Chambers: Network Key To Business Strategy

"The network, in my opinion, has clearly become an enabler of business strategy," Chambers said during a keynote address at the Las Vegas event.

Throughout the hourlong session, Chambers espoused the notions that network convergence is the paradigm of the future and customers should view their networks as an integrated architecture, rather than as a conglomeration of point products.

"You're only going to have one network five years from now for data, voice and video," Chambers said.

By simultaneously implementing new technology with changes to business processes, customers can boost productivity, he said. Without changing business processes, customers simply automate what they are already doing, which doesn't deliver long-term productivity improvements, he noted.

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For example, Cisco didn't realize productivity improvements when it implemented video-based education until it let employees pull down content at their own pace, Chambers said. He also pointed to Cisco's strategy to build more intelligence into network infrastructure by adding integrated security and wireless features, among other efforts.

As optimism about the economy continues to improve, IP telephony will be one area likely to see growth, Chambers said. "As things start to accelerate, it's perhaps one of the areas where you'll see people first put [their foot to] the gas pedal," he said.

Chambers also showcased converged solutions built by several channel partners, including Informacast, an application built by Berbee Information Networks that broadcasts audio messages over IP phones, and PhoneTop Alerts from AAC, which delivers emergency messages, weather alerts and Amber alerts to IP phones. The XML applications were highlighted during a technology demonstration that showed how IP communications solutions could be used to provide building security.

Cisco, San Jose, Calif., on Tuesday said it plans to add 1,000 jobs. The company reported more than 20 percent year-over-year revenue growth and a profit gain for its third quarter.