Cisco switching focus for feds

For years, Cisco Systems Inc. was known for its routers and switches, butnow the company is focused on bringing complete solutions to its federalcustomers, according to Cisco's new head of federal sales.

"There has been a shift in the overall approach, whether it's civilian,DOD or [intelligence]," said Scott Spehar, vice president of federal salesat Cisco. "For years we were moving boxes — switches and routers — and wereevery successful. But now we're also focused on human resources efficiency,workforce, e-learning and supply chain management."

Spehar said there is credible competition for Cisco in all those areasin the federal space, but the key is to get government customers to "fullyrecognize our full portfolio of offerings and complete end-to-end solutions."

Spehar has been at his new post for about 60 days and has made "internalexpectations" his No. 1 priority, making sure that his team understandsits mission to serve federal customers.

Spehar has already seen a growing interest in Internet business solutionsfrom the federal buying community, with the greatest interest centered onincreased security, wireless systems and new network architecture.

"The [agencies] are taking a good hard look at those offerings, andwe have to turn those into technological deployments that they're comfortablewith," he said.

Along those lines, Cisco is a major player in the recently awarded $6.9billion Navy Marine Corps Intranet contract, which Spehar said is a "giganticopportunity for those two branches to increase efficiency."

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