[THE INVESTOR] The US top network equipment and security solution provider Cisco will help globalize promising Korean technologies and services with financial support, said Cho Bum-coo, president of Cisco Korea.
“There are a handful of intriguing solutions and services developed by Korean firms, which I am considering proposing to the Cisco headquarters,” Cho said in an interview with The Korea Herald. “Cisco is very keen in making investments, and it is my job to attract as much as possible to the Korean market and grow Cisco’s business here.”
Cisco Korea President Cho Bum-coo talks during an interview with The Korea Herald at the company’s office in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul on March 3. Cisco Korea.
Cho, a former IT consultant at Accenture, first managed Cisco’s Korea operations from 2009 through 2011. He then worked as a team head of business-to-business solutions at Samsung Electronics, and as an adviser for the No.1 South Korean electronics maker until 2015.
He rejoined Cisco as vice president of Cisco’s global group and CEO of the Korea branch last year.
“It is unfortunate that most local solutions have limited growth potential, being unable to go abroad,” he said. “I try to introduce outstanding Korean products by adding global aspects to them and explaining how they can help Cisco.”
For the first two years at Cisco, Cho had attracted a total of $87 million from the US headquarters to the Korean market, the largest amount of investment by Cisco for an Asian country after India, according to him.
Cho is currently looking at a security solution by a Korean business and is in talks with the group on possible measures to utilize and invest to commercialize the solution together.
“I am also interested in a high quality video camera developed by a Korean firm, considering ways to utilize it with our cloud-based Meraki platform,” Cho said.
The president has been open to new ideas, technologies and products demonstrated by local information and communications technology startups, from which he discovers opportunities to expand his business in the upcoming era of the fifth-generation network and Internet of Things. He has also continued to meet with new potential business partners that can develop new solutions and evolve existing Cisco services together.
“As the new era approaches, we need to prepare for a totally different ecosystem of partnership,” Cho said. “Companies that we didn’t consider as our partners are going to become very important partners.”
This year, Cisco plans to beef up its security, data center and IoT businesses on a global level. The company is particularly enhancing the cybersecurity unit in light of escalating threats and attacks in the borderless cyber world.
As of last year, Cisco acquired nine security-related businesses, including Sourcefire, Open DNS, Lancope and CloudLock, with additional deals under discussion, including Korean security firms, Cho said.
“We are reviewing a plan to acquire a local security business, hopefully this year,” he said. “If not a purely security company, there are several companies that are interested in working with us to find effective solutions to growing threats these days.”
Global intelligence is essential to the effectiveness of security solutions, Cho highlighted, which Cisco can share with small local players.
“The key question is how a local solution can detect a malware that emerged in a remote area of Brazil,” Cho said. “Cisco has achieved that intelligence by collecting massive data from networks across the globe as the No. 1 network provider.”
By Song Su-hyun/The Korea Herald (email@example.com)