Cisco chief executive John Chambers has urged businesses and governments in Europe to embrace the new generation of network technology in order to fend off growing competition from markets across the world.
Chambers said at the Cisco Live event in London today that the ability to collaborate over networks is fundamental in driving innovation and operational excellence, and boosting productivity.
"If Europe does not change productivity and innovation and become competitive on a global basis it will be left behind. The network must be the basis of a change to increase productivity, collaboration and network-enabled transitions, " he said.
"Business leaders are getting this, including prime minister David Cameron who I met with yesterday. They understand how productivity is enabled by the network, and that private-public partnerships are necessary to help compete in the future."
To this end, Cisco has announced $500m (£310m) of investment in Cameron's East London Tech City project. The British Innovation Gateway will see Cisco funding two innovation centres and five annual competitions, and providing access for entrepreneurs to in-house Cisco experts.
"We are moving from an information economy to a network economy, moving from processing data to providing an experience, and moving from hierarchical fashion to communities where social networking plays a huge role," said Chambers.
However, he warned that security is becoming one of the central issues around network evolution, arguing that entire architectural changes are necessary to defend against threats.
"The number one issue now is security. There is no such thing as a secure network or datacentre in this world, so the ability to think how you combine security with the ability to access any device with any content, across any network, is key," he said.
"You cannot have closed networks. You need an open architecture that allows hardware and software to be combined."
Chambers also took part in a demonstration of Cisco's Cius tablet running on a desktop IP phone, showing off its telepresence capabilities to connect with other devices on its architecture, such as Tandberg products, as part of the firm's drive towards immersive video content.
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