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John Chambers @ CiscoLive: “The Future is about speed, scale and flexibility.”

June 30, 2009
at 12:00 pm PST

I’ve just finished watching the CiscoLive keynote webcast of Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers from San Francisco. All this talk of video, collaboration and virtualization makes much sense to me as I’m a whopping 45 miles away in San Jose and still getting much the same experience. The following are notes I jotted down while watching the webcast. SVP Carlos Dominguez (@carlosdominguez on twitter) was funny in his intro and welcome…said this was his 17th year at Cisco and the great executive perks that he gets are limited to having a better executive photo and has now ended up with one that looked a bit like this. He said frugality and Cisco culture is really a legacy of Former CEO and Chairman Emeritus John Morgridge.Morgridge (who is AWESOME, by the way) walked through the early history of Cisco…founded at Stanford University…operated out of a living room in Atherton, CA…listening to customers…giving back…and hiring John Chambers in 1991. He said, after good engineers, a start-up needs t-shirts, pizza and beer.Chambers followed and asked a lot of questions that he is hearing in the marketplace and from customers. He asked “Are 30 market adjacencies too many for us to be going in to?” He asked one partner attendee the same question…response: “not if you have the right partnering strategies.” He thanked the over 10,000 CiscoLive attendees and 3,000 virtual attendees for their hard work and passion and said, “We have to earn your trust, confidence and commitment every day.”He said he is being asked how the economy is doing and he said that Cisco is dealing with where we think the marketplace is going to be 2, 3 and 5 years out. He asked if innovation is the future or if operational excellence is the future. “You have to do both,” he said.John Chambers He said that in this economy and with the power of collaboration you have to learn to do more with less. Having said that, he said “we will be the most aggressive we’ve ever been in our history over the next 12 to 18 months.” This, in terms, of acquisitions, partnership and and following our “build, buy and partner” strategy. He said we have to have willingness to try new things…and if it works…move with speed to execute and scale the idea.Key takeaways (to borrow from his parlance): Network is becoming the platform for all forms of communication and all forms of IT. How do we take technology from being exciting to something that transforms the word. Focus on video is on architectural approach…Flip video is part of infrastrucure play and soon TelePresence in the home will play a role as well. Innovation without operation excellence is not effective. Always listen to constructive criticism. Mistakes I’ve made: not moving fast enough; Or, move fast, but not have process…need replicable process for support/scale/flexibility.He said all of these moves are being enabled by collaborative technologies and the move from command and control management to collaboration and teamwork. (For more on that topic see @ellmcgirt’s Cisco cover story at Fast Company).Note: Lots of tweets out there on CiscoLive…remember that the hashtag is #clsf Follow at @CiscoSystems, @CiscoLive, @Padmasree and more…Photos from the keynote and more from CiscoLive will be posted on our Flickr stream today.Great video blog from ZDNet’s Larry Dignan of Chambers keynote: “Video is the killer app.”

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4 Comments.


  1. Nice summary John, and excellent speech. People should have come away inspired and convinced of Cisco’s vision. I like this one: Having said that, he said “we will be the most aggressive we’ve ever been in our history over the next 12 to 18 months.With social media, collaboration and related technologies coming together, we could see more change and advances in the next 18 months than we’ve seen in the last 5.

