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Do you have a life? How about a Second Life?

A few days ago, I was having lunch with Navid Rastegar -- one of Cisco’s bright young hires. I was supposed to be his mentor. Ironically, he was the one educating me on why I should have a presence on Facebook and become active there. The world, he said, is moving towards Tweets, diggs and scraps. My response was to fall on the information overload argument and emphatically state that for now, my multiple e-mail accounts, my cell phone and instant messengers sufficed for me to be connected. Aside from the hassle of maintaining a track of all the additional logins and passwords, I told him I wasn’t sure if it was a time sink, and I’d rather spend time frolicking with my 3-year old.But even as I was talking to him, while trying not to be uncool, I was reflecting on something I’d heard a few years ago -- the Gen Y workforce is going to come in to the workplace with a language all their own. For them, this social media networking is not a chore, but a way of life. Companies that recognize this will tend to be flexible,and deliver more value to their partners and customers. Cisco is no exception.As a company, Cisco has been slowly but surely adopting best practices in social media networking. I want to touch upon just one -- Second Life. When Cisco initially launched a presence on Second Life in Dec 2006, it was a novelty. We had a few visitors, but it was mostly a lot of Cisco employees logging in to create their avatars and flying over the islands. Though it was loads of fun, I wasn’t sure if it’d really take off. But it did. Today, when we host a Second Life event, a few thousand people attend the live and archived events. The sessions are very interactive, and we find the community to be real fun. So, here’s more. imageAttend a Cisco AXP Technical Session on Second Life:We’re using Second Life to host a technical session on “Cisco Application Extension Platform -- Your Open Developer Platform” with a couple of Cisco Experts, and SAGEM-Interstar. The Second Life event is on Nov 20th, 2008. Read More »

A Question of IP

Not the Internet Protocol this time, but Intellectual Property…With any contest soliciting ideas, questions pop-up on who owns the IP? We’re getting quite a few questions on who owns the IP for the ideas submitted to the Cisco ‘Think Inside the Box’ Developer contest. As you may already know, we’re conducting this contest in two Phases: Phase-1 involves submitting the concept on the proposal template provided by Cisco; Phase-2 involves the prototype proof-of-concept application development. Let’s consider Phase-1 first. By submitting your proposal, you’re providing to Cisco a non-exclusive license to use the proposal template as described in the terms and conditions. Non-exclusive means, you as submitter of the idea continue to own the IP rights, but grant Cisco a broad license to the content of the proposal template. For specific license terms, please see the contest official rules. In Phase-2, qualified finalists will have an opportunity to create a working prototype demonstrating proof-of-concept. Again, Cisco takes a non-exclusive license, but the license only covers a portion of the rights that apply to the Proposal Template. Since one of Cisco’s objectives in launching this contest is to seek innovative ideas and possibly productize the solution, Cisco also requires to have a first right of refusal for a period of 6 months after the end of the Contest Period. This means, if the participant wishes to sell, lease, license or otherwise transfer the idea, in whole or in part, to any third party, within 6 months after the contest ends, they need to approach Cisco for an offer first. If Cisco refuses, or doesn’t get back to them within 10 business days, then they’re free to move forward with the third party offer. We realize contest rules and legalities can often seem couched in legal jargon that isn’t easily understood. But do give the contest terms and conditions a thorough read, as it overrides anything else that you may hear about the contest from anywhere, this blog included. If you continue to have questions, send them to us at “”. Or blog back with your comments. Read More »

Welcome to the Cisco “Think Inside the Box” Developer contest

Encouraged by the success of the Cisco iPrize contest, we’re launching another exciting contest, this one focused on Application Developers. It is called Cisco”Think Inside the Box” Developer contest and the first such open outreach from Cisco to the developer community.The contest is open to developers over the age of 18 worldwide. Proponents of Linux and open source development will find this right up their alley, although anybody with creative coding skills and a penchant for thinking outside the box are more than welcome to participate. imageThe”box” here is the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR), which now resides in millions of branch offices all over the world. In April 2008, we launched a Linux-based service module on the ISR called the Application Extension Platform (AXP) with open APIs, extensions to Cisco IOS, a Software Developer’s Kit (SDK), developer and partner ecosystem -the whole nine yards. Many of our solution partners found this concept cool enough to develop a variety of applications to run on this service module for healthcare, retail, utilties and Unified Communications to name a few. This spurred us on to tap into similar innovative ideas from a broader community and seeded the ideas for the contest. The prize? One hundred thousand U.S dollars in total prize money with three winners getting U.S$50K, U.S$30K and U.S$20K respectively.Details of the contest, including terms and conditions are on the official Cisco Developer Contest website. Read More »

Cisco’s Sue Bostrom and Marie Hattar extend an open invitation to developers

Sue Bostrom, EVP and Chief Marketing Officer and Marie Hattar, VP of Network Systems and Security at Cisco invite application developers to imagine, innovate and inspire. Share the journey with us:Blog back with questions or send an e-mail to We welcome you to subscribe to this blog, by entering your e-mail on the Innovations blog page. You can get updates about this contest and other Cisco innovations. Also check out the Cisco Platform blog.Stay tuned, have fun and Blog on!

BusinessWeek Magazine on the Cisco I-Prize

BusinessWeek Magazine just published an article on the Cisco I-Prize, including interviews with a couple of the finalists. I think they did a nice job capturing the passion and potential of our competitors. If you have a chance, check it out: Business Week Article