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Combining the Power of Cisco and Apple

In today’s world, technology is changing how we work every day. We’re always on the go – working from anywhere in the world at any time, and we’re increasingly dependent on our mobile devices to keep us connected. We want the best user experience regardless of where we are, and we want to know that we can always connect, that our connection is secure, and that our enterprise apps will simply work.

I’m thrilled about our new partnership we announced today with Apple. We are coming together to optimize Cisco networks for iOS devices and apps, integrating iPhones with Cisco environments and providing unique collaboration capabilities on iPhones and iPads. Together, we will enable mobile apps and experiences that deliver the quality and experience we need while meeting enterprise requirements for management and security.pi_blog-graphic_500x524_083115

Our two companies share a common passion to create a vastly improved mobile work experience. We also recognize the enormous opportunity we have to bring together the leading mobile platform and the leading provider of secure networks and collaboration to make the mobile work experience what it should be. What makes this new partnership unique is that our engineering teams are innovating together to build joint solutions that our sales teams and partners will take jointly to our customers.

Joint Engineering Efforts

Cisco and Apple both have deep cultures of innovation, and each of us brings expertise in complementary areas. There is no doubt our engineering teams will deliver incredible results as they drive deep joint development.

Initially, our teams will focus on:

  • Delivering unparalleled performance and end-to-end solutions on Cisco networks and iOS devices
  • Extending the Cisco Unified Communications experience to the iPhone
  • Transforming team collaboration with iOS experiences on Cisco Spark, Cisco TelePresence, and Cisco WebEx

Strategic partnerships and co-development are both key pillars of Cisco’s innovation strategy. This relationship highlights the value and innovative customer solutions that result when we do both.

Shared Vision

Together, Cisco and Apple will help employees and businesses collaborate and innovate anytime, everywhere, with an amazing user experience every time. We will do this by delivering a high-performance mobile experience for every employee, and a powerful collaboration platform for every business. This partnership is made for today’s mobile, digital world and we could not be more excited about what is possible as we move forward together.

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A Second Wave of Cloud Adoption is On the Rise. Are You Ready?

Disrupt or be disrupted. That’s the mantra of IT organizations and boardrooms across the globe. At least in the ones that will still be around. A recent report projects that digital disruption will displace approximately 40 percent of incumbent companies in each of the 12 industries studied within the next five years. The winners will be those companies that can innovate faster than their competitors. And they’re relying on the cloud (private, public, or hybrid) to get it done.

According to a new Cisco-sponsored IDC report (“Don’t Get Left Behind: The Business Benefits of Achieving Greater Cloud Adoption”), around four in 10 organizations have already adopted public or private cloud services. Up until now the primary goal of cloud adoption has been that of increasing efficiency and lowering costs. But a “second wave” of cloud adoption is emerging. Businesses are now adopting cloud to achieve transformative and measurable business value:

  • 54% expect cloud — public, private, and increasingly hybrid — to allow them to allocate IT budget more strategically.
  • 53% believe cloud will help their company increase revenues[1].

The Benefits Grow as You Move Up the Cloud Adoption Curve

These second-wave adopters expect cloud to make them faster, more innovative, and more disruptive. But as the Cisco-sponsored study also shows, the outcomes businesses realize from cloud are closely tied to the maturity of their cloud strategies.

IDC and Cisco view cloud adoption along a spectrum. Businesses range from “Ad Hoc”— the experimental stage where lines of business use cloud to fulfill an immediate need, often unauthorized by IT—all the way to those with repeatable, centrally managed cloud platforms that connect stakeholders with innovative IT products and services from both internal and external providers. Businesses with the most mature, or “Optimized,” cloud strategies are the ones seeing the most significant business benefits.

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Protecting Innovation: Update on District Court and ITC Actions

Our legal action to stop Arista’s copying and use of Cisco’s intellectual property is proceeding according to schedule. With a number of important procedural steps about to take place, we feel now is a good time to provide an update.

Last December we brought two actions in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. All of the related patents cover features that were invented by individuals who worked for Cisco and who are now at Arista, or by individuals at Cisco who worked with executives who are now at Arista.

District Court: Networking Features Case

  • This case will be overseen by Judge White in Oakland, and relates to Arista’s copying and infringement of key features covered by 12 Cisco patents.
  • Because the case addresses many areas being covered in the International Trade Commission (ITC), it has been “stayed” or put on hold pending resolution in the ITC. Cisco anticipated and consented to the stay requested by Arista to ensure efforts are not duplicated.
  • Much of the discovery completed as part of the ITC action will be directly applicable when this case proceeds to trial.

