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Cisco CEO: The 'Whoopee' Is Back In The Internet

SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Is the "whoopee" back in the Internet? John Chambers thinks so.

By kicking off the company's analyst conference with an upbeat, optimistic view of the networking market's future, Cisco's CEO Chambers may have heralded the start of a new party in technology buying, one that extends an invitation to consumers, businesses and telecom and cable service providers, all to Cisco's benefit.

In his keynote speech here Tuesday at the Santa Clara convention center, Chambers told an audience of primarily financial analysts that recent advances in technology, combined with a changed mindset among business leaders to grow their businesses, should lead to sustained growth in many communications markets.

"Networking is about to have its third wave," predicted Chambers, who said the growing use of broadband networks is allowing applications like videoconferencing and real-time interactivity to become everyday realities, and not just the stuff of future-looking demonstrations. "It's put the 'whoopee' back into the Internet," said Chambers, who claimed to have conducted numerous customer visits virtually over the past year, a first for him.

According to Chambers, the CIOs that Cisco has talked to are now thinking more about growth than about short-term business improvements, which he called a significant mind-shift over the recent past. As such, Cisco said Tuesday it is confident that it can maintain a growth rate goal of around 10 to 15 percent per year, a pace that will require continued execution in its historically strong router and switch markets as well as success in new markets like IP telephony, wireless communications and video.

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