Having just gotten home from an exhilerating few days at the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual event that draws hundreds of the world’s leading business, social and government leaders, I have the theme of “Designing for Impact” on the mind. From examples of how to promote human rights in Uganda to talking about the fine arts as a means for economic development in Haiti, it was apparent that we can do more together to address the world’s challenges than we can apart.
The idea of multiplying impact has led Cisco to join with The Huffington Post on a unique new partnership: IMPACT X will be a new type of channel through which individuals and organizations can collectively share and amplify the positive impact that technology has on the world today… and how we can achieve more and accomplish more if we work in collaboration with one another.
IMPACT X - where people, technology and social impact converge -- today features stories of remarkable achievement through technology and collaboration in helping improve opportunity for youth in Africa. It also looks at how small-scale irrigation projects can overcome drought conditions and includes insights on how technology is transforming women’s lives in Honduras.
A weekly series called “5 X 5 X 5,” which stands for “5 Leaders, 5 Sectors, 5 Questions” will answer questions on how technology and innovation can be used to tackle social issues. The first features actress and activist Maria Bello talking about her new network for women, We Advance University, an online interactive education and information site that will allow local women’s groups from all over a country to connect and access services and tools that will empower them to move forward.
The ideas run the gamut; the possibilities are endless.
What will IMPACT X feature tomorrow? What are your examples of multiplying impact? We hope you’ll share them today!
Those of you who have visited Hangzhou will know that it is one of the most beautiful cities in China with the stunning West Lake as one the city’s key attractions. Hangzhou plays a key role in Cisco’s innovation and research and development strategy for China, with one of our main R&D campuses based in the city. Hangzhou is also home to Insigma, a global strategic IT services and solution provider that works with leading companies around the world. Insigma collaborates closely with Zhejiang University, one of China’s oldest and most prestigious universities, based in Hangzhou. The city was therefore the perfect setting today to announce a strategic collaboration with Insigma which will deepen Cisco’s expertise in Smart+Connected Communities (S+CC) in China.
Hangzou West Lake
As part of the collaboration, Cisco and Insigma have made a strategic investment in City Cloud International Co., Ltd., a company that will help scale the devopment of S+CC in China using intelligent networks to deliver new, platform-based cloud services across the country. Cisco has a strong collaboration with Insigma on S+CC; the company announced its smart city strategy at the Cisco Pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai.
China’s urban population will expand to the 1 billion mark by 2030 with 350 million added to the urban population by 2025. The country will have 221 cities with a population of more than a million. I’m Dutch, and to put that in perspective, the whole of Europe has only 35 such cities today. 5 billion square meters of road will be paved. 5 million buildings will be built of which 50,000 could be skyscrapers – the equivalent of constructing up to ten New York cities. This unprecedented pace of urbanization in China is accompanied by rapid growth in the adoption of technology: video-on-demand traffic; the Internet of Things and data passing through the cloud. Cisco estimates that by 2016, China will be the second highest IP-traffic generating country in the world.
At Cisco, we truly believe technology will play a key enablement role in the achievement of China’s ambitious goals, as outlined in the 12th Five Year Plan. Sustainable urbanization, access to healthcare for everyone at an affordable cost and educational scaling can only be achieved via technology and new business models such as cloud computing. The future of competition will be between cities. Enabling overall sustainability – economic, social and environmental – using technology, will be integral for cities to develop and prosper.
Madam Jiang Yi, CEO of Insigma Technology Company Ltd. and Owen Chan of Cisco conclude the proceedings
City Cloud International Co., Ltd. will help build Smart+Connected Communities thought leadership, platform and solutions using intelligent networks to deliver public and private services in cities across China. There has been great collaboration between the leadership teams of Insigma, which is backed up by the Zhejiang University, and Cisco led by our Greater China Chairman and CEO, Owen Chan. We are very excited about the innovation we can create for the city of Hangzhou, the province of Zhejiang and the whole of China.
At Cisco, we believe that we are creating a new industry for this next generation of smart+connected communities that will depend upon five key areas: visionary leadership, global open standards, smart regulation, public private partnerships and a new ecosystem. Our collaboration with Insigma through City Cloud International Co., Ltd is a great example of these five key areas coming together.
Tags: China, Cisco, Smart + Connected Communities, Smart Cities
On Monday July 17th, a Brazilian Government delegation lead by Paulo Bernardo, minister of communications, visited Cisco’s headquarters in Silicon Valley. John Chambers, our CEO, hosted the delegation, reinforcing our long term commitment to help Brazil become a global leader in the ICT sector and in Smart and Connected Communities.
