Orders were even up 5% in the U.S. public sector market, a vertical that has been a laggard for Cisco and its peers for the past two-and-a-half years.
With execution like that, no wonder Chambers doesn't flinch with the arrival of SDN and the profit-killing open source software and commodity hardware riding in on its coattails. He likened SDN to the Layer 3 switching "hype" of 20 years ago, a trend that many said threatened to kill Cisco's router business and Cisco itself.
"Over the last 21 years, I've seen these challenges every few years," Chambers said. "However, after the hype settled, it was clear that Cisco was the leader and we did it by listening to our customers and delivering products that help them transform their businesses."
Cisco is intent on playing that same hand at the table with SDN. At the same time, it may be transforming itself.
Chambers told Cisco people listening in on the call not to get comfortable or complacent with Q3's results.
"We've got to execute better, we've got to get better coordination across to our functional groups, and if we're going to break away at the level we want, we got to get it up to another level as we go into Q4 and Q1," he said.
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