It may have been the thirteenth incarnation of its Networkers partner meet, but this year Cisco is feeling lucky.
Speaking to about 1300 partners and customers gathered on the Gold Coast, vice-president A/NZ, Ross Fowler, opened his keynote speech with succinct optimism.
"The industry has returned," he said. "Growth is back."
Despite being a well established event, he said Networkers was a reflection of this with attendances up 35 per cent, the number of partner stands almost double last year and 30 per cent more floor space.
Fowler said Cisco would look to combine foundation technologies with network architecture this year to create solutions with a lower total cost of ownership.
"The convergence dream is becoming a reality," he said. "So we need to focus on architectures, like virtualisation, for the delivery of content via converged infrastructure."
At the service provider level this meant helping partners avoid the pitfalls of convergence by creating new revenue streams. For enterprise partners, the company's service oriented network architecture would help create efficiencies around collaboration.
"We have new products designed to make SMBs smart and secure," he said.
"And for the digital home of the future we have our Linksys range."
Cisco fellow, Bruce Davie, then outlined the importance of virtualisation, quality of service (QoS) and multiprotocol label switching (MPLS) under the banner 'Convergence: This time for sure'.
"To run applications over IP you need to segregate traffic and have some form of resource allocation to manage what application gets access to what resources," he said.
"The key technologies needed for convergence - QoS and MPLS - are ready today."
While he said convergence had been in the works for close to 30 years, the rapid growth of Cisco's IP phone sales was proof the term was no longer just a buzzword.
"In 1999 we sold the first IP phone, in 2002 we sold our first million and in 2004 we hit 4.4 million," he said. "Video will be the next exponential growth area."
Tim Lohman travelled to Networkers as a guest of Cisco