Cisco puts on brave face

Despite leaving New Zealand off the map, Cisco's Asia-Pacific head is determined to tell the good news story - in the knowledge that the networking company has finished its first-ever three months without making a sales gain quarter-on-quarter.

Despite leaving New Zealand off the map, Cisco's Asia-Pacific head is determined to tell the good news story - in the knowledge that the networking company has finished its first-ever three months without making a sales gain quarter-on-quarter.

"Since 1986 when the company was first founded we haven't had a single quarter without growth exceeding the previous quarter -- until now," says Gordon Astles, speaking before Cisco's map of the Asia-Pacific that lacked a certain South Pacific country. He was addressing an audience at Networkers 2001, the company's Brisbane user conference last week.

Describing what he calls the "I-road to e-fficiency", Astles outlined his fervent belief that Australia, and New Zealand, were to be success chapters in the Cisco story. The countries where Cisco is most successful, it seems, are the English-speaking former colonies.

But while the world looks to high-speed data connections for future growth, Cisco is harking back to an almost bygone day - that of voice. "If you're building a data network that isn't voice-ready, you're in big trouble. You just don't know it yet." Astles talks of technologies, like IP, invading almost every part of the network - including the backbone.

"IP over dense wave division multiplexing [DWDM] is something we will see more of in the years to come." This leads to an inevitable battle - that of quality of service versus raw bandwidth. "If you've got unlimited bandwidth then QoS isn't an issue - but who has that these days?"

Astles says while the old chestnut "internet users double every 90 days" is incorrect, he says data traffic online doubles on an annual basis and that trend doesn't look likely to slow any time soon.

Brislen travelled to Networkers 2001 courtesy of Cisco.

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