Today, Rowan Trollope took charge of the Cisco Collaboration Technology Group, being named SVP/GM, according to a blog posted by Marthin DeBeer (http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-welcomes-rowan-trollope-as-new-head-of-collaboration-technology-group/). Cisco has worked hard to demonstrate its commitment to the collaboration market over the past several years, and the current leader of the collaboration efforts at Cisco, OJ Winge, was a clear champion of the cause. OJ was famous for advocating for clear, easy-to-use collaboration solutions that helped information workers get their jobs done — famously quipping that he did not care about the devices, platforms, or delivery models, but only about the people. Rowan comes from Symantec where he was a leader in developing and delivering security solutions. He is a smart, well-educated executive who brings hard-core, real-world experience managing and growing software and cloud-based businesses. In addition to replacing Alan Cohen’s unrivaled ability to spin a fascinating tale (check out Rowan’s blog http://rowantrollope.com/), I expect that Rowan will help Cisco in many more business focused ways including the following:
· A focus on the user. Rowan cut his teeth making Norton’s security products relevant to consumers — he cares about and understands end users.
· A focus on the cloud. Rowan expanded Symantec’s cloud-based offerings to encompass the majority of its enterprise technology portfolio – he gets the value of “as-a-service” delivery.
· A focus on growth. Rowan has taken new ideas from inception to business viability in a variety of domains ranging from creating the marketing campaign “Cybercrime is Real” to developing a SMB market-facing business unit.
These capabilities clearly demonstrate that Rowan is poised to help Cisco shore up and expand its collaboration footprint. Delivering profitable, user-centric, cloud-based collaboration capabilities to market is important, so Rowan’s challenge will be using his strengths to complement the networking-hardware-focused culture of Cisco HQ on Tasman Drive in San Jose. I, for one, will miss OJ’s unflappable commitment to user experience, but I believe that Rowan will be able to step into the role of champion for the information workers that rely on Cisco Collaboration capabilities.