District Court: Operating System and Interface Features Case

  • This case will be overseen by Judge Freeman in San Jose, and relates to Arista’s use of Cisco’s proprietary and unique interface for which Cisco owns copyrights and two patents.
  • The trial is scheduled to begin on August 1, 2016.
  • After Cisco brought this action, Arista introduced its EOS+ product, which they claim added new features and functionality related to the interface. Because Arista knew of our action and EOS+ adds new ways to use Cisco technology, we amended our filing to demand extra penalties for “willfulness.”
  • Judge Freeman recently asked Cisco to further amend our complaint to make clearer that EOS+ was a new product. We submitted a second amended complaint as Judge Freeman requested and Arista did not move to dismiss its revised allegations about EOS+. Despite recent reports describing this as a setback for Cisco, all of our claims, including willfulness, will be heard by the Court as we proceed to trial.

In order to expedite resolution of these matters, Cisco requested that the International Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. commence two investigations into Arista’s infringement in importing products into the United States. The ITC typically resolves patent cases more quickly than the district courts, and has the power to block the importation of products that infringe US intellectual property. This will allow us to stop Arista from importing products based on copied technology, which are today manufactured abroad, into the US.

ITC Investigation: ‘944 Case

  • Key Dates:
    • September 9, 2015 – Hearing begins this week.
    • January 17, 2016 – Final Initial Determination, subject to review by the full ITC. May include an “exclusion order” if infringement is found.
    • May 27, 2016 – Target date for completion of investigation and issuance of final determination, subject to a 60-day Presidential Review if infringement is found.
  • This investigation is being held before Administrative Law Judge Shaw, who has standing rules to streamline cases by limiting the number of asserted patents and claims. To comply with these routine procedures, Cisco plans to reduce the number of patents pursued in this investigation.
  • The decision to drop one or more patents covering overlapping technologies will be made with the benefit of discovery, knowing that they can and will be pursued in the District Court networking features case.

ITC Investigation: ‘945 Case

  • Key Dates:
    • November 9, 2015 – Hearing begins this week.
    • April 26, 2016 – Final Initial Determination, subject to review by the full ITC. May include an “exclusion order” if infringement is found.
    • August 26, 2016 – Target date for completion of investigation and issuance of final determination, subject to a 60-day Presidential Review if infringement is found.
  • This investigation was originally assigned to Administrative Law Judge Pender, who held a claim construction hearing in June to determine the definition of 17 terms (out of hundreds in the patents) to be used at hearing.
  • We now look forward to having our claims heard before Administrative Law Judge McNamara.

We will continue to provide updates on any significant developments.

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IT Competitions Unleash Critical Thinking and Hone Job Skills

One year from now more than 10,500 athletes from 205 National Olympic Committees will put their skills and perseverance to the test at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Next year’s medal winners may go on to become professional athletes, role models, and commercial spokespeople – for many, the visibility and success they achieve in front of an international audience launches their careers.

Most of us are familiar with the world’s largest international multi-sport event. But it might surprise you to learn that next week a different kind of global competition will take place in Brazil. Instead of tennis, swimming, or gymnastics, next week’s participants will show off their abilities in 50 professional fields – ranging from carpentry and cooking to robotics and web design.

Held every two years, the WorldSkills competition inspires and prepares today’s young people to become the skilled professionals of tomorrow. Participants also gain hands-on experience that helps them stand out with employers.

The Internet of Everything economy will create many opportunities for creative, tech-savvy people everywhere. As a WorldSkills Global Partner, Cisco provides networking infrastructure and sponsors an entire segment of the competition – IT Network Systems Administration, or Skill #39.

A student competes in Skill #39, IT Network Systems Administration, at WorldSkills 2013 in Leipzig, Germany. About 90% of Skill #39 competitors participate in Cisco Networking Academy. Photo courtesy WorldSkills.

A student competes in Skill #39, IT Network Systems Administration, at WorldSkills 2013 in Leipzig, Germany. About 90% of Skill #39 competitors participate in Cisco Networking Academy. Photo courtesy WorldSkills.

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Why the Fortune 500 is Fast Becoming the Digital 500

As part of its research for this year’s annual Fortune™ 500 issue the magazine polled the CEOs of all the companies on its latest list of industry leaders. When asked, “What is your company’s greatest challenge?” the number one answer among the CEOs was, “The rapid pace of technological change.” Holding second position on their list of challenges was cybersecurity. The magazine remarked on the results, “Today’s CEOs clearly recognize that new technologies are going to radically change the way they do business. And they know that they need to figure it out before their competitors do.”

A major contributor to this change is the emergence of the Internet of Everything. Billions of devices, machines and equipment are being connected to the Internet at astronomical rates. These hyper-distributed things are creating unprecedented demands for data understanding and new business processes from every player in every industry value chain. The result will be a massively connected and integrated digital community that creates new services and experiences for each participant. Read More »

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