Cisco Banking on Broad Porfolio to Fuel Growth

Cisco Senior Vice President and CFO Dennis Powell said the company's internal expectations call for growth of 12 percent to 15 percent from fiscal 2004 to fiscal 2008.

The company plans to focus on an "architectural approach" that builds more intelligence into the network and helps customers integrate multiple technologies to change the way they do business, said John Chambers, president and CEO, speaking Tuesday during the opening session of the company's Worldwide Analyst Conference 2004 in Santa Clara, Calif.

In a demonstration, Chambers showed how a retail store could tap technologies such as WLAN, on-demand video and RFID scanning to improve customer service and track inventory.

During the demo, Chambers researched fence building on a home improvement store Web site and viewed the necessary materials online. Then he visited the store, where he was automatically identified through RFID via his customer loyalty card. Upon entering, a display screen showed a customized map of the store highlighting the location of the materials and sent the map to his wireless device. He was also able to access a fence expert live via a video kiosk and have an instructional video sent electronically to his home. Finally, all of the supplies carried RFID tags, enabling self-service check out authenticated via a biometric scanner.

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The demonstration showed how a combination of technologies coupled with changes in business process could help improve customer service, track inventory and save money.

Chambers said Cisco would win against competitors in situations where customers are seeking not just point products but full solutions.

To help customers along that path, Cisco is rolling out Network Transformation Services. The new services, which will be delivered in conjunction with Cisco's channel partners, will enable "hyper integration" and show customers the benefits of intelligent networking, said Wim Elfrink, senior vice president of worldwide customer advocacy at Cisco, San Jose, Calif.

"We're working closely with [the channel group] to embed our intellectual property into future programs," Elfrink said.

Paul Mountford, senior vice president of worldwide channels at Cisco, said complex solutions create more opportunity for channel partners.

"The channels love complexity. It drives margin and services," Mountford said. "They don't want low-cost boxes that do very little because there's no value-add," he said.