Collaborative applications are delivered to end-users through a unified communications/collaboration client. Cisco, for its part, is a heavy user of WebEx, using it to manage a global development team. "We use WebEx more than Boeing," which has 120,000 customers using it, Griffiths said.
He cited converging technology trends, including Web 2.0 and social networking, unified communications, SOA and Web services, and SaaS.
With the transition to Web 2.0 and SaaS, incumbent technology vendors have no entitlement to being the leader, Griffiths said. Web 2.0 represents a fundamental change in how people use software, "and we believe we can be a leader in this space," he said.
WebEx provides a missing link to Cisco's unified communications stack, said Griffiths. It also has enabled a good relationship with Microsoft.
"We have a great relationship with Microsoft even though Microsoft has always been our biggest competitor in Web conferencing," said Griffiths. Microsoft must make its Windows Vista OS work with WebEx, and Cisco must do the same with Vista, Griffiths said.
He also noted Cisco's plans to unite the WebEx on-demand product with the Cisco MeetingPlace behind-the-firewall conferencing solution. This gives users a commonly branded product for behind-the-firewall usage, on-demand or a hybrid of the two.
Also at the conference, James Andrews, Evans Data president and CEO, cited projected developer growth in different parts of the world and said a survey of 450 developers done in March indicated Microsoft is the leading choice for Web 2.0 development software.
Latin America, for example, will surpass 1 million developers this year. "We're looking at them achieving 1.7 million developers in 2011," Andrews said. Global developer population is forecasted to grow about 7 percent per year.
Microsoft leads the pack as the choice for Web 2.0 development, followed by Google, said Andrews. Microsoft's Silverlight presentation technology also is becoming popular, he said.
"[Microsoft] tools are easy to use," Andrews said.