Cisco Systems, the No. 1 provider of networking gear, launched what it dubs the CloudVerse as a strategy to win new business with the mushrooming of data transmissions over landline and wireless networks.

The goal is to channel as much traffic and software Cisco's way to cement its role in the next-generation Internet. Cisco identified several initial partners, including Qualcomm, Fujitsu, LinkedIn and divisions of both Verizon Communications and Xerox.

Until now, cloud technology resided in silos, said Chief Technology Officer Padmasree Warrior, making it harder to build and manage clouds and to interconnect multiple clouds. Cisco can connect them all, she said, helping to reduce overall cost and overhead.

Several peer technology companies, such as Hewlett-Packard, Apple and IBM, have also begun major cloud initiatives, along with Amazon, the nation's top e-retailer, which is now streaming media content via its Amazon Prime service.

Warrior didn't indicate how much revenue San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco will generate from the CloudVerse in the current fiscal year. CEO John Chambers, Warrior and other senior officials may provide more information at Wednesday's annual meeting in Santa Clara, Calif.

We're in the right spot at the right time Chambers said Nov. 9, when Cisco announced first-quarter results and he noted the company was on the cusp of starting a push into the cloud because it owned all the products for networking and communications.

Cisco's CloudVerse will try to merge the company's Unified Data Center with its Intelligent Network offerings to provide Cloud Applications and Services, the company said. Cisco predicted as much as 50 percent of all computing workloads in data centers will be cloud-based by 2015, with traffic expanding more than 12 times to 1.6 zettabytes a year. A zettabyte is 10 to the 21st power, whereas the more familiar terabyte, or a trillion bytes, is 10 to the 12th power.

Cisco shares fell six cents Tuesday to close at $18.73. The shares have gained 23 percent in the past three months but are still off seven percent this year.