Cisco Web 2.0 Summit
Web 2.0 is the rage and we, at Cisco, talk about it in terms of the “Human Network.” But, the business side of Web 2.0 is clearly behind consumers on use and implentation of this technology and this “movement.” Today, we hosted an internal Web 2.0 Summit to share best practices and learn about Web 2.0 technologies and architecture and embedding it more in the business. In one session, Blair Christie, SVP of Corporate Communications, interviewed our Chairman and CEO John Chambers on Cisco’s vision and use of Web 2.0. Some notes from their discussion follow (Note: I am paraphrasing…not quoting directly).Q: When did you start thinking about the importance of Web 2.0?A: I’ve been on the collaboration focus since about 2001…really during the downturn. We moved from selling boxes to selling solutions and we needed to move decision-making further down the reporting chain. Collaboration across business functions was critical in order to be successful. Collaborative technologies had to be utilized to work in this way. It is imporant not to get way from the fact that it is easy to get fascinated by the technology, rather than on what the technology can do.Q: What are you seeing from the customer side of things?A: There is a huge hunger for this technology, but also a void in the market…to really enable this technology, you have to rearchitect your entire business processes from the ground up. In baseball terms, we’re really at the top of the first inning on the business side.Q: (from audience) As demand for Web 2.0 increases we see ASPs crop up and we see businesses flock to them. This gets us ahead of the curve, but potentially puts our data at risk. What is right balance for ASPs versus building these tools internally?A: We really have a vision of any data on any device over any combination of networks. I need to see near real-time sales information on my PDA, for instance. There are security concerns, but we have to have a balance. We can’t fight it, we have to lead it…you have to minimize your exposure, obviously.Q: (from audience) In marketing, we’re trying to be where our customers are…customers like you. What is your web behavior like?A: The way I use these technologies is growing every day. In personal life, with my family…I text…the more you text, I find, the more you call. Almost everything I do now is on the web. From reading the Wall Street Journal to watching popular YouTube videos. I literally use more and more each month.Q: (from audience) As we use Web 2.0, we collaborate better, but we also spread our days out more on geographic basis, how can we manage this?A: We have to take into consideration the time zones and strike a balance…we’ll get better on this, but TelePresence is really driving this behavior internally. I believe the majority of web 2.0 will move to video and voice and away from text, but we have to strike the overall work/life balance as always.Q: What are you seeing in geographies on web 2.0 on the business side?A: As I said, we’re in is top of first inning on the business side of things and that applies globally as well. Although there are some countries that are more advanced than others. Consumers are way ahead of where business is. At Cisco, we’re trying to move as fast as possible, but we still have work to do, but I’m proud of where we are in our use of Web 2.0…especially with WebEx, TelePresence and Unified Communications.Q: Parting advice for attendees and employees?A: Don’t do Web 2.0 in your job because it is cool. Do it because it is good for the business. Do it because it enables collaboration and business strategy. I do have patience on the vision, but not on the execution. End note:Hats off to Jeanette Gibson, Director of New Media for Cisco, and the entire Web 2.0 Summit team for putting this great event together.