SThe economic pain continues to trickle down: Cisco is cancelling a two-week sales conference planned for next August in San Francisco. Conferences like this are a combination of boot camp, old-fashioned tent revivals, and frat keggers, held to rev up a company's revenue generators; ostensibly meant to educate salespeople about new products and compensation plans, they more often devolve into debauchery.For Cisco, even the cancellation is a sales opportunity; the company is pitching it as an example of the money-saving potential of its videoconferencing and teleworking products. Boring! Throwing money at salespeople is the best way to make them feel loved — just another sign that Cisco has no real understanding of what a human network really means. It also suggests CEO John Chambers's influence is waning at the company — since this is the kind of event at which his evangelical delivery shines.
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