I recently had the opportunity to be interviewed by Apple for its Tech Talk series, taped at Apple’s Palo Alto retail store, on the topic of BYOD.
What prompted the invitation to speak was Cisco’s substantial use of Apple devices – Cisco is one of the largest enterprise users of Apple products today across the world. This is not just iPhones (33,000) and iPads (16,000) which are purchased by employees themselves as part of our BYOD program, but we also deploy nearly 33,000 Macs – almost half of our regular employees select Macs over PCs (these are company provided). Moreover, all of these figures are growing – and have grown significantly over the last three years.
Milestones and markers are important. They give us a chance to reflect and to celebrate, and they inspire us with what’s next. I’m very pleased to share that Cisco has just been granted its 10,000th U.S. patent. And worldwide we’ve surpassed 13,000 patents awarded to Cisco innovators.
By the measure of patents, Cisco’s journey started in February 1988, when the company’s first patent was filed. To put that time in context, that was the year President Ronald Reagan gave his last State of the Union address in his second term, U.S. sprinter Florence Griffith Joyner (aka Flo-Jo) set a still-standing women’s world record (21.34 seconds) in the 200-meter dash at the 24th Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea, and also the year when the Morris worm was distributed via the Internet, initially written to gauge the size of the Internet.
CRS Family Exemplifies Cisco’s Commitment to Innovation, Internet Networking Leadership
Last month, when we formally introduced the Carrier Routing System X (CRS-X), we said it was joining the CRS family.
As I reflect on the last 10 years, the term family certainly feels appropriate to those of us fortunate enough to work on a product line that has had such a profound impact on the networking and telecommunications industries.
The new CRS-X delivers 10 times the capacity of the original CRS-1
I remember the day we unveiled the original CRS-1. It was a sunny morning in May, 2004 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. Technology trade media had anticipated the announcement for months. And soon business reporters were sniffing around our campus, trying to get the scoop on what was coming. Everyone knew Cisco was working on a secret “super router.” But no one knew exactly what was behind the curtain.
Hundreds of reporters, industry and financial analysts, and industry opinion-leaders attended the half-day product unveiling.
Most Ambitious Project
I was on the marketing team that helped launch the product, which took over four years, half a billion dollars, and 500 engineers to build. The CRS-1 was a global effort, with team members heralding from the four-corners of the world, including Israel, Canada, England, India, Scotland, and several cities in the United States.
It was the most ambitious project Cisco had ever undertaken.
The press release that day dubbed the CRS-1 “a new class of routing system designed to deliver continuous system operation, service flexibility and extended system longevity to telecommunications service providers to enable (them) to scale network capacity to new levels…and deliver next-generation services over a converged IP network while protecting their investments in the system.”
It’s a well- known fact that the technology world is changing. For example, for many years, across the industry, services were viewed as a ‘bolt on’ to products. If customers purchased a ‘box’, they would also buy some associated maintenance services. As technology has become more complex, there is a heightened appetite for implementation, rather than just traditional support.
We’ve also seen many of the more ‘mundane’ tasks required to maintain IT health become automated, allowing businesses to free up and redeploy valuable IT resource to focus on innovation.
As well as enabling an organisation to operate more strategically, these shifts also present new opportunities for the CIO – a role which, in itself, has experienced many changes over the last twenty years.
In 1983, Clark W. Griswold and his family embarked on an epic road trip across the country, encountering numerous obstacles on their way to Wally World. The film, National Lampoon’s Vacation, was released during a time when the family road trip was an American staple and exaggeratedly illustrated some of driving’s biggest pain points. From getting lost in not-so-pleasant areas and running out of gas in the middle of the desert, to finally reaching your destination only to find it closed, it is easy to imagine how in today’s world of constant connectivity, these problems could be easily avoided. Cisco is doing its part in laying the groundwork for a fully connected driving experience – bringing the power of the Internet of Everything to the streets.
Working with the Think Global Eco System, including companies like Sude (smart mobility), Urbiotica (sensors) and Citelum (smart lighting), Cisco recently showcased what could be considered one of the smartest streets in the world. The “Connected Boulevard” in Nice, France, the world’s first Internet of Everything (IoE) proof-of-concept for a smart city, showcases what IoE can enable for a connected world and for connected transportation. The project is more than just a street loaded with sensors; the PoC will serve as a blueprint for future deployments, taking the lessons learned from Nice and other innovative cities and sharing this information with other aspiring communities.
Two of the city services will directly affect the driving experience in Nice. The smart circulation technology will tackle city traffic by offering intelligent parking solutions. With about 25 percent of urban traffic caused by those looking for parking, the solutions will significantly reduce the time it currently takes for drivers in Nice to find a parking space. The smart lighting solutions will optimize street lighting intensity based on situational factors. For example, a streetlight will automatically increase the amount of light it provides when motion is detected within its effective range. Conversely, the light will dim when there is no movement.
This type of deployment may not be too far off for a U.S. city also. Already, Cisco is working with Streetline and the cities of San Mateo, CA and San Carlos, CA to tackle smart circulation and smart parking. Citizens and visitors to downtown San Mateo or Laurel Street in San Carlos are able to easily find parking spaces through the use of a free mobile application, which connects to a network of sensors. With the PoC, San Mateo, San Carlos and cities like them will find it easier to adopt smart city technologies and implement them successfully.
Check out this video about the Connected Boulevard project in Nice:
Cisco is not only looking to change transportation from outside the vehicle, but from inside as well. We’re living in times of changing consumer propensities for automotive technology. The Cisco Connected Customer Experience Report on the automotive industry recently showed that consumers are open and willing to adopt these new technologies, from autonomous vehicles or biometric monitoring. In fact, 57% of those surveyed would be likely to ride in a car controlled entirely by technology and does not require a human driver. This “Internet of cars” will create new business models for auto manufacturers and technology companies, and Cisco is able to provide the highly secure core network to enable and optimize new technologies. Cisco seeks to play an instrumental role in connecting vehicles to other vehicles, devices, the cloud and city infrastructures. Through partnerships with companies such as NXP and Cohda Wireless, Cisco is looking to embrace the next wave of innovation with in-car technologies.
The Internet of Everything provides enormous potential for transportation. When a car is connected to the street it is driving on, a host of capabilities could improve safety, traffic congestion, parking and the overall driving experience. Car-to-car and car-to-X communications could be used to avoid accidents, provide rapid assistance for those who need it or optimize routes to avoid traffic jams. Emergency vehicles could connect with streetlights, creating a faster response time to emergencies. These capabilities are not just possible, but inevitable. By “connecting the unconnected,” the morning commute (or the great American family roundtrip) could be safer, quicker and less stressful.