Cisco's Chambers pushes video, Web 2.0

Consumer technology is making its way into the enterprise

John Chambers has found a technology that can keep up with his fast-talking style, and it’s at the core of Cisco Systems’ push to bring Web 2.0 technology into enterprises.

“I clearly communicate at 200 words a minute, and I’m much better with the video capability that goes with it,” the Cisco chairman and CEO said during a keynote speech at the recent Interop conference in Las Vegas.

His address emphasised collaboration via forms of communication. The way young people communicate now — through video, text messaging and social networking sites such as MySpace.com — is how enterprises will communicate in the next few years, he said.

However, IT executives will have to translate those technologies for business management.

Employees will need easy, one-click tools that are secure, Chambers noted. Video is the ultimate tool for executives, who may not know what Web 2.0 is but understand what they can do with Cisco’s Telepresence, a line of high-definition videoconferencing systems the company introduced last year, Chambers said.

Enterprises can seize on new collaboration tools from the consumer market, Chambers said.

“It’s been a way that people kind of communicated in spite of the IT department. Now the IT department has to lead.”

In a keynote that repeated many familiar themes, including boosting productivity by changing business processes and communicating better, Chambers only touched briefly on the company’s latest news, such as the introduction of new wireless LAN features designed to help organisations track assets and carry their voice calls over wi-fi networks.

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