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Cisco’s First Ever Global Company Meeting…Virtually

August 23, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

Color me impressed. I’ve blogged about TelePresence before. It is cool. It is functional. It is easy to use. It is collaboration at its finest. Cisco innovated it. Today, however, we saw TelePresence on steroids or as one attendee called it “Johnapalooza.” Our CEO, John Chambers, is all about video and today’s company meeting was about as video as you can get.We had a site on our San Jose campus that set up a kind of “theater in the round” with a round, center stage on which John and other executives presented to employees. There were about 200 employees in the room and about an additional 500 or so in sites around the country and around the world. Full size. On interactive video screens enabled by our TelePresence technology. There were six large screens (16 x 9) in the room and each one represented a different site. Employees virtually attended from Amsterdam, NL; Bedfont Lakes, UK; Atlanta, GA; Irvine, CA; RTP, NC and Boxborough, MA. In a word: very cool. (Yes, that was two words, but one word won’t do it.) Side note: an additional 4000 employees attended via Cisco IPTV. Read More »

Protecting Against Gray Market and Counterfeit Goods

Post by Phil Wright, Director of Worldwide Brand ProtectionCounterfeit goods and used equipment have been the topic of two cover stories this summer. InformationWeek’s July 7 cover story titled Used Gear: Notes from the Underground provides an in-depth look at enterprise customer behaviors and concludes that purchasing used IT gear from unauthorized brokers is risky. This week’s CRN cover story titled Fakes: Can You Tell the Difference looks at the issue from the channel perspective. It cites the prevalence of IT counterfeit products globally (estimated at $100B annually), the origin of the manufacture for the suspect goods (often China), and how the counterfeit goods get mixed into the channel (typically through multiple intermediaries). This is not just a Cisco problem, but a widespread problem in the IT industry. Read More »

Webcast: Steve Ballmer and John Chambers to Discuss Future of Technology

August 20, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

This morning in New York City, Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, and John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, will discuss the future of technology and their shared vision for addressing today’s customer requirements. If that is a conversation that sounds like it might be interesting to be a part of, please join them via live webcast. Here are the logistics.Who: Steve Ballmer, CEO, Microsoft; John Chambers, Chairman and CEO, Cisco Systems; and Charlie Rose, moderator When: Monday, Aug. 20, 2007; 7-8:30 a.m. PDT How to View: Visit Cisco’s online newsite, News@Cisco, to watch the live webcast. (An on-demand version will be posted shortly after the event concludes.)Following the event, broadcast-quality video clips will also be posted to the Microsoft ® PressPass Broadcast Newsroom at and News@Cisco.

Chambers, Ballmer Address Customer Needs as the Network and Software Intersect

August 20, 2007 at 12:00 pm PST

As I’m posting this, Cisco CEO John Chambers and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer are on stage discussing the future of the technology industry and their shared vision for addressing today’s customer requirements. We are at an inflection point as the industry evolves and the network and software continue to intersect, especially through the Internet. (If you are reading blog post this before 11:30AM ET, you can access the webcast here.)* You can read their joint Q&A here.In a discussion being led by Charlie Rose, the CEOs will highlight areas of collaboration to increase interoperability across the consumer, enterprise, SMB and public sector markets, while acknowledging that the companies still compete in numerous areas. Ten years ago, Microsoft and Cisco became partners, but the partnership was more transactional in nature. Three years ago, the partnership deepened and in the last year it has accelerated to respond to customer needs. They will discuss how the two companies can map out ways to evolve the relationship to further benefit customers and joint channel partners. Read More »

Communications architecture without a network”¦prudent or not?

Post by Joe Burton, Chief Technology Officer, Unified CommunicationsA recent Forrester (May2007) study estimates that about 60% of businesses say that implementing a UC solution is on their agenda for 2007. Many of these businesses, will be faced with making architectural decisions for Unified Communications platform which might include having to choose between a client-software-based-architecture, network-centric architecture, or some combination of both.The question that often comes up is, “How do I bring workspaces together so that I can capitalize on the benefits of Unified Communications while controlling costs and ensuring a quality and consistent user experience”? The standardized desktop of the late 1990′s is quickly being replaced by a largely flexible set of workspaces, commonly represented by functional groups that have common communications and collaborations needs. For example, Knowledge Workers using connected laptops, desk phones, and instant messaging clients have different workspaces than Road Warriors who work mostly outside of the office using”smart phones”, Wi-Fi access, soft phones, text messaging, and continuously variable networks.Both groups give corporate security and compliance officers nightmares as more and more business critical traffic moves off network, and questionable traffic gets invited on to the corporate network. In addition, broader market trends towards the adoption of web 2.0 technologies like Wikis and mash-ups combined with an increasing mobile, virtual, and collaborative workforce leaves technologists struggling with how they can move beyond a”one size fits all” approach and meet the unique and varied needs of their workforce. Read More »