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Cisco's Chambers adds collaboration to his name

Cisco Systems John Chambers touts collaboration technology at's user conference, Dreamforce.

Cisco System's CEO John Chambers is ready to add more alliteration to his name. Try calling him the collaboration kid.

Chambers, a keynote speaker Monday at's user conference, "Dreamforce Expo," demonstrated the use of telepresence technology to collaborate on landing a sale.

With the increasing popularity of broadband, Chambers noted it will change the way employees work, how they work and the work itself over the next decade. And he forecast that the next wave of productivity and innovation will be driven by Web 2.0 tools that will enable collaboration.

Chambers has a vested interest in seeing this transformation happen. Cisco, a networking giant with a dominant slice in the router and switch market, announced plans in March to acquire Web-conferencing company WebEx in a $3.2 billion buyout. That will help push the company into new growth areas.

During his keynote at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, Chambers performed a sales demo using telepresence technology and some help from Salesforce's online customer relationship management (CRM) service.

And when Marc Benioff, Salesforce founder and chief executive, participated in the demo as a prospective Cisco customer, the demo took on an edge of reality as Chambers pushed Benioff to commit to a sale of Cisco's wares. Benioff, no slouch in the sales area, threw out a couple hurdles for his old friend Chambers, like come with a sharp pencil and the lowest offer.

I wonder if Chambers will get an invite to Dreamforce next year...