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Leading the Comeback

As you already know if you’re among the legions of Paula Bernier (News - Alert) fans, my first editor’s letter for INTERNET TELEPHONY, way back in the September 2009 issue, was headlined “A Great Comeback Story.” In it, I talked about the wild ride I personally experienced in 2009, during which I was laid off, and how I was just another example of the grim job and financial situation in our industry and the economy at large. More importantly, I noted that with my hiring at TMC (News - Alert) and some other, more broad-based, developments, such as the shrinking decline of the GDP, strong tech performance in the stock markets, and relatively good news from such companies as Cisco (News - Alert), things were starting to look up, even if it was from a basement view.

As you probably also already know, to what extent – if any – things have improved since then is a matter of significant debate. However, on the upside, Cisco is once again telling a good-news story.

Announcing a 23 percent increase in quarterly profit and 8 percent improvement in revenue, Cisco leader John Chambers (News - Alert) last month made the pronouncement that the economy has entered a new "phase of the recovery." He backed that up by talking about Cisco’s plans to add as many as 3,000 new employees in the coming quarters.

Of course, Cisco was among the very few bright spots in business news on the week it made these announcements, as stocks took a drubbing the first week of February in the wake of faltering economies in Europe.

In any case, one thing Cisco’s good news seems to illustrate is that tech tends to lead the comeback. Increasingly, we live in a world in which people, and just about everything else, are connected. And, as I note in my feature on energy savings and green ICT this issue, information and communications technology has ties to every other industry, and those ties are creating ever-greater opportunity for the communications space as we move into the age of the smart grid, machine-to-machine communications, more devices with communications capabilities, and more widely available wireless and broadband networks. IT

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