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'A Value Play'
EMC points out that data centers are moving from "rigid, siloed infrastructures to virtualized clouds," providing greater agility at a lower cost.
The House in London is only the latest of many efforts by Cisco to showcase integrated visions of the future of business. Its Cisco Smart Work Centers, to take one example, conceptualize public spaces near residential neighborhoods where people meet to share wireless Net access, telepresence, collaboration tools, and such supportive services as catering and day care.
The company envisions these spaces, intended for local government executives, as providing "21st century work options" such as teleworking. Cisco's vision for these centers includes incorporation of its products for real-time communications, mobility, security, management and virtualization .
Positioning itself in the future of business can be seen as a way for the company to create a brand that is more than just networking technology. On the hardware side, for instance, Cisco is facing increasing competition from such companies as China-based Huawei, which released this week a new line of data switches and is widely expected to be increasing its competition with Cisco for market share.
Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT, said that Cisco's continuing emphasis on being a leader in developing the future of businesses is "a value play," not unlike Intel's increasing focus "on the quality of user experience, with its shift" towards ultra-light laptops or sophisticated graphics, and away from its traditional focus as a chipmaker.