Feature Story

People@Cisco: Jonathan Davidson

Classic cars and technology are two passions of Jonathan Davidson. See how he compares the two as he leads Cisco's Service Provider business.
Aug 19, 2019

From an early age Jonathan Davidson loved cars. After buying his first car in a junkyard at 14, he spent countless hours in the garage taking apart his treasures and putting back the pieces like a puzzle. Restoring and rebuilding old cars he says, is a blend between a mechanical and visual art form. Now as a leader of Cisco’s Service Provider business, he compares rebuilding cars to his work at Cisco.

“Just like a car is very complex with lots of moving pieces and requires a great team that can help you with the engine, the tires and other components, building critical infrastructure for service providers is very similar. You need to have a phenomenal team to help pull together all the components from silicon to systems and software to make a great outcome for our customers.” says Davidson.

His team’s mission at the highest level is to help Cisco’s service providers and web customers completely transform their infrastructure. In the last decade he’s seen a complete transformation in his industry with the advent of 4G, which put massive computing power into the hands of billions around the globe. Now he’s looking to the pending impact and opportunities of 5G.

“I think Cisco is the most important infrastructure vendor for 5G because we're going to help our service provider customers actually monetize the billions of dollars they're going to spend building out their 5G infrastructure,” says Davidson.

“Our customers have King Kong sized networks and they continue to expand. We can't grow them the way we have in the past. We have to rethink the fundamentals of how infrastructure is built, and that's what we're doing with our innovation.”

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That innovation comes from working with leaders of industry Davidson says. “If you have a question about any technology, the experts for that technology more than likely works here at Cisco.”

One of the things Davidson likes to think about from a service provider perspective, is that customers are often not making product decisions, they’re making career decisions when they choose a partner like Cisco.

“There's a tremendous amount of trust that passes between our customers on the service provider side and Cisco. And the fact that they're willing to trust us is one of the biggest compliments I think that that any human can ever have.”

Read more about Jonathan Davidson executive biography

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