Cisco's Chambers with Brazilian Minister of Communications Paulo Bernardo
The delegation included Brazilian Minister of Communications Paulo Bernardo, Secretary of Telecommunications Maximiliano Martinhão, Secretary of Innovation Nelson Fujimoto and Secretary of ICT policy Virgílio Almeida. The group also included representatives of Brazil´s telecommunication regulatory agency (Anatel), Brazil´s development bank (BNDES) and Brazil´s trade and investment promotion agency (APEX).
The delegation visited Cisco’s San Jose Executive Briefing Center, where they experienced demonstrations of main Cisco technology solutions and exchanged ideas with industry and technology experts about innovation strategies for Brazil. The key technology solutions showcased included those for urban development, large events, Connected energy, and physical safety and security..
Cisco CEO John Chambers welcomed the Brazilian authorities along with global executives from Cisco, including Wim Elfrink, chief globalisation officer and executive vice president for the Emerging Solutions Group, and Chuck Robbins, senior vice president of the Americas.
Brazil's delegation to Silicon Valley
Recently, Cisco has announced strategic investment initiatives in Brazil to foster innovation, transformation and socio-economic development, expanding Cisco’s presence in the country and highlighting the importance of investments in information and communications technology for the country’s growth and competitiveness. Cisco announced on April it will invest over R$ 1 billion during the next four years around four main pillars: the opening of a Cisco Center of Innovation in Rio de Janeiro; investment in Brazil-focused technology venture capital funds; the expansion of local manufacturing in the country; and intellectual property agreements and partnerships with Brazilian companies and entities to co-develop innovations to better serve the Brazilian market.
Guest post from:
Arvind Mathur, Corporate Consulting Engineer, Research & Advanced Development
Internet is at an inflection point in India and the market is well-positioned for massive adoption as efforts of various stakeholders start to converge and gather momentum: Government (Spectrum, Policies, Mandates, National Broadband Network, Regulation), Industry (3G and 4G networks, fiber access, Public Private Partnerships, content/application development, new business models); Consumers (fueled by strong uptake of social networking and entertainment services, adoption of Smart Devices), and Enterprises (internet-based business services, collaboration, cloud services). The convergence of technologies and convergence of users is setting up the stage for India’s Internet horizon.
India has massive potential for Internet growth, but in an environment that is challenged by limited infrastructure, affordability issues and accessibility in terms of India-centric content and applications delivered in local languages. The total wireless subscriber base is now close to 900 million in the country.
This hyper-growth in the mobility sector underscores
a) the latent subscriber demand that was previously un-met by wireline access,
b) the importance of wireless technologies for vast coverage across varied terrain profiles that is deployed in dramatically shortened timelines,
c) that India is very sensitive to cost and affordability of telecom services – and that as a market it can support massive uptake in growth – provided service providers have the right services at the right price-points, and
d) that innovation in business models across the value-chain is key to market sustainability and profitability. Clearly, India has developed into a ‘mobile-first economy’. The challenge and opportunity for India is thus: how do we now replicate the unparalleled success of mobility for the Internet?
Internet usage in India
The latest Internet subscriber count now stands at 23 million*1. However, importantly the ‘mobility revolution’ of recent times has had a very positive impact on the growth of ‘wireless data’ subscribers and estimates put the number of wireless data subscribers at about 432 million subscribers.
This wireless data adoption is an important indicator – a precursor -- for the growth of wireless internet and broadband growth in India as 3G and 4G networks are deployed and broadband services over these networks becomes available and get absorbed to the yet un-served bandwidth/application-hungry community of subscribers. Besides the pre-dominant DSL access for Broadband Internet (85%), Cable Modem Technology (5%) and Ethernet LAN (5%) are other competing technologies in the internet access space.
Internet growth opportunities and market potential
India is served by approximately 190 ISP’s, and about 155 Broadband Service Providers*2 – although only 28 of these providers share 99% of the total broadband subscriber base – this skew exemplifies the lack of affordable broadband infrastructure across India on one hand, and also the lack of subscriber uptake (affordability, content) on the other. The total revenue reported by the Internet Service providers (for the quarter ending December 2011) was approximately US$ 600 million. Innovative VAS are an important dimension to Internet growth in India, which include ‘verticalized’ services in the health and education segments amongst others which are strongly funded through multiple Government programs.
It is apparent, and logical, that wireless technologies will continue to play an important role for Internet access in India; supported by the recent regulatory steps for the digitalization of the CATV network that mandates CATV operators to migrate to digital modems in the wireline access network.
