Cisco Systems Inc Chief Executive John Chambers remains upbeat about technology spending by customers in an uncertain economy and pledged on Tuesday to drive growth in emerging markets.

Chambers, who in April launched a sweeping overhaul at Cisco after saying it had lost its way, declared war on rivals from Juniper Networks -- which he said was at its most vulnerable -- to China's Huawei.

At Cisco's annual analysts' day, Chambers vowed to battle Huawei on its home turf to bolster Cisco's global fight against the Chinese company, which he singled out as a very tough competitor.

Chambers also said he wants Cisco to generate 40 percent of its long-term growth from emerging markets versus 20 percent now. In the meantime, the executive said he was seeing positive signs from Cisco's existing customers.

I haven't called on a customer with Cisco in the last 120 days who isn't going to keep their spending with Cisco, or increase it, Chambers told investors.

Since August, investors have turned cautiously hopeful at the pace with which the restructuring has progressed.

Cisco last month reported results that exceeded scaled-back expectations, despite tepid government and corporate spending on IT. Many saw that as an early sign of success in a broad effort to clean house that has included laying off 15 percent of its staff and unloading its set-top box division.

Longer-term, Cisco wants to focus on increasing profit faster than sales, said Chambers, who did not set specific sales targets.


Cisco, once the darling of the telecommunications world, may use the event to announce a lower long-term revenue growth target of 12 percent to 17 percent as the company matures and enters a new business phase, analysts say.

On Tuesday, Chambers said the company sees its total addressable markets -- spanning everything from Internet routers to switching -- growing some 7 percent to 8 percent annually on average in the next few years.

As early as May this year, Chambers had flagged a change to the growth target during the September analysts' meeting. He said at the time the company's target was not reflective of the environment it is now operating in.

Cisco's shares were little changed on Nasdaq.

(Editing by Gunna Dickson and Steve Orlofsky)