'CIOs reporting to CFOs' is a great change: Cisco Capital

Radhika Nallayam

So is economics the only factor that gets importance in these discussions?
Menon: Other than the economics, which we are very confident about, that is not the only thing we offer to our customers. Our mission is to not just help them acquire the technology upfront, but help them stay on what I'll call cutting edge technology (even though it can mean different things to different companies). Technology has been evolving very quickly. It looks like we have leapfrogged a couple of centuries if you do a comparison of technology Vs other industries. So, our conversations with the CTOs are not just about the upfront acquisitions, but about what they foresee in the next 10 to 15 years and putting in place for them a structure that allows them to be on that upgrade path.

Tells us more about the offerings that you have from Cisco Capital for your enterprise customers.
Menon: Right across sections — enterprise, telcos, and government—we offer various financing options that go up to 5 years. We offer different types of leases and loans. We typically look to structure these as per the customers' requirements. For instance, customers might have requirements around how much they want to spend in the first couple of years and in the next 3 years, as deployment begins to function. We have options for all these. We have a team of specialists, who can sit down with the chief financial officer or finance directors and customize the offering based on the requirement. We do of course have market-wide or segment-wide or industry-wide offers every now and then to address a specific need in that segment or market. But we take pride in being able to customize the offerings to suit the customer needs.

Do you have options for customers who are not using any Cisco products and still wants to use Cisco Capital?
Menon: In fact, if they are not in a relationship with Cisco, we wouldn't look to finance them. We do finance non-Cisco assets but our focus is Cisco solution. We always engage with our Cisco team or technology team. But as part of the financing solution, we will look to finance the whole package so that it is more convenient and simple for our customers. If there is no Cisco element in a particular solution, we would refer them to our technology counterparts or Cisco technology experts or Sales experts to engage with the customer to see how we can help them from a technology stand point. We don't really look at engaging with customers independently.

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