Cisco to push further into collaboration, video and won't cut jobs

telepresence

Collaboration and video were two major themes today at the annual Cisco C-Scape industry analyst conference. CEO John Chambers said that the company's eat-its-own-dogfood approach proves the value of these technologies. He claims Cisco can now respond three times as fast to changes in the business climate than it did in the mid-1990s, according to an IDG News Service report. The company has been able to kick off 26 new businesses in the past year thanks in part to use of video collaboration such as TelePresence. This means Cisco is not planning to cut jobs in this harsh economy but wants to shift employees into those new areas. The new businesses should deliver 25% of Cisco's incremental revenue in the next five years, according to Chambers.

Emerging areas for Cisco include the consumer markets, particularly the home. Cisco is already in the home market via its Linksys and Scientific-Atlanta products -- and both of those are areas that will get increasing attention. Rich content for consumers is obviously one of the emerging areas. For instance, yesterday, Cisco announced the Cisco Media Experience Engine (MXE) 3000. The MXE 3000 formats video and rich media so that it can be swapped among different "digital screens" optimized for viewing on any of them, such as a PC or a smartphone. This was a tool in what will eventually be the Cisco Media Processing (CMP) platform family.

Cisco, has also been targeting entertainment providers as they gear up to offer rich digital media to consumers, in the home and elsewhere. For instance, Chambers promises that the company has only just begun with the development and sale of multimedia technologies for sports stadiums and delivery of interactive sports content to the home. He pointed to the new Yankee Stadium where Cisco will provide digital signs that can show game play in high definition all around the stadium and also give directions and other information. By the same token, Cisco is also working with the recording industry and entertainment companies such as The Walt Disney Co., Chambers said.

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