The business opportunity in the India Internet space is accessible primarily via the following avenues:
1. Working with SPs, CATV providers, mobility service providers (especially as 3G and 4G networks emerge, and CATV regulatory mandates become effective) and ISPs (they own significant spectrum and infrastructure on the ground and customers in both consumer and enterprise segments)
2. Accessing the largely untapped rural broadband market (95% of broadband subscribers are in Urban areas). The Bharat Broadband Network floated by the Government of India will play a crucial role in delivering affordable bandwidth access to all types of service providers (local- regional- national telcos, ISP’s CATV providers, content service providers etc) over a common fiber network in the core and aggregation network that will be agnostic to the deployment of a range of wireline and wireless technologies in the access network.
3. Working with India-centric content and applications developers that can provide local language support.
1. ‘The Indian Telecom Services Performance Indicators, October-December 2011’. Published by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India., New Delhi (April 13, 2012)
2. ‘Convergence & Broadband in the Digital Era’ by Rajkumar Upadhyay, Advisor, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (April 2012)
Tags: india, internet, mobile
Last month I attended the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Russia, along with our CEO John Chambers. Together we participated in the Skolkovo Foundation Council Meeting (held quarterly) where we discussed strategies for increased momentum for Skolkovo. During the forum, John reiterated Cisco’s long-term approach to the country and highlighted the growth and potential of Russia within the context of tough economic times elsewhere in the world – a tremendous opportunity both for Cisco and for Russia.
Two years ago we made a commitment to support the Russian Government’s modernization agenda. Since then we have achieved visible progress in promoting a close partnership with the Russian Government by:
- Aligning our activities in Russia with the country’s government course
- Supporting Russia’s intention to modernize its economy and infrastructure, building upon the legacy of innovation that is a part of Cisco’s DNA
- Offering technology and knowledge to help Russia achieve its national goals
- Putting our positive stance on public-private partnerships and collaboration into action
A global company like Cisco is involved in public-private partnerships in innovating and renewing communities in many countries of the world. In Paredes, Portugal, Cisco is collaborating with Living PlanIT to develop PlanIT Valley, a sustainable community built on technology that transforms the area into a connected community running on next generation technology. Another example is Cisco’s work with McCaffery Interests in redeveloping the Chicago waterfront to revitalize the area.
I often get asked though, why partner with Russia? I wanted to share some of our thinking with you.
At Cisco, we view Skolkovo as a platform for future growth and innovation of new and emerging technologies. Russia is home to world-class talent in basic and applied sciences, offers a great education system that creates a workforce that has the ability to think differently, and a tenacious and persistent work ethic. These qualities in addition to Russia’s rich history and tradition of discoveries in science and research that has extended for centuries, makes it a perfect choice for Cisco’s innovation incubation efforts.
Cisco is invested in the success of Skolkovo. Earlier this year we outlined our Research and Development plans with the Skolkovo Foundation and are already executing on them. We are now beginning to hire our first engineering team in Russia focused on developing new emerging technologies.
Our plans at Skolkovo don’t stop at software development. As a key partner of the Foundation, we are actively involved in many important areas. For innovation to thrive, the right creative environment is required for the free flow of ideas and capital. Later this year, Cisco will support startups with funding through the launch of our second Skolkovo Innovation Award, focused on discovering and rewarding new promising startups in the areas of Healthcare and Education. We will provide technology and tools to all participants and reward the best startups with seed funding. The support for entrepreneurs through venture capital funding is in line with Cisco’s strategy to nurture innovation from talented people all over the world, as our work with the Almaz/Cisco Venture Capital Fund shows. To date, the Almaz/Cisco Fund has invested in 12 companies, of which 2 have residency in Skolkovo, and another 3 are in the process of applying for residency.
In the area of education, we will launch Cisco’s Entrepreneur Institute at Skolkovo Technopark, which will train Skolkovo Residents on how to develop and grow successful IT businesses. Beyond Skolkovo, we plan to partner with Russian educational institutions on joint technology development and research projects for emerging technologies. This will allow graduate students and researchers to co-develop technologies with Cisco engineers and validate their research against the needs of the marketplace. This extends our education investment in Cisco. Another example is our Networking Academy program in Russia, which was refined a year ago when Cisco announced its intention to triple the number of academies in this country, from 217 to 650, enabling 16,000 Russians to be trained each year by 2015. We are well on our way to meeting this goal.
In closing, we believe there is tremendous opportunity in Russia and we applaud the country for investing in its future and its people by spurring innovation, job creation and economic growth.
Tags: Emerging Markets, Emerging Technologies, Russia, skolkovo, Smart+Connected, Smart+Connected Communities