Since the author was interviewing I'll give him a pass on the the dull teeth
But here I can add back a bit of the customary bite and venom.
Cisco's software is stuck in the 90's and is barely fit for purpose(or unfit in some cases).
The missed the virtualization party, the storage party, the ML and video pipeline parties. They missed cloud and hybrid cloud.
The sell command line routers that take up a full rack U, may not have dual power supplies, and can take 15 min or more to boot up.
They make switch stacks that take up to 30 min to boot up, and may non-deterministically reassign both port configs and the numbering of the stack members in the event of a switch failure or replacement.
Their call manager is prone to dumping it's UI and web services at startup, which takes longer then one of their switches, and it prone to core dumping if the network is down for more than a few minutes.
So if they are making their sales targets, either their expectations are low, they are lying, or a minor miracle is occurring.