Live from Cisco Networkers 2008 - day 1 part 3

Cisco, Tesco and next generation networks

Cisco will embed standards based software that delivers advanced voice and video communication features within its network hardware as it predicts demand for advanced network services in business will rise. The company is already in talks with Tesco about deploying a next generation network.

Chris Dedicot, President of Cisco Europe, said at keynote speech in Barcelona today that next generation networks – networks which can handle a mixture of data, fixed and mobile voice and video across a single infrastructure – will become a standard requirement of businesses within the next five years.

An example of a next generation network could be a wireless network in a hotel that detects a customer’s mobile phone and assigns a key code to the guest’s handset to open a room door. Dedicot said that Cisco was in talks with Tesco to deliver a next generation network throughout its business to enhance its operations.

Dedicot outlined that Tesco was looking to offer enhanced inter-staff communications, training and CCTV store monitoring using a next generation network.

“Traditionally, IT was there to support the business strategy. The reality today is that IT is creating new business models. Advanced video services and the ability to collaborate is central to this,” said Dedicot.

Forrester analyst Christopher Mines said that Cisco will push its collaboration software as voice and video services are more visible – and therefore, more valued – by the business than a piece of hardware like a router or a switch could be.

“However, in these software-dominated arenas, it will face much stronger competition than the “seven dwarfs” of the network business,” he said. Businesses thinking of buying into a single hardware and software technology stack from Cisco should try and negotiate discounts because of the strong competition in the market for collaboration software.