If Cisco Were Star Trek...

Re-casting Star Trek with the high-profile figures from Cisco and the networking industry.

What if for the next Star Trek movie, the cast in the last movie was no longer available? What if the only people who were able to be in the movie were people associated with Cisco? Here’s my opinion of the best possible options for the cast of the movie: Star Trek – The Cisco Generation

Cisco CEO John T. Chambers as Captain James T. Kirk

Only one person could play the charismatic Captain Kirk, and that's captain and CEO of the star ship Cisco, John Chambers. Kirk and Chambers both have something in common in that they both have never faced the "no win scenario." When confronted with the Kobayashi Maru, Kirk reprogrammed the computer and beat the test. When Chambers is faced with a no-win scenario he either buys his competition or visits the customer and wins them over. The only negative around Mr. Chambers is that I've never seen him give anyone a lethal two-handed karate chop to the back.

Cisco COO Gary Moore as Mr. Spock

Mr. Spock is the logic to Kirk’s emotions. This is the role President and COO Gary Moore plays at Cisco. Since assuming the role of COO, Gary Moore has made some tough, logical choices to help get Cisco’s expense structure under control. I imagine that when Chambers was opposed to shutting down Flip and/or Linksys, Moore stated, "the needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few." Spock's calculating and flawlessly logical ways served the Enterprise well, and Moore's similar traits have had the same impact on Cisco.

Cisco EVP of Operations Randy Pond as Dr. Leonard McCoy

As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. McCoy was responsible for the health and well being of the crew of the ship. As Executive Vice President of Operations, Processes and Systems, Randy Pond is responsible for the health and well-being of all the functions that keep Cisco running. I'm sure from time to time Pond has had to remind Chambers "dammit John, I'm a process guy, not an engineer."

Cisco Chief Development Officer Pankaj Patel as Montgomery Scott

As Chief Engineer of the ship, Mr. Scott had to keep the engine of the company going even in the face of new enemies and a lack of dilithium crystals. Similarly, as Chief Development Officer, Patel is responsible for keeping the technology portfolio at Cisco constantly churning, which is the engine of that company. Just as Kirk would routinely say to Mr Scott "I need shields now!" Chambers might say to Patel "I need the new ASR now!"

Cisco CMO Blair Christie as Nyota Uhura

As Communications Officer, Uhura spent much of her time on the bridge of the Enterprise translating messages from all different species. SVP and Chief Marketing Officer Blair Christie plays a similar role by ensure the company can effectively talk to financial analysts, industry analysts, business press, tech press, customers and channel partners. Either way, it's a tough job, but both do it well.

VCE Alliance CEO Praveen Akkiraju as Hikaru Sulu

For most of Sulu's career, he was a loyal helm officer and served the ship well with his tactical thinking and strong character. In Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country, Sulu was given his own command as commanding officer of the USS Excelsior, later coming to the aid of Captain Kirk and the Enterprise in fighting Klingons at the battle of Khitomer. Mr. Akkiraju spent 19 years as a loyal Cisco officer but was recently appointed CEO of the VCE Alliance. As the war between VMware and Cisco continues to heat up, I'm fully expecting Akkiraju to lead VCE to come to Cisco’\'s aid in a similar way.

Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior as Pavel Chekov

On the Enterprise, Pavel Chekov had many roles but primarily focused on weapons and tactical navigation. He was often the first one into a fight and was fiercely loyal to his captain and ship. As CTO and Strategy Officer, Padma Warrior is responsible for ensuring the company always has the right defensive and offensive positioning to attack all enemies large and small.

And now for some enemies…

Klingon Chancellor Gorkon would be played by Carly Fiorina. In Star Trek 6: The Undiscovered Country the Klingon mining moon of Praxis exploded, threatening the very existence of the Klingon Empire. Because of this Klingon Chancellor Gorkon came to the Federation and talked of peace. Secretly, Chang was plotting against the Enterprise and peace. In a similar act of war, back in the mid to early 2000s, HP CEO Carly Fiorna put on a Cisco-friendly face and openly spoke of the great partnership between the two companies.

ProCurve GM John McHugh as General Chang

Behind the scenes, ProCurve GM John McHugh was plotting his own strike against Cisco and aggressively grabbed some share in switching. You can imagine McHugh leaning back and yelling "Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war!" when HP launched its successful lifetime warranty program.

VMware as The Borg

As far as enemies go, the Borg is about as fierce as they come. They come in, take over, and assimilate all in their path. VMware has many of the same traits as they've had their way as the dominant virtualization player for over a decade. You want to partner with VMware? You do it their way or no way. In other words, resistance is futile.

Juniper CEO as Khan Noonien Singh

Khan was a ruthless enemy to the Enterprise who was cunning, relentless and fearsome. However, even with all his intellect, Khan was obsessed with beating Kirk more than he cared about escaping and being free, and that was ultimately his undoing. When Juniper burst on the scene it went toe to toe with Cisco in routing, the crown jewel of Cisco, and it did so by being cunning, relentless and fearsome. Some believe the shift away from carrier routing is when Juniper started to slip and became more obsessed with beating Cisco instead of being Juniper.