Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers sounded particularly bullish today, when he addressed 10,000 partners and customers at the Networkers Live conference in Anaheim, Calif. Here are 10 key takeaways from his keynote.
10. Cisco Goes Green: Forty percent of conference attendees “opted out” of printed materials, saving 9 tons of paper, Chambers noted.
9. Competition Stumbles: Chambers showed a chart highlighting how Cisco’s market cap has climbed in recent years, while the combined market cap of all Cisco rivals suffered from considerable shrinkage. The VAR Guy is trying to dig up the actual stats from Cisco now.
8. Treo Hangs On: Today’s demos involved unified applications extending to mobile devices like the Treo. Bummer. Sure, the Treo is a big hit within corporate settings. But there was no sign of the Apple iPhone anywhere on stage. The VAR Guy continues to hope for a partnership between Apple and Cisco.
7. Digital Presence Follows You Everywhere: While demonstrating a range of unified applications, Chambers showed how you’ll be able to use your smart phone to automatically check into hotels and unlock hotel room doors. Also, presence-based applications will forward your digital photos from home screens to digital frames in your hotel room. Plus, your hotel TV will automatically accept content and preferences forwarded from your home.
6. TelePresence Comes Home: Universal, high-def video conferencing screens (and even wall mirrors that double as screens) will enter the home in five to seven years. While some high-end TelePresence deployments cost as much as $300,000 today, Chambers points to Moore’s Law as an indication that TelePresence will be a mainstream, home-based solution by 2012 or so.
5. Productivity Boom: Chambers believes Cisco has the opportunity to boost its own productivity 10 percent per year through continued automation, collaboration, unified communications and TelePresence.
4. Mass Appeal?: More than 10,000 customers and partners are attending the event. Roughly 17 percent of the attendees are channel partners. It’s difficult to think of any other networking company that can attract that type of audience for a vendor-specific event.
3. Data Center 3.0: That’s the big theme for this event. Watch for lots of announcements related to accessing any application and any content from any location — using Cisco-driven data centers (with third-party solutions as well, naturally). The move to Data Center 3.0 “isn’t a sprint,” noted Jayshree Ullal, senior VP of data center, switching and security. The strategy will play out in five to seven or even 10 years, she added.
2. Cisco’s Biggest Challenge: In Cisco’s case, “growth isn’t the biggest challenge,” said Chambers. Rather, the big challenges within Cisco are prioritizing goals and making sure the right network architecture is in place to unlock the full power of Data Center 3.0. What will cause Cisco to fail over the long haul? Chambers’ answer: “If we stop listening in a constructive way.”
1. Not a Financial Forecast: Chambers says this is the most optimistic he has been about the networking market in more than a decade. But he cautioned investors and lawyers in the audience not to read too much into his enthusiasm. “For those in the audiences who are shareholders, I know our quarter ends Saturday night,” he quipped, before adding that today’s presentation should not be considered a financial forecast.
Stay tuned. The VAR Guy will be at Cisco Networkers through July 26.