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Introductions and Introspections

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself, and to reinvigorate what I hope to be a broad and open dialogue between you-┬Łthe industry analyst community-┬Łand the Cisco AR team. My name is Terry Anderson and I am VP of Corporate Communications here at Cisco, responsible for the public relations and community relations teams, and more recently, the industry analyst relations group as well. In my ten years here at Cisco, I have worked both directly and indirectly with the industry analyst community, and can attest to the appreciation we have of your broad customer and market insight, your willingness to debate and dialogue with our executive team, and most importantly, your candid feedback. In this spirit of two-way dialogue, I’d like to share with you a summary of comments made by John Chambers regarding Cisco and innovation during our third quarter fiscal year 2008 conference call last Tuesday. John’s comments struck me as perhaps a new way to think about innovation in the high tech industry. At minimum, certainly a clear focus on how Cisco innovates and our vision for how we view the role of intelligent networks in shaping the future of businesses, countries and communities. To recap at a high level, the 8 areas of innovation John highlighted include:

  1. Product Innovation: This is the ‘traditional’ way that many people look at technology companies. Product innovations highlighted for this past quarter included the ASR 1000, the Nexus 7000 and 5000, AXP, TelePresence momentum, and Web -- http://newsroom.cisco.com/dlls/2008/fin_050608.html
  2. New Business Models: The network’s role in enabling innovation for our customers as what we believe will be the future of how technology should be viewed
  3. Market Transitions: We believe innovation should be based on leading market transitions, as opposed to the traditional definition of innovation being viewed as a direct comparison to competitors
  4. Technology Architectures: We believe this will be the way that our industry evolves, moving from boxes and software, operating systems, ASICs and services being independent components, to the future of technology architectures, where the network becomes the platform for all of IT and communications
  5. Business Architectures: This is where Cisco will focus on a total architectural solution to achieve the top business priorities of our customers. The intelligent network enables these solutions. An example of how Cisco innovates in terms of our businesses top priorities is how we use collaboration and networked web 2.0 technologies to implement our strategies across 22 cross-functional priorities. Another example would be how we partner with countries to build their economic cities of the future.
  6. Productivity Innovation: In many ways, Cisco led Phase I of the Internet in internal utilization with resulting productivity increases for both ourselves and our customers. We expect that the business models enabled by collaboration and networked web 2.0 will drive a very similar”instant replay” in Phase II of the Internet. It is this type of productivity opportunities that will cause, in our opinion, the investments in our industry to increase over the next 3-5 years.
  7. Entertainment Innovation: This will be based on Visual Networking and will change everything from the way we interface between our family and friends, to how we watch sporting events with our community with common interests, to creating our own entertainment with different social networks. Cisco is moving rapidly in these market areas and may over time focus with our partners on how this will change business models, including advertising.
  8. Organization Evolution: We believe that perhaps the most fundamental form of innovation in the market is what Cisco is leading moving from the traditional hierarchical command and control approach to collaboration and teamwork approach enabled by networked technologies.

So-your thoughts? Which of these resonate most with you (or don’t)? Again, your reactions, observations, feedback and input are welcome and valued. As for this blog, moving forward I’d like to use it as a platform for the global AR team to chat about news of note, concepts on our minds, the role of AR, the changing analyst landscape-you name it. Please weigh in-the broader, the bolder, the better. We look forward to hearing from you. Best Regards, Terry

Lessons Learned

How do you really know if an event was successful? I mean, really, really know?In true analyst fashion, I guess the answer to that is: It depends on the event.Take one of the three most important events in my life: my wedding. Original staging date: November 7, 1987. Successful? Well, we just passed the 20-year mark, we have two beautiful daughters (the other two events), and I’ve never been happier. I can’t speak for my wife, but she comes home every night, so I’m taking that as a positive sign. I know, I know. That one was pretty easy (not to mention a bit self-serving!). Let’s look at a more relevant event -C-Scape 2007. Original staging dates: December 11-12, 2007.Was it successful? Worthwhile? Did we -and more importantly, you -get what you needed out of it? Read More »

Help Me to Help You: Reflections on C-Scape 2007

Post by Alan S. Cohen, Vice President, Enterprise & Mid-Market SolutionsLast week we completed our annual C-Scape event, an annual gathering of industry, & financial analysts, press and Cisco executives and thought leaders in close proximity for two days of dialogue, discussion and debate. Whether it was the select roundtables with key analysts, main tent sessions revealing our expanding vision as a software company or a WiMAX player, or guest speakers such as Steve Hellmuth, the CTO of the NBA clarifying the fan experience through the use of Web 2.0 technologies, I found the event intellectually electrifying, pivoting between the lofty peaks of evolving Cisco into more of an IT company and the deep challenges of supporting the ever expanding networking requirements of our millions of customers.With our key focus on the role of video and the rapidly approaching 2008 Oscars, I am turning to one of my favorite flicks, Jerry McGuire, to briefly channel some of my observations about C-Scape. Among Jerry McGuire’s many qualities is a series of memorable lines that can be applied to any situation. There were many rich and varied nuances and threads to C-Scape. Please excuse me the liberty of narrowing some of it down to a few movie lines. Read More »

Why I Love What I Do

Last weekend was pretty much a lost one for me, and this coming weekend will likely be more of the same. When you invite more than 400 industry influencers from across the globe to your backyard for two days of meetings and interactions, you can expect the last few days before everyone arrives to be filled with one or two last-minute issues.While I was working on Sunday on myriad things related to our upcoming C-Scape Global Forum, my computer suddenly went dark. I may have screamed out an expletive. My youngest daughter burst into the home office. Read More »

Measuring Effective Success

We’re now just a month away from C-Scape Global Forum 2007. The agenda for both days has been finalized. Attendees have been registered. Speakers have been confirmed. And content is being crafted as I type … and will likely continue to be crafted right up to the time I jump on stage to welcome you to the conference on December 11.Putting on an event like this is an incredibly involved and difficult exercise. And it does cost me a dollar or two. Surprisingly, my boss and the rest of the senior management team here at Cisco expect me to prove the value of that expenditure by measuring and qualifying the”success” of this forum. Can you believe that?The evaluation forms you fill out are not just a critical piece of that final assessment; they are the central component of it. (OK, that’s the first instance of you being reminded that filling out your eval forms is really important. I’m willing to bet that we mention that 57 more times before 3:30 p.m. on December 12.) Read More »