Cisco Chairman and Chief Executive John Chambers is expected to announce plans today for transitioning the networking giant into a company focused primarily on supplying data analysis systems and services to government and large businesses.

“The days of the boxes are over,” said Chambers in a just-published interview with The New York Times.

Cisco has successfully navigated numerous technology transitions with a steady strategy of acquisitions that have helped expand Cisco’s digital presence well beyond the router boxes that keep Internet traffic flowing.

Chambers, however, said that the global revolution in mobile devices and sensors, and the routing of massive volumes of data to centralized processing centers, is altering the landscape and the economic equations for leading technology companies, such as IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft and Oracle, as well as for Cisco.

“Transitions are happening at a faster pace than ever before,” he told The New York Times.

Chambers has been a relentless champion for helping large organizations harness information technology to work more effectively, including his own.

But the commoditization and consumerization of IT has put pressure on Cisco to reorganize for the next wave of technology demands. Chambers is betting much of that demand will come from finding smarter ways of capturing and analyzing the data that rides on much of the equipment Cisco originally produced and installed.

As part of that strategy, Cisco is reorganizing with the goal of concentrating on helping government and large businesses handle projects such as designing and managing systems to handle traffic or clean water across entire cities more efficiently.

He also layed out a vision for working with government officials and civil engineering companies to create networks of sensors and data analysis systems that would help organizations set up more efficient mining, manufacturing and distribution systems.

How successful Cisco will be in shifting to a software-driven business model remains more than a casual question in light of the turmoil that IBM endured, and more recently HP continues to face following its $11 billion purchase of Autonomy.

Chambers responds to those and other concerns in the article, saying Cisco’s talent, product and corporate connections give them closer access to the needs of their customers. Read the original article here. Keep reading →

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