LAS VEGAS Businesses that fold Web 2.0 collaborative and universal-communications models, such as social networking, into their processes could see a return to 3 to 5 percent annual improvements in worker productivity, Cisco Systems Inc. CEO John Chambers said here during the opening Interop keynote.
Chambers recalled that at the 2000 Consumer Electronics Show before the telecom crash dropped productivity gains to 2 percenthe had predicted consumers would drive the next wave of Web applications. By and large, he said, companies that recognized this trend weathered the recession better than their counterparts.
Internet Protocol-based "telepresence" tools have been key to Cisco's work flow improvements in recent quarters, Chambers said. Aside from full-screen live video, telepresence tools can include whiteboards, IP telephony and automated integration of mobile-handset and PDA users. But it's video, whether live or streamed, that's the killer app, he said.
Chambers noted that in 2005, before such tools were widely deployed at Cisco, its acquisition of Scientific-Altanta took almost 45 days to complete. Last spring, Cisco leveraged telepresence tools to complete its acquisition of WebEx in eight days.
Cisco uses a unified personal communicator tool as its prototype for fixed-mobile convergence. Within a secure endpoint environment, every mobile user should be able to access any content in the corporate data center, the distributed enterprise or even the home, Chambers said. The UPC software also brings in location-based services from GPS and cellular telephony.
Other companies are beginning to implement service-oriented architectures and unified wireline-wireless communications in piecemeal fashion, he said. But "the reason we have 75 percent of our industry's market cap is because we have implemented this type of collaboration in both a technology and a people sense."
Traditionally, "everyone in the industry thought you sold individual products, like a switch or router," he said. Going forward, collaborative applications will be network-based, and each network node will be highly integrated with all other systems.
Chambers is known for his smooth delivery, and his Interop appearance didn't disappoint as he bounded up and down the aisles like Phil Donohue and peppered his software demos with comedy.