years. Amy Chang changed things up and will mostly be associated with the shift toward cognitive collaboration. Last month, we learned that Sri Srinivasan replaces Chang as the Collab team’s GM. Srinivasan was hired by Trollope over two years ago, and has been quietly expanding his role as the Webex portfolio grew increased in importance.  I expect that during his term, we will see Cisco Collab increase its focus on engineering and execution. 

This is great news for Srinivasan. But! What a time to take over the Collab team. The coronavirus caused unprecedented demand and growth for conferencing and other collab services (within his first few weeks). He is facing the biggest competitors that the Collab unit has ever had. In the past few years, Microsoft’s collab portfolio shifted from a UC prem solution to a what looks a lot like the Webex portfolio. I think Zoom became a household name around a year or two ago. And, suddenly Amazon is in conferencing, telephony, and contact center. I think it was Dorothy that said: “Microsoft, Zoom, and Amazon oh my.” And if that isn’t enough, it also appears we are poised for a global recession. 

If he can get thru the stressful timing it could be fun. Cisco has a few tricks up its sleeve including the broadest portfolio in the industry and a sales engine like no other. Srinivasan doesn’t need any time to learn the business.

Good luck Sri, and have fun storming the castle. 


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