We urged you to think outside the box, for the Cisco ‘Think Inside the Box’ contest, and you did. After a little over 4 months, the curtain came down on the proposal submission phase of the contest (a.k.a Phase-1) on the 27th Feb. The deadline was 11.59PM PST and we had proposals coming in till the very last minute, literally, and beyond.With registrations from 75 countries, the honor of being the first to get a proposal in goes to Team GNU Telephony of USA coming in on Oct 20th, while the ‘just-in-the-nick-of-time’ distinction is a tie-in between two proposals coming in from Team Jaadoo and Team Enhancers, both from India. Their proposals came in at 11.59PM. Obviously, coming in neither first nor last makes any impact on the actual judging process, as they’re all considered to be within the timeline for consideration into Phase-2. We did see a majority of the proposals being submitted by teams, rather than individuals over the duration of Phase-1. Our recommendation was also along similar lines to help leverage the power of the team.So, what happens next?Now, the fun part begins. We go through the judging part in a tiered manner to short list the best proposals in the coming weeks. Due to the number of proposals that have come in, and the requirement to comply with legal requirements etc., we should be announcing the finalists around the end of April/early May 2009, as we indicated before. While the finalists will shortlisted by a panel of Cisco internal experts, we have solicited and will be bringing in industry experts to help determine the final winners later in the year.For all those contestants who have invested their efforts into this contest, coming up with innovative ideas either as invidiuals or as part of a team, here’s a big THANK YOU! The organizing team also extends its heartfelt thanks to all the Cisco members and our internal and external agencies who have supported the evolution of this contest, thus far. While this initially began as a moonlighting activity, it has drawn considerable time investment from our team as we’ve worked with various internal and external constituents to ensure the smooth operation of the contest.Contest updates as we move into Phase-2Registrants and contest aficionados -- Staytuned for updates on the Innovation Blog. As always you can interact with us on our Blog site, Facebook, or the CiscoGeeks Twitter site.