Cisco Systems Chairman and CEO John Chambers has championed the video revolution for the past several years, but now Cisco's acquisition of Flip camcorder maker Pure Digital adds a new wrinkle, and Chambers urged partners to catch the wave.
During his keynote presentation closing out Cisco Partner Summit in Boston Thursday, Chambers vehemently pointed out that the line between consumer and enterprise technologies is a thing of the past as the two cross the chasm and start becoming one in the same.
"The lines between consumer and business will completely blur," Chambers said, adding that the tech industry used to fight the blurring and, in some cases, went kicking and screaming into the transition. "Video will be 90 percent of the loads on networks around the world."
Chambers said in the very near future all forms of IT and communications will be around video and that change will be customer-driven and partner-led. It's up to partners to embrace it, or risk getting left behind.
Chambers said partners and vendors need to be leaders in the consumer space, a niche Cisco has carved out with its acquisitions of Linksys, Scientific Atlanta and, now, the acquisition of Pure Digital and its Flip.
"Was it a consumer acquisition? You betcha. Was it an enterprise acquisition? Oh yeah. Was it a service provider acquisition? Oh yeah. Is it a stand-alone device? No way," Chambers said.
It was the Pure Digital buy, he said, that was the tipping point -- the a-ha moment -- that brought the video ecosystem together.
"The Flip somehow got people to realize video is an architectural play," he said. "It was the tipping point."
To prove his point, Chambers used Cisco TelePresence to demonstrate the power of video, showcasing one solution provider that is using the Flip to capture customer testimonials to share via TelePresence to potential customers -- a powerful marketing tool.
Chambers told partners that over the next four to five years, video, collaboration and Web 2.0 technologies will represent roughly 25 percent of Cisco's business.
"Video is an architecture, not a stand-alone application," he said, later adding that "it will completely change how we communicate and how we do business."
Video and Web 2.0 applications fall into Cisco's mantra of any content to any device, whether it's a movie on an iPod or music piping in on any system in the home.
"You don't care. You just want it there when you want to see it," he said, predicting that soon, "Content will find you as opposed to you having to search for it."
To capture a piece of the video pie, Chambers urged partners to work out of their comfort zones and dig their heels into new markets, much like Cisco is doing with its consumer play, through which Chambers said "we're going to be very aggressive."
The trick, Chambers said is to "drive a little beyond our headlights," "see beyond what's right in front of us" and capture market transitions, because "market transitions wait for no one."