Cisco CEO John Chambers has made it known to the world at a panel session during CES 2015 that Cisco Systems supports Germany’s technological revival through Industry 4.0.

For the full statement check out below:

Cisco CEO Supports Industry 4.0

January 12, 2015 

An endorsement of the German Chancellor’s key industrial revival program by Cisco CEO John Chambers may leave Cisco in a position to decide whether it supports or objects to one of that program’s principal corollaries: the division of the Internet, at least in Germany, into a high-class “innovation-friendly” tier and a working-class “easily accessible” tier.

During a panel session of key electronics industry executives at CES 2015 in Las Vegas last week, Chambers was asked to provide some examples of countries that are “really taking this bull by the horns” with respect to driving overall job growth by way of digital agendas. In response, Chambers immediately cited the work of Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose well-known “Industry 4.0″ platform was initiated to stimulate that country’s technology sector to match the growth of its manufacturing sector.

“She realized that she missed the technology move,” explained Chambers. “Germany did an amazing job in basic manufacturing, and many other areas. But technology didn’t participate as much. She’s looking at, how does she create an environment for her country where she digitizes the countries and the industries, and makes them much more competitive on a global basis?”

In a speech last December 4 at the Vodafone Institute Digitising Europe Summit in Berlin, Chancellor Merkel made clear that the four-year “digital agenda” for implementing her nation’s four-year “Industry 4.0″ plan, from 2014 to 2017, absolutely includes Germany’s Internet taking this fork in the road. One reason, she explained, was to enable startup companies to have the freest environment possible for enabling innovation and competition.

“What does ‘innovation friendly’ Internet mean? It means a certain level of security for special services,” stated the Chancellor (translated into English by a German government office). “These special services will increase, but they can only be optimized if measurable quality standards are available.”

Members of Parliament supporting Merkel’s plan have argued that service providers must be allowed to implement quality-of-service maintenance, which at times must place the needs of certain Internet applications above others. While some have argued this maintenance can and should be conducted in a fair manner, they have also stated they run contrary to the demands of net neutrality advocates who argue that making special provisions for video service, for instance, would unfairly benefit video service providers over mail and other text service providers.

“We have to bring these two sides together,” the Chancellor continued. “I believe that we’ll achieve this in our negotiations in Brussels in the near future. Germany is certainly pushing for it. If you want driverless cars or certain telemedicine applications–and those are just two examples–you have to guarantee error-free and secure data transmissions. Otherwise it will be impossible to implement these applications. So we need both a free Internet and a quality-assured Internet for special services.”

During CES 2015, Chambers also singled out India and Israel as countries that he believes are making extra efforts to prepare themselves for a more digitally-oriented future. Both he and Cisco have stopped short of mentioning the company’s position on Internet division, though he did argue that a country’s leaders need not necessarily be technically astute, or even understand the fundamentals of networking technologies, to know that they need to follow the obvious trends. “If you don’t get trends right,” he said, “you get left behind.”

Chambers also took the time to repeat a prediction he made last year: that most corporations in the world are likely to cease to exist. Those that won’t will have adapted to the changes in technology, though he does not believe that most corporations will accomplish this.

However, Chambers did take the opportunity to loosen up some of his math, saying he believed two-thirds of corporations will cease to exist by 2025. In a speech last year, he said as many as three-fifths of corporations would be extinct by 2018.


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