22 October 2002 Cisco CEO John Chambers has said the company’s customers are more dissatisfied with the quality of its software than with any other aspect of the company’s products. And while the networking giant is working to fix the situation, it still has some way to go.
During his keynote presentation at Networkers 2002, the annual Cisco user conference in Copenhagen, Chambers admitted that while his company has improved its customer satisfaction ratings in many areas, “we’ve got to do better on software quality”.
The number of bugs that the company is finding in its software is down 35%, he claimed, “but that’s still not an acceptable level. You [the customers] need to have a reliable system,” he said.
As part of the company’s drive to improve product quality, it will reduce the number of releases of software from six or seven to just one. “We’ve got to do better. We’ve got to get it down to one. We’ve got to scale down what we want to put into the software. Your IT department may walk on water, but they can’t get stability with seven releases a year.”
Among Chambers’ other announcements were a new encryption protocol for password protection and a project to make products ‘smarter’. “You can already swap out cards in our products to give them different capabilities,” he said. “We’d like to be able to do the same with back planes.”
He added that the new capabilities will allow companies to preserve the investment in their existing networking infrastructure.
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