Today, there is a lot of media coverage on the launch of Google.org, their philanthropic arm. Over the next three years, it will spend up to $175 million in its first round of grants and investments. They should be congratulated for putting their money where their heart is. We can certainly sympathize with Google.org’s executive director, Dr. Larry Brilliant (who likely would have been hired even if he didn’t have that last name), who says that is has been difficult to choose which charities and non-profits to give to. To help alleviate some of that angst at Cisco, we focused on education, basic needs and economic opportunities early on.In the early days of Cisco, stories are still told about how employees would jump the fence to volunteer at the Costano school next door in East Palo Alto…a school that we are still involved with. We are also very active in volunteering and donations to Second Harvest, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the US, among many other volunteering and philanthropic activities around the world.So, congratulations to Google for having a good heart. And, if you would like to see what Cisco does on a global basis on education, basic needs and more, please view our Corporate Social Responsibility site.
Communications, globalization and automation have flattened the world and transformed the competitive landscape. The traditional competitive advantages of size and scale have been replaced by speed and flexibility and new Web technologies have enabled a multitude of disruptive new business models. In”Why Buy the Cow?” the first book by Subrah Iyar, the co-founder of WebEx, examines these changes and how smart companies are reinventing business processes to create sustainable competitive advantage.The introduction and first chapter is available today on News@Cisco.Iyar’s book stitches together the rise of software as a service (SaaS), web collaboration, the changing role knowledge workers and the new opportunities web 2.0 technologies are creating. “Why Buy the Cow?” was edited by Dr. Cindy Gordon, CEO of Helix and features pieces by Heidi Collins, Steve Barth, Dave Snowden, and Bill Ives. To purchase a copy of”Why Buy the Cow,” visit Cisco Press or Amazon.com.
Cisco’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs Tae Yoo took center stage at the International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas last week as a panelist in the inaugural technology and emerging countries program. Joining Dan Shine from AMD, William Swope from Intel, and James Utzschneider from Microsoft in the panel moderated by the Financial Times’ Paul Taylor, Tae discussed the successes and roadblocks companies face as they deploy programs in emerging countries. She also shared Cisco’s experience in building public-private partnerships to improve healthcare and education in Jordan, India and Afghanistan.Tae, the steward of Cisco’s corporate social responsibility vision, followed a keynote by One Laptop Per Child founder Nicholas Negroponte and remarks by Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda. If you missed the panel, you can view the video podcast here.
While most of us are still unwrapping bargains picked up in the January sales, the retail industry is heading to New York this week for its annual conference: the NRF-or National Retail Federation conference and expo. We will be there too, showing off some technologies that will change the way we do our shopping in the future. The retail team will also be talking about some remedies to those unpleasant ‘customer credit card data loss’ stories we all read about in 2007. Pre-show I cornered Ed Jimenez, Director of Retail Marketing, and asked him what Cisco is doing for customers’ retail experiences, how we’re simplifying retail technology, how Apple iPods can be utilized in retail, and what retailers can do to stop customers’ credit card details ending up on the Internet.
Cisco at the Consumer Electronics Show? What? You guys aren’t a consumer company. To be sure, we have largely been an enterprise and service provider company…with other foci on small and medium business (or commercial) and now a new foray into the consumer space. You may not know it, but we may already be in your living room in the form of our Scientific Atlanta cable set-top boxes or our Linksys wireless routers. A full line-up of what we announced at CES and what we are starting to do in the consumer space can be found at our CES online press kit here. You can also listen to our VP of consumer marketing, Ken Wirt, talk about the concept of visual networking on this podcast.We know we are nascent to the consumer space and we have to work as hard to understand and serve the consumer as hard as we work to understand and serve the enterprise or service provider. But one thing we can recognize is a good video. So, I have to give major props to Bill Gates and the Microsoft team for this great video of Gates preparing for his last days at Microsoft as shown at the CES show. Gates is very funny in this and obviously a great sport to do this video. The video features such luminaries as Steven Spielberg, Bono, Jay-Z, George Clooney, Jon Stewart, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Al Gore, Brian Williams…and a special cameo by “The Clapper.” Godspeed, Bill Gates.