MWC 2014: Cisco’s Chambers Predicts Big Network Changes

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Cisco CEO John Chambers doesn’t think much of a Juniper-NSN deal, and warned of big changes in networking, at MWC

It was not part of his keynote speech at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, but Cisco CEO John Chambers gave some predictions for the coming year 

Asked about the  possible co-operation deal between Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) and Juniper Networks, he predicted a year of flux for the networking market. Mergers, co-operative deals and bad news for white label resellers formed part of his answer.

John Chambers CiscoMusical chairs

Like a puppet master pulling the strings Chambers said that we will see a game of “musical chairs” as companies jockey for position.

Cisco has proved its ability to hold market share, he claimed and  “now people are going to play our game”, he said.

Chambers believes that the industry’s move towards all-IP frameworks will force a switch from providing point solutions – a rise of interest in network architectures rather than standalone products. This will bring about a “hard market for providers of boxes” and white-label, value added products, he claimed.

He dismissed Juniper’s overall strategy as a hiding to nothing because of the difficulties usually met when vendors try to combine their efforts. He also denounced Juniper’s move to appeal to the enterprise market as a failure, also adding that “the jury is out” on that company’s efforts in the security market.

At the show, Cisco is highlighting its  Evolved Services Platform (ESP), a key element of the company’s Open Network Environment (ONE) strategy – which works at the architecture layer of the infrastructure. It is also promoting its support for software-defined networking (SDN) and network function virtualisation (NfV).

MWC also gave Cisco the chance to promote the recently-announced expansion of its virtualisation offerings for service providers by demonstrating how these capabilities could increase revenue, decrease operational costs, and improve agility.

At the show, NSN CEO Rajiv Suri refused to disclose specifics about its Juniper partnership but said that he was not opposed to mergers and acquisitions. “We have a partnership with Juniper and we will look at ways to expand that partnership. We don’t have to do a deal for the sake of a deal but we’ll look at opportunities,” he said.

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