John Chambers has found a technology that can keep up with his fast-talking style, and it's at the core of Cisco Systems's 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 Tuesday in an Interop keynote address that emphasized 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 said. 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," he said.
Cisco was digging deeper into video even as attendees gathered in Las Vegas Monday at the big six-day networking conference. It agreed to acquire BroadWare Technologies, a video surveillance company, for an undisclosed sum. On Tuesday, Cisco introduced new wireless LAN features designed to help enterprises track assets and carry their voice calls over Wi-Fi networks.
In a keynote that repeated many familiar themes, including boosting productivity by changing business processes and communicating better, Chambers touched on the company's latest news only briefly.