Cisco is betting that consolidating its product lines and areas of business will help refocus the networking giant after a year of sluggish financial performance.
Speaking to delegates at the Cisco Live Europe 2012 conference at the London Excel Centre, CTO Padmasree Warrior said that the vendor had consolidated into five main business areas: collaboration, datacentres, enterprise, security and service provider.
Up to now Cisco has organised its portfolio by product line, not topic area. Its latest move, claimed Warrior, would "simplify the way customers buy our products."
The firm's consolidation efforts have come about after Cisco took flak for losing its focus on its core enterprise and carrier networking customers.
The year ended with CEO John Chambers vowing to give its network competitors a good thrashing.
Taking questions during the Cisco Live event, Warrior poured scorn on the idea of adding storage to its datacentre model, but talked up "cross pollination" between the its IOS, NX-OS and XR network operating systems, to make them more programmable and share some common features.
But she added that the three operating systems could never be made one as "the requirements are different" for each one.
Warrior said: "The days of being average are over" and stressed the need for organisations to stay agile.
She added that explosive growth in the network, and the number of devices accessing it, coupled with datacentre virtualisation, meant network managers would increasingly have to provision both physical and virtual devices.
"The network is the foundation to drive business value and country transformation. The next decade will be mobile, social and virtual," said Warrior.
A version of this story appears on ComputerWeekly.com