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  2. oops,, I meant, …more change and advances in the next 18 months than we’ve seen in the last five years.”””^0^1^^^0^0
    13984^6746^Angeles^mari_15_255@hotmail.com^^189.189.77.148^2009-11-06 01:34:53^2009-11-06 01:34:53^hola, me gustaria ver si me pueden enviar una cotizacion para implementar una red bajo su certificación.la red es de 35 maquinas y es para un Tecnológico del cual yo soy alumna^0^1^^^0^0
    14027^7491^Ruth Beane^rufita11@yahoo.com^^128.107.239.233^2009-06-17 05:12:10^2009-06-17 05:12:10^Andy Summers, guitarist for the Police, tells my husband he just bought a Flip Ultra HD and wants to try ours out before un-boxing his. Here is the video Andy took on June 13, 2009 with our Flip Ultra HD at his “Diserer Walks the Streets” photography exhibit in Santa Monica, California.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XE2ZqfmVSRo^0^1^^^0^0
    13986^6644^Richard V^manager@myquickdrugs.com^http://www.myquickdrugs.com^201.204.52.174^2009-06-17 17:13:26^2009-06-17 17:13:26^Visual networking is the future, as well as work online, I have been working from my own home since the past 4 years getting good profit from my websites turning me into the owner of my own time, Im actually learning how to surf now jeje and guess what I live in Costa Rica.^0^1^^^0^0
    13991^6710^web hosting^socialmaker@gmail.com^http://www.123-reg.co.uk/web-hosting/^85.214.148.109^2009-07-22 08:47:50^2009-07-22 08:47:50^Well I think security is pretty much important. Look at how many people are embedding ssl certificates on their sites for example. Everyone has an anti-virus installed on their pc, we tend to lock everything up :) that’s life.^0^1^^^0^0
    13992^7468^Monique Morrow^mmorrow@cisco.com^http://blogs.cisco.com/sp^64.103.25.233^2009-06-12 15:32:20^2009-06-12 15:32:20^Maria,Additionally, you may also want to look at:http://www.slideshare.net/kvjacksn/a-hitchhikers-guide-to-the-intercloudThanks again!Monique^0^1^^^0^0
    14022^6027^John Reynolds^jdreynolds@intellimec.com^http://www.intellimec.com^216.16.251.246^2009-06-16 21:43:47^2009-06-16 21:43:47^Marie, As you discuss M2M is a big space depending on your definition. In Canada yesterday the big three telco’s have joined up to help commoditise M2M and use the handset as the payment delivery vehicle. Our company has been involved in the M2M space with telematics and growing use of in-vehicle devices for Governments (UK Government is a client) and for Pay As You Go insurance applicaitons.The wireless carriers in North America, Europe and the Middle East are fighting for the right to get our data business as these solutions can transmit a lot of data.M2M solutions for Smart meter networks will involve MESH networks where only a few have live connections back to hosted servers and the rest use other wireless protocols.my two cents, love to hear back from you or others.John Reynolds^0^1^^^0^0
    13994^7468^Monique Morrow^mmorrow@cisco.com^http://blogs.cisco.com/sp^64.103.25.233^2009-06-12 15:32:20^2009-06-12 15:32:20^Maria,Cloud Security Alliancehttp://www.cloudsecurityalliance.org/DMTFhttp://www.dmtf.org/homeSNIAhttp://www.snia.org/homeTo name a few….^0^1^^^0^0
    13995^5524^Craig^calb@uhl-tr.nhs.uk^^194.176.105.37^2009-08-07 15:01:44^2009-08-07 15:01:44^We originaly setup our wireless network, 2.4ghx for data and 5ghz for voice. Due to a problem, we are moving certain medical devices over to 5ghz, how would this effect voice, or how would voice effect data? Would there be any effect?^0^1^^^0^0
    13996^5628^Kristin^kmw6624@hotmail.com^^98.180.36.1^2009-07-01 22:19:52^2009-07-01 22:19:52^I forgot the password to my Scientific Atlanta 2100 modem^0^1^^^0^0
    14021^7086^Scott Brown^brownsc@cisco.com^http://www.cisco.com/go/media^171.70.228.252^2009-06-16 17:14:53^2009-06-16 17:14:53^”Human, good question. One could argue that there is no difference in terms of functionality — the difference really becomes a momentum, marketing, brand issue. We can all point to moments where etter”” technologies (think VHS vs Beta) were beat by “”inferior”” technologies by market momentum.It’s now up to Twitter to execute and continue its differentiation. The good news for them (at this point) is that they have momentum and everyone is trying to catch up.The good news for us as tech consumers is that we have more options and opportunities to find what technology works best for our own needs. Any thoughts on that?”

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  3. Jamie Beckett

    Carlos Dominguez as Antonio Banderas? Nice work if you can get it!

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  4. Excellent speech indeed. Cisco has certainly been very aggressive over the last few 12 months, but I think they could have made some better acquisitions.

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