Post by Joe Burton, Chief Technology Officer, Unified CommunicationsDon’t take your comparative advantage for granted. Ours is a rapid-paced, dynamic business environment . Whether it’s a small company focused on serving a market niche or a large global corporation, every business has to compete for customers and stay one step ahead of its competitors to maintain a sustainable edge.In this ever-changing global economy, can any business wait around to get outpaced by competitors while they experiment with PC or email-client-based-architecture for unified communications? Can they afford to exclude future prospective customers, employees, or partners who do not use email as their preferred communications medium? Can they afford the 18-24 month wait for a software-client-based call control architecture that will be marginally mature and deployable? Can they really depend on PC”experts”, who are learning on-the-job to implement a business class unified communications solution that meets their communication requirements? Read More »
School days are upon us. For some of you with school age children, “school daze” may be more appropriate. It takes a lot of people to prepare for the school year and with that spirit in mind, our Corporate Communications team recently partnered with Hands on Bay Area and worked with the Ravenswood City School District superintendent to identify a school in Menlo Park, CA to help get it ready for the school year. A team of 60 Cisco volunteers spent over 180 man hours painting interior walls, removing white boards, sanding and painting benches, assembling planter boxes, painting a mural and overall clipping hedges and trees and cleaning, weeding and installing a garden in the courtyard for Belle Haven school. Cisco has been involved with the Costano School in East Palo Alto, CA since our early days (it is across from the original Cisco building) and we were honored and proud to help another school in the area where we were founded. Read More »
We were pleased to see H.R. 1908, The Patent Reform Act of 2007, pass the U.S. House of Representatives today. Our own local Representative Zoe Lofgren has been a great supporter of efforts to simplify the patent process and take some of the incentives out of the system for “patent trolls.” Rep. Lofgren states, in part:”I believe this bill strikes the right balance between the need for strong patent rights and the encouragement of innovation. My amendment to the bill, which was incorporated into the manager’s amendment, goes a long way towards addressing this balance by focusing on the troubling growth of forum shopping in patent litigation. The amendment restores fairness and clarity to patent litigation by removing the most glaring instances of forum shopping by patent trolls.” On this note, I came across a great blog site that tracks patent trolls and their efforts to game the system. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (who lives right up the road from Silicon Valley) issued the following statement:”The bipartisan patent reform bill is a significant step toward our Innovation Agenda. It will strengthen the patent system and improve patent quality. This legislation is crucial for American inventors and American ingenuity, for consumers, and for greater innovation and economic growth.”Our SVP and General Counsel, Mark Chandler, offered the following statement: “This is a major victory for innovation and US competitiveness and is a culmination of years of hard work. We believe that this is a positive step into reforming the patent system for the 21st century. To make it a system that rewards innovation and not litigation gamesmanship.”Obviously, this still needs to be acted upon in the Senate and we’ll be watching closely.
I just got out of a media roundtable Q&A with Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers (JC), EVP and CFO Dennis Powell (DP), EVP and CDO Charlie Giancarlo (CG) and EVP and CGO Wim Elfrink (WE). We had a handful of media in the room and a handful of media on the phone. Media weren’t allowed to ask questions during the Financial Analyst Conference, so this was their opportunity to get that burning question answered by our top executives. Following is a rough synopsis of some of the questions and answers from the roundtable. I have attempted to capture the exact language in my notes, but I’m not a stenographer. Where I am confident it is a direct quote, I will place it in “quotes.”John Chambers kicked off the talk with a brief overview of the day. “Today was about collaboration. The network enables the power of the ‘we’ instead of the power of the ‘you.’” “We talked about market transitions and our focus on customer requirements…not competition.” Collaboration is “not about a product. It is about an architecture.” We have created technology “in a fashion that a CEO can operate easily.” We showed a brief video about our company meeting using TelePresence and connecting six company sites around the world. It is easy to see how “this changes everything.”Question: What network load increase do you expect from video?JC: We predicted “network loads would grow in 200 to 300% range” five to seven years ago. Our CRS-1 “was built not for phone calls but for video.” “CIOs are now seeing that 100% growth is probable and 200% is likely.” CG: “The network load has doubled every year for 40 years.” “With video, for 10 to 15 years it can continue growing.” “It is fairly common knowledge that internet will be the primary transport mechanism for video.” WE: “We cannot operate alone, we have to be totally collaborative. TelePresence is crucial for our existence in India.” “TelePresence was one of reasons for me and my family to move to India, I knew I could stay connected.” Read More »
I worked with Dennis Powell in 1999 on Cisco’s Y2K project way back when he was a VP and the controller of the company. He’s now an EVP and the CFO. He was smart, steady and deliberate in his approach to managing a global “follow the sun” Y2K operation and he is the same now that he is CFO.You can watch him live via webcast at 2:00PM PT…or come back later and watch the archive. In the meantime, you can watch this short video to see his answers to the following questions:1. What are you talking to analysts about today?2. A key theme of the FAC is collaboration, how does your Finance organization use Cisco’s collaborative and UC tools? 3. What is the one key message you’d like analysts to take away from FAC?* Read More »