Cisco’s Chambers is born again Web 2.0


Given that everyone has tried and define Web 2.0, why not Cisco Systems (CSCO) and company CEO John Chambers. This is how he described Web 2.0 in a press release accompanying the company’s fiscal third quarter 2007 earnings.

“While we are very pleased with our continued growth, our communications and collaboration technologies are enabling the second phase of the Internet, or Web 2.0, which is redefining how people, companies and countries collaborate in ways never before realized.”

Nice justification for the $3.2 billion purchase of WebEx. However, it was on the conference call, Chambers really chanted the Web 2.0 mantra. (Ten times no less!)

We have spent the last six years preparing for the next wave of collaboration, enable our Web 2.0. In our terms, Web 2.0 is simply the technologies that enable user collaboration. These technologies include web services, Unified Communications, TelePresence, blogs, Wiki’s, pier-to-pier networks, podcast, Myshelf, etcetera. [Chambers missed kitchen sink here.]

Not to be outdone, Chief Development Officer Charlie Giancarlo, who quipped, “Cisco is really a software company wrapped up in steel clothing.”

Just like it was an optical company! You know the spin cycle at its peak when a company that makes a living selling routers, wifi access points, and set-top boxes, starts using Web 2.0 and Software on its investor conference call. Maybe some day soon, Chambers & Co. will get a bit more specific about their Web 2.0 strategy beyond WebEx.


Cerise Audley

Yes, one of the purposes of this wiki is to resolve the release notes issue.

Paul Hendrix

I always had a hard time following Cisco’s documents with all the release notes, hopefully this will end all that now the documents are moving to a wiki.

The wiki looks very nice. One of the best I’ve seen so far.

Mike Abott

Wow!! Cisco’s moving didn’t documents to a wiki. This is bold even for Cisco. Nice!!

Cerise Audley

I recently heard Craig Tobias from Cisco speak at a conference. He has been responsible for driving the entire ROS division (massive network operations) to a Web 2.0 shop. Every aspect of the business in run using Web 2.0.

Jessica Clark

Cisco does seem to have a secret weapon, his name is Craig Tobias. He has been responsible for developing a number of Web 2.0 applications used to run Cisco internally and has recently turned to building Cisco’s external wiki platform.

Simon Leyland

I also think the webex purchase was a bad move, for much less money they could have tied up some really good software and people. Dabbledb/37 signals spring to mind straight away, i’m sure we can all think of many more.

Also even if they did get all the right software I’m not sure they could integrate into a single box. I wonder how 5 across integration is going?

Cisco do know though that if they stay only in the router/switch market their margins will eventually erode to nothing due to competition from abroad and possibly open source alternatives.


Web 2.0 for Cisco means selling more boxes.

Web 2.0 is really these hundreds of software innovating companies which are in this second phase of Internet – friendster, myspace, jajah, jaxtr and others. And also the SaaS based companies.

All these companies need routers, switches and softswitches. Thats what Cisco will sell.

To summarize:
Cisco buys companies and technologies by selling routers/switches (the funding engine)

alan p

First the recognition, then the acquisitions –
another buyer heaves into sight ;)

Jesse Kopelman

The shark has been jumped . . . I demand partial credit for pier-to-pier. I typed it by accident in a blog posting (on the now defunct Corante Moore’s Lore) 3 years ago.


Let us all define what – web 2.0 – really is?
– What is “Web 2.0”?
– What makes a company Web 2.0? Is it Ajax pages, is social network a necessary component of it? (if so would craigslist be a web 2.0 company?). is it the sheer volume of users? (if so would statcounter be a web 2.0 company?

Oh, the guardians of the technology elixir..Enlighten this soul please.


The guy sells networking equipment for a living. Obviously he’s going to talk up any activity that requires more bandwidth.

Om Malik


That is true – maybe saying Web 2.0 is very easy compared to collaboration. Because if they were talking about WebEX, it was an old school product, with none of these geegaws.

I think they need to seriously outline what they plan to do – it is frustration to hear calls with non-specific information.

Simon Leyland

I think Cisco are close to understanding web2.0. For all the hype there has virtually been no web2.0 penetration in the large enterprise. I’m sure fortune 500 want the technology but they want it delivered by a large vendor. I think Cisco have their Call Manager product identified as the web/enterprise2.0 box.

Cisco won the router race with their IOS software, can they win the Enterprise2.0 race by expanding their CCM software into an all in one box?

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