Cisco axes email, sticks John Moore as COO

Cisco is moving and shaking.

In a move that might not shock customers, Cisco has decided to drop its paid email service just 13 months after launch. At the same time, it has announced a special position for Cisco veteran John Moore, promoting the former vice president of business to Chief Operating Officer (COO).

Under the new agreement Mr Moore will work alongside CEO John Chambers to help the company settle into the data centre market. He will also be responsible for making sure various segments such as engineering, marketing, and services, run efficiently.

One thing he won’t have to worry about is Cisco’s email service which will be the first casualty of the shake-up.

In a blog post, Debra Chrapaty at Cisco explained that email is getting the chop – as customers showed more of an interest in embracing “emerging collaboration tools such as social software and video.” Okay then.

She told customers a heap of guff: “At Cisco, there are two factors that drive strategic decision making –  technology transitions that promise to re-shape industries, and feedback from our customers.

“Those factors lead us into new markets, to make acquisitions, and to invest in creating new technologies. The positive disruption represented by the cloud computing transition was what led us to introduce a Cisco hosted email product in November 2009. Customers told us they were interested in divesting responsibility for managing email on-premise in much the same way as they outsourced conferencing to Cisco via our SaaS WebEx Conferencing service.

“In the thirteen months since, we’ve been market testing Cisco Mail via a controlled release. The product has been well received, but we’ve since learned that customers have come to view their email as a mature and commoditized tool versus a long-term differentiated element of their collaboration strategy. We’ve also heard that customers are eager to embrace emerging collaboration tools such as social software and video.

“That was the key factor in the decision, which we shared with customers today, to discontinue investment in Cisco Mail.”

She said subscribers of the email service will be helped to find alternatives – free email might be a safe bet. Staff who were part of the failed project will be shuffled along and given jobs in different parts of the business – perhaps the kitchens.

Chrapaty added: “It should go without saying that Cisco remains very committed to the collaboration technology market opportunity overall. We will continue to listen to our customers and we will take appropriate risks to ensure that our collaboration architecture continues to position Cisco to lead in this $38 billion market.”

Meanwhile in data centres, Juniper has announced it has been ploughing over $100 million into the sector over the past three years.

According to Bloomberg the company has also introduced a family of data-centre products, the first being a component that connects servers to a network. The component, which is part of the QFabric range, doesn’t come cheap with a cost of $34,000.

For their dosh companies will get a product that requires less networking equipment and runs more quickly than others, says Juniper. It’s currently testing the QFabric products with financial services companies, health-care customers and education firms. Others will be able to get their hands on them in the third quarter of this year.