Cisco partner summit: Networking giant looks to redefine software stack

Cisco partner summit: Networking giant looks to redefine software stack

Mega trend sees changes driven from consumer up and roles redefined

HONOLULU: Cisco is working to redefine the software stack to reflect the changing nature of technology use.

Speaking at the company's annual Partner Summit, vice-president of software, Don Proctor, said the new wave of collaboration was being driven from the bottom up.

"In the next wave of IT the exciting concept is community," he said. "Customers are organising themselves in the Web 2.0 world and have the choice of where to work, what device to use and what services to subscribe to.

"Changes are not being drive from the business down, but from the consumer up. That redefines the roles of customers, partners and suppliers. The problem is that technology hasn't kept up with this mega trend."

Where computers were used mainly to prepare documents 10 years ago, Proctor argued their primary use today was collaboration and communication in a variety of forms including email, instant messaging and social networking sites.

He said the role of the software stack was starting to change and, as a result, Cisco was building a new stack that respects the traditional model of operating system, middleware and desktop applications without being limited by it.

"Applications are fundamentally different from the past and it doesn't matter what device or operating system you use," Proctor said. "It's about bringing together voice, video and data for a significantly different user experience.

"In the new viral world of Web 2.0 you not only have your customers to sell to but also their customers, suppliers and partners. You can develop new relationships that are deeper, richer and lasting."

Brian Corrigan travelled to Hawaii as a guest of Cisco.

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