Cisco chief says carriers can boost productivity

Telecommunications carriers can play a major role in the transformation of companies into virtual organisations that outsource...

Telecommunications carriers can play a major role in the transformation of companies into virtual organisations that outsource all but their own expert capabilities, according to Cisco president and chief executive officer John Chambers.

In a keynote address at the Supercomm conference in Atlanta, Georgia, Chambers spoke of the productivity gains that can come from use of the Internet, and assured the audience that corporations would turn to service providers that offer services they value.

Activities such as Web-based customer care, virtual manufacturing (the outsourcing of manufacturing processes to third parties) and, eventually, Internet-based video training, would reduce the cost for producing the same amount of product or service, Chambers said, adding that most companies have not yet even completed the early stages of those developments.

Companies have been looking outside their organisation for everything but their own core competencies, and carriers could help them make that transition. To do that, they should look beyond the voice and data transport function they have relied on traditionally, Chambers said.

He also called on the US government to promote the availability of broadband connections to the Internet.

"If you don't drive broadband as a national priority, we're going to be left behind in terms of our ability to leverage the applications, not just for work but for our health, for changing the way we live and play and learn."

Chambers called for government leaders to view the goal of an affordable broadband connection to every home and business as an initiative, "like putting a person on the moon."

The Technet organisation, a group of more than 300 IT and other executives of which Chambers is a member, has called for such an initiative. A key to success will be co-operation between business and government, and consistent policy, he said.

Supercomm ends today.

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