Chambers: The Network Is The Platform

LAS VEGAS — Cisco President and CEO John Chambers has an aggressive vision for the future of networking.

He and his team at the networking giant are aiming to transform the network from being a cost of doing business to being the
engine that drives communications technologies such as data, video, voice and mobility.

Chambers, kicking off the keynote sessions at the Interop Las Vegas conference today, said the paradigm of finding ways to cut IT costs as opposed to using IT to help drive growth is changing.

Networks, Chambers said, will change society, and improve productivity and growth.

John Chambers

John Chambers
Source: Cisco

“When we overspent in the late ’90s it became about managing costs,” Chambers said. “We cost cut ourselves, but how do you drive productivity and growth?”

The answer is all about collaboration communication, he said.

Collaborative communication is about abstracting the network so that more operating systems move into the network and the network becomes the platform. This means moving normally operating system-oriented features, such as endpoint security, onto the network.

Collaborative communication, he said, is increasingly becoming the driver of the “quad play” — data, video, voice and mobility everywhere.

“It’s a network of networks that will occur within that,” Chamber said. “The network will become the platform.”

“When the network becomes the platform what does it mean? It means that you can deliver things faster than before,” Chambers said. “It gives growth opportunities and moves IT from managing costs to driving growth.”

Time and again, Chamber repeated the mantra anytime, any place, any screen, any device, any network. Any device to any application, anytime, anywhere is the ability to change from transaction communication to collaboration communication.

“In the past we associated a given device with a given type of content,” Chambers said. “Now multiple devices and multiple screens are sharing the same experience and that will lead to a huge productivity increase.”

Collaboration, though, isn’t always easy, Chambers said. He noted that, a few years ago, the biggest challenge at Cisco was not external but internal.

“How do we get 50 disparate units working together?” Chamber asked.

But once collaboration became part of the infrastructure, Cisco reaped significant productivity enhancements, he claimed.

The dog days of the IT bust are just a memory now for Chambers, and the future of IT is going to do nothing less than change the world.

“Network IT is not only back but it’s going to change the way we live work
learn and play.”

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