Cisco CEO John Chambers on Canada and the rest of the world

MONTREAL – Since Cisco Systems has come to Canada (Montreal) for its 2015 Partner Summit I decided to ask company CEO John Chambers if he is still bullish on the Canadian market.

If you recall Chambers made it a point to say how easy it was to do business in Canada on several U.S. business talk TV shows in 2014.

During a question and answer session with the press here at the conference I asked Chambers if anything has changed with how he feels about the Canadian market.

The short answer is: No!

But here is what he said: “Today, I met with the Mayor of Montreal Denis Codere who is not with the same party as Prime Minister Stephen Harper. I did say last year that was optimistic about doing business in Canada. And, I am still very optimistic about the good state of doing business in Canada. We are going to continue to invest in Canada as we are opening up a new Internet of Everything Innovation Centre in Toronto. The difference with Canada over the U.S. is that all political parties in Canada understand this and are willing to work together to improve the state of business in this country.”

Canada wasn’t the only country or region Chambers was willing to talk about. Montreal is Chambers’ 19th Partner Summit and my question sparked a trend with other reporters.

So here in a nutshell is what Chambers said about other countries.


“Watch out for Mexico! I think they can be a digital country with education and President Enrique Peña Nieto really gets it.”


“Australia has embraced the cloud faster than any other country I’ve seen. Solution provider Telstra was one of the first to join the Intercloud alliance. Australia is like Canada; a large country with a very well educated population but small enough to be nimble in the market.”


“The India market has front-end explosive growth. It too has a business friendly environment and I would say in the last couple of quarters I’ve seen consistent results and good relationships with solution providers to deliver broadband and equally seeing success in the commercial space. I would double down on India being the first big digital country and already they are starting smart cities in the southern portion of the country. India in many ways is the second headquarters for Cisco.


“Germany is another important market and we will have a Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centre there.”


I’m optimistic about China and the relationship we have there. Relations with the U.S. and China have improved a little bit. I am starting to see some issues being worked out. Candidly, for American IT companies it is tough in China. It is in the best interested of business for both countries to keep working together.”

One quick hit before I go: Friend of CDN Kelly Hutchinson is now the vice president, Government Relations and Policy at ITAC, the Information Technology Association of Canada.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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