Chambers Tells VARs to Catch New Tech WaveBy Sara Driscoll | Posted 2008-04-10 Email Print
The Cisco boss tells partner summit attendees in Hawaii that they must catch the next wave of Web 2.0 technology.
It was no coincidence that Cisco chose Hawaii—famed as a surfer’s paradise—as the place for its Partner Summit this year, if John Chambers’ keynote is anything to go by.
The Cisco president and CEO’s April 9 keynote in Honolulu was dominated by collaboration and new technologies and in particular what he called the "new wave of Web 2.0 collaboration technology."
Chambers said he has only seen two major transitions in technology: The first was the Internet in the '90s and the second, he said, is now. "What is happening is the second phase of the Internet: Web 2.0. It is about a new generation, where we can go together where we have never gone before," he said.
Chambers said the new wave is going to be about any device and any content over any combination on networks, in whatever ways we want, with communities pulling together toward a common goal.
"How do you catch this wave that we’re going to call collaboration enabled by networking tools—Web 2.0, the second phase of the Internet?" Chambers asked. His answer was for partners to talk to customers about business strategy, business process and business models, but not about technology.
Chamber said this year Cisco will have 22 priorities, ranging from emerging markets and China to unified communications, data center and video—a difference from the one or two it usually focuses on. He encouraged VARs to do the same. "If you only have one or two priorities then you will do it the same way as you did before; just work a little hit harder and then after time you’ll slack back. Ask your team to do almost two dozen projects and it means you have to do things dramatically different."
Using technology such as Cisco’s TelePresence and WebEx, its communication tools, and voice and video on one platform will enable companies to change the way they work, Chambers said before demonstrating the technology using them all together over a PC, IP Phone, iPhone and TelePresence system.
Chambers stressed the productivity gains that this type of business change and transition to Web 2.0 would make, not only to businesses who adopt it, but also to the global economy. "I think we will see the [United States], Europe and Japan show 3 percent to 5 percent productivity growth for the next seven to 10 years, starting in about 12 months," he said.
Michael O'Neil, an analyst at Channel Input, said this was a bold statement for Chambers to make. "This is not a sentiment we are hearing a lot of in the U.S. right now—and 3 to 5 percent productivity in established markets is amazing," he said. "Chambers also has enough credibility in the market that people will start thinking about that," he said.
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