Meet the Executive: Santiago Solanas, VP South Europe Cisco
Company News, Thought Leadership, People & Culture
During your first year at Cisco, what has been the biggest challenge and the biggest success?
The biggest challenge has been to create a team spirit among leaders and countries that had been working in silos for a few years. I perceived an appetite from all of our colleagues in the theatre to re-create what we call the Spirit of the South:
- To feel a sense of belonging, purpose and pride about our unique strengths
- To learn from each other and improve how we work together across countries, organizations and priorities
- To win in the market again
- To have fun doing all this.
Today, I’m very happy to see the enthusiasm among the teams willing to share best practices and implement them; working as a South team to reach common goals; feeling proud to be in #CiscoSouth and winning in the market together!
What’s your business goal for 2018?
When I joined Cisco 11 months ago, I talked about two concepts: performance and transformation. Performance has to do with doing even better what we already do well, it’s about increasing our efficiency. Transformation has to do with doing new things that accelerate our strategic priorities, it’s about increasing our impact. And both of them (performance and transformation) have to do with generating more value for our customers and partners and improving our business with them. So, my business goals are to lead the growth and ensuring we increasingly engage our customers with a platform message. But also, make sure EMEAR South becomes a real team, a place where people can develop themselves and grow, and a Theatre where we win together and feel proud to belong to.
I also have an additional goal, probably more for FY19: becoming a “Country Digitization Acceleration (CDA) Theatre”. Israel, Italy, Portugal are already on track…more to come! This shows our capability to influence Digital Transformation across our countries. It’s an achievement which demonstrates the uniqueness of South: a mix of diverse teams and culture, passion, dedication and creativity... People who have fun at work, and are committed with our partners, customers and societies.
How do you picture the technology landscape in South in 10 years?
I think the technology landscape in the South will be similar to that of other Regions around the world. We have historically been behind in the adoption of innovation, except for Israel, but I’m convinced that the gap will be reduced in the coming years. And we will play an important part with our CDA programs.
Digital transformation will be a reality. As more and more devices get connected, companies collect data from every extremity of their value chain. This creates new ways of doing business and the ability to disruptively transform existing models. The network capacity will continue evolving, i.e. on the consumer side we’ll be able to download movies instantly, directly into TV or PC screens.
In 10 years in South the IoT technology consumption will be common. IoT innovations in industry, connected home, connected healthcare, smart cars/transportation, connected cities and a host of other next-generation services will drive incremental growth. And all of this will be coupled with security: with every company becoming a technology company, security will be even higher than today on the boardroom agenda. The network is the only place where people, processes and data collide, so advanced analytics and AI on the edge will be the norm.
A very exciting time indeed!