Cisco Bullish on Britain Despite Brexit

LAS VEGAS -- Cisco Live -- Cisco is sticking with Britain despite the so-called "Brexit," which the company publicly opposed prior to the vote.

"We remain incredibly committed and optimistic about the UK, and our commitment there is unwavering," CEO Chuck Robbins said during a Q&A with journalists at Cisco's big IT conference here Monday.

Unlike other industries, such as financial services and manufacturing, Cisco does not have business that's based in the UK and that depends on pan-European reach. That gives Cisco more flexibility to weather Brexit-related economic storms.

Cisco spoke in opposition to Brexit earlier this year. Cisco UK boss Phil Smith was among 198 British business leaders who signed a letter to the Times arguing for the "remain" side. And Robbins said in March that Brexit would be "bad for Europe and bad for Britain." Unified markets like Europe are required to create jobs, startup communities and build businesses at scale, Robbins said.

Visit Light Reading's Europe channel for more news and information for and about European service providers.

At the Q&A session Monday, Robbins roamed the world -- figuratively speaking -- fielding questions from international journalists about various regions.

Cisco's joint venture with Chinese IT firm Inspur Group will begin delivering products in the fall, the Cisco boss said. It's part of a $10 billion Chinese investment Cisco announced last year. (See Cisco & Partners to Invest $10B in China.)

The company is still committed to India and France, its two longest-standing digitization initiatives, he added.

Emerging economies, particularly Mexico, China and India, provide enormous opportunities, but the global market shifts very quickly. "Brazil is going through challenging times, but we remain committed, and we will absolutely remain there because these things are cyclical," Robbins said." Cisco expects emerging countries to lead innovation with the Internet of Things.

And Australia and New Zealand are aggressive early technology adopters, "faster than just about anywhere else on the planet," he said.

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— Mitch Wagner, Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, Editor, Light Reading Enterprise Cloud.

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