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Chambers: More Tech Partnerships, Acquisitions On Cisco's Horizon

Cisco Systems’ plan to push more intelligence into the network calls for a broader security strategy that will require the company to form technology partnerships and make acquisitions well into the future, Cisco President and CEO John Chambers said Wednesday.

“The only way to solve security problems is through partnering,” Chambers said in a keynote address at the RSA Conference 2006 in San Jose, Calif. Cisco is bulking up its vendor partnerships, particularly around its Network Admission Control (NAC) strategy, for which the company has 65 technology partners, up from 30 last year, he said.

Cisco also plans to keep building its technology portfolio through acquisitions, according to Chambers. “Last year at this time, we had 12 acquisitions. We’ve done three more this year. You’ll see that [strategy] continue for probably the next decade,” he said.

Solution provider partnerships, too, remain critical to the rollout of Cisco’s Intelligent Information Strategy, Chambers said Tuesday in an interview with CRN.

“The key issue for us … is to transform beyond just selling ‘equipment’ and installing and making it work to saying, how do you add value and add services on it, how do you help customers implement it in a shorter time period than they would have traditionally done, how do you help them move onto the business applications, how do you help them differentiate this new era for the network?” Chambers said. “Bottom line is there’s probably never been a better time to be a Cisco partner,” he added.

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