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Cisco Canada shifting internal resources

Former Cisco Canada president Bernadette Wightman

TORONTO – Bernadette Wightman, the president of Cisco Canada, told media and analysts at the Cisco Connect show flat out she needs more people.

Wightman, who is just starting her 200th day on the job after running Cisco Russia, has just moved into a new Canadian headquarters and plans to open one of eight $100 million Cisco Internet of Everything Innovation Centres in Toronto later on this year.

Specifically Wightman is looking for sales people at Cisco Canada. Her plan, called Are You Ready, initially is to looking internally. “I want the Cisco Canada team going out and interacting and talking to people,” she said.

Wightman is looking to make roles at Cisco Canada and turn them into sales roles. “I have the best people in the industry and I plan to ask these people to do something different and bring their experiences they have to augment sales.”

She believes Are You Ready will have the subsidiary sell better to the line of business instead of just IT departments.

Another area of focus for this internal shifting of resources is aimed at software.

At the recently concluded Cisco Partner Summit in Montreal, the company introduced new partner programs aligned enhance software practices and hybrid IT. One of the new channel programs is called Cisco Software Partner Program and it features three new roles such as Software Lifecycle Advisor, Software Consultant and Software Integrator. Nine of the last 10 Cisco acquisitions have been software vendors including SourceFire, Embrane, JouleX, Composite and SolveDirect.

Wightman said that some of the people moving into sales have come from software vendors. One of the first assignments will be to push Cisco’s software advantage.

Wightman was bullish on Cisco most recent acquisition of Tropo, a cloud API platform vendor that helps people embed real-time communications in their apps.

“The Tropo platform-as-a-service can help developers do more and it will attract the talent necessary and even the ecosystem partners to Cisco. At the same time we want our own partners to do more with these software solutions,” she said.

Wightman added that Cisco places great value on having diverse teams with different ages, different genders and ethnicities.