When meeting with some of my industry peers, I often get asked “How’s Cisco doing?”. In some ways it is a loaded question. On one hand, I think Cisco is doing extremely well considering today’s turbulent times. The innovation engine is humming along. On the other, it’s not being complacent either taking things easy. With a publicly stated goal of cutting costs by $1 billion by July, it’s a challenge that’s top-down and across the company. It’s fair to say a lot of these costs savings are through increasing operational efficiency and better collaboration. There are different ways to weather turbulent times. Solid cash and cashflow. Good M&A strategy. Good leadership, strategy and execution. Frugality. Sustained innovation coupled with operational excellence. If it were a multiple choice question, this is the one that you’d tick “E” -- “All of the Above”. To a large extent it is about understanding market transitions, and being in a good enough position to drive some of it.Funnily enough, none of this is new. This stood us in good stead during the dot-com crash and technology-led bust of the early 2000s. A quick search on Amazon.com will reveal books like “John Chambers and the Cisco Way: Navigating through volatility” and “The Eye of the Storm: How John Chambers steered Cisco through the technology collapse“. I’ve often heard John remark, that Cisco has benefited tremendously by being a good listner, understand our customer requirements and working with them to execute. This time, our ears are perked up even more, as our customers and partners are challenging themselves (and us) to deliver operational excellence with limited budgets and without compromising on innovation. “Do more with less” is the clarion call.Cisco IT Innovation ForumThis is a challenge we have to resolve together with our customers and partners on a global basis, by proactive partnership, transparency and sharing best practices. Any product innovations are a means and not an end to deliver on our customer requirements.In line with this mindset, on May 7th, 2009, Cisco is hosting a Virtual IT Innovations Forum, an interactive platform that brings together our global customers, our solution partners, industry analysts and some of our own executive and technology talent from within Cisco to share best practices and ideas to weather this economic downturn and prepare for the upturn. Despite the seriousness of the current economic climate, a little humor never hurts. Thank God for Scott Adams. We’ve our own take on injecting a little humor. Some of it is reflected in these viral videos that our team put together to help promote the Innovation Forum. This one’s titled “The copier”Look out and watch for the other videos in the series. After you’ve had a good chuckle, or fallen out of your chair, go ahead and take the next step. Register to attend the Cisco IT Innovations Forum on May 7th. It’s FREE! You don’t have to leave your desk to hear some of the best minds in the business talk shop. What better way to foster Innovation? Or Operational Excellence? Or Both? Read More »
Greetings. Interop 2009 is just around the corner! We’re excited and looking forward to catching the latest news and views about IPv6 industry uptake. We’ll be video blogging from the floor so don’t be shocked if you see me coming around the corner with a video photog in tow! We’d love to hear your insights and attitudes about IPv6 and other important issues facing our industry. You can tell us here and at the show. Here’s to a great show. See you there!Jennifer Geisler, Manager of Network Systems Switching Solutions for Cisco.
Back in December 08, we got together to chat with Yankee’s SVP of Enterprise Research Zeus Kerravala who shared his thoughts on Innovating in a Fragile Economy. The stock markets have picked up a bit worldwide, banks have started to make surprise profits and the economy seems to be getting ready to pick itself up a bit. However unemployment is up, and foreclosures still abound. The times are still turbulent and the economy still fragile. Amidst all of this, we’ve managed to go through all the proposals that we received for the Cisco ‘Think Inside the Box’ Developer contest and have managed to put together a list of potential finalists, who are still being vetted. We hope to have a list that we can announce in the next 2+ weeks.But we’re looking ahead, and getting our judges lined up to evaluate the applications when they’re ready at the end of Phase-2 of the contest. We talked to Zeus sometime ago, and he graciously agreed to come on board and help adjudge the finalists. As always it is a pleasure to have Zeus as part of our “team” here, and weigh in with his rich industry prespectives. For us, it’s important to eyes other than our own looking “outside-in” and balance our “inside-out” approach. We believe Zeus and his other judges to follow will provide us an unbiased viewpoint. Read More »
This week, Cisco’s top contributor to the Linux kernel, Roland Dreier, is for the first time heading to the Linux Foundation’s invitation only Collaboration Summit which kicks off on Wed. April 8 (and ends on April 9) up in San Francisco. Roland’s presenting on Friday, April 10 on the topic of how Linux works with high performance computing and drills down a bit into RDMA which is the key technology that allows some of the largest supercomputers to be built out of Linux based building blocks. Roland’s the sub-system maintainer of RDMA -- which means he’s has hundreds of patches, or changes to the code, accepted into the Linux kernel! He’s seen his years of efforts come to fruition most recently when Cisco announced how it’s teamed with NYSE Technologies to help financial service companies accelerate automated trading applications with an RDMA-based solution. Read More »
1st April 2009Today, in a bid to boost the economy and give more incentive to developers, Cisco decided to boost the prize money for the ‘Think Inside the Box’ Developer Contest to a million dollars, and revise the judging criteria to give more weightage to entrants with countries with a lower GDP. Moreover, instead of to a team, these awards will be provided to every member of the team, and the number of winning teams will be increased from three to ten. In a bid to ensure fairness, and because we believe that innovation is global, no single country will be allowed to have more than one winning team.Oh well, that’s as far as we could string it on April fool’s day Maybe someday we will hold a contest with 10 million dollars in prize money. For now, everything remains just the same as outlined in our original announcement terms and conditions. We’re having a FANTASTIC time going through the various entries that have come in, and closing down on potential finalists. If I didn’t say this already, the quality of proposals is amazing and that does pose a good problem for the judgest. But if everything goes per schedule, we should be announcing the finalists by end of April. And yessir, that won’t be an April Fool’s joke. Read More »