Chambers: Mobility, Collaboration Key To Success


Winning in business is all about collaborating, sharing information and answering customer needs, according to Cisco President and CEO John Chambers, and advancements in mobility and video technology are making it easier than ever to collaborate effectively.

"We need to focus on collaboration. It's social, mobile, virtual and visual," Chambers said in his keynote address this week at the Cisco Live conference in San Diego.

That unfettered ability to share information was precisely the idea behind Cisco's ill-fated Cius, but the product, which was discontinued at the end of May, fell victim to the bring-your-own-device trend and the overwhelming popularity of Apple's iPad.

[Related: Cisco Live: New Cloud Routing Software, Services]

However, the idea of connecting workers and providing the limitless ability for business to collaborate and innovate is still very much on Chambers' radar. "Bringing technologies together can change a country, a business –- that is basic power of the Internet," he said to the crowd of roughly 17,000, adding the challenge is, "How do you apply that technology to solve business problems?"

To succeed, business needs to respond quickly to market transitions. Those changes lead to opportunities for innovation -- and for success -- Chambers said. But, he added, "market transitions wait for no one," so only companies positioned to change and meet new requirements with survive and thrive. What the Cisco leader sees for the future is an increasing emphasis on video; it will, he said, become the primary way that all IT will be conducted. "Video will transform the way business is done," Chambers said.

In essence, voice and data will become a subset of video. The challenge, he noted will be to get all the necessary technology working together, "to solve every business problem you have." Chambers said that Cisco's TelePresence solution has 51 percent of market share at end of Q1'12, but added that, "Connectivity is commoditized. You will get left behind if you don’t move into new revenue streams."

Mobility is an integral part of the collaborative workplace; Chambers and Cisco Communications Architecture Vice President Jim Grubb demonstrated Cisco's Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). LISP provides new semantics for IP addressing, which, according to Cisco, simplifies routing, improves scalability and enables mobility.

With LISP, a user gets one IP address that will never need to change. Cisco predicts that LISP will change things in the same way as number portability changed voice, or have an even greater impact. Said Chambers, "LISP as important as DNS [the Domain Name System]."