Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > The Platform

Boston Consulting Group Names Cisco to its Top 50 Most Innovative Companies List

I’m pleased and proud to report that Cisco was named this week as one of the Top 50 Most Innovative Companies by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG). This marks the third year in a row that we’ve been included on this prestigious list alongside other industry innovators like Apple, Google, and Tesla. In all, we’ve been included in nine out of the last ten reports.

I’m even more pleased to see how well our engineering direction aligns with the criteria that BCG highlights as defining the most innovative of all companies. Those criteria are:

1. The Rising Need for Innovation Speed.

The Internet-fueled transformation of industries is happening at incredible speed. From hospitality to health care, TV to telecommunications, our customers are calling upon us to help them out-wit, out-pace, and out-innovate potential disruptors. I’m exhilarated by how our engineers are rising to this challenge.

Take the service provider industry, for example. This is a market that’s under incredible pressure to drive new revenues by rapidly delivering communications and business services securely with greater agility, automation, and simplicity – at a lower cost.

With a project called ‘xSpeed’, Cisco delivered powerful software innovations for cloud networking that precisely met service provider needs in just 13 weeks. The xSpeed team had autonomy to execute and they delivered first demos within three weeks. xSpeed is one of our internal startups, called Alpha’s, combining the speed and agility profile of a startup with the resources and scale of Cisco.

2. Strong Innovators are Lean Innovators.

BCG calls out the power of small teams. I couldn’t agree more! The culture I have been driving within engineering is to have my engineers “Think Big, Act Small” while we provide the autonomy to execute. Another great example of our success here is the rapid rise of Cisco Spark, our team collaboration application that is transforming the way teams stay connected. That team has experimented, taken risks, dared to break glass – and customers are loving the outcomes! On that note, watch out for more exciting Spark news at our Collaboration Summit next week!

3. Enabling Technology-Enabled Innovation.

We have encouraged our customers to embrace digital, connected business processes. We’ve also led the world for three decades in connecting our own business processes, from the way we close our books to the way we empower our sellers. How we innovate has become technology-enabled too. Today we’re creating end-to-end engineering workflow automation and enabled continuous integration for our agile development efforts. The result is that we’re moving faster than ever. We have reduced technology build time by 50 to 60% in many cases. And we’ve created iterative processes to enable us to review internal demos every two weeks. How’s that for technology-enabled innovation!

4. The Prerequisites of Profitable Adjacent Growth.

Pursuing market adjacencies has always been a Cisco strength. Today, more than 40% of our product revenues are generated by businesses outside of switching and routing. And we’re aggressively pursuing more areas of innovation, including Edge Computing, data analytics at the edge, and the Internet of Things.

Cisco engineering is maniacally focused on creating innovation that matters to our customers. And I’m proud to see our efforts recognized in this report. It’s a great accolade to the 22,000+ engineers who are powering Cisco’s Innovation Engine every day!

Tags: , , , ,

As Manufacturers Go Digital, Customer Value Expands

Every single day, I’m reminded that a digital revolution is taking place—from researching local coffee places on the dashboard of my car to ordering coffee on my mobile device—it’s clear that our lives are becoming more digitized. This is also apparent for the businesses and industries that manufacture the goods that we use everyday. In order to compete today, manufacturers must respond to complex and constantly changing demands from their customers. That requires the agility, rapid innovation, and fast execution that only digital manufacturing can deliver. Too many manufacturers, however, still lack these critical capabilities and suffer from fragmented and siloed organizational structures.

This was reinforced by new research from Cisco on the current and future state of digital disruption in manufacturing. The study included economic analysis, interviews with manufacturing industry thought leaders, and a survey of more than 600 senior leaders from 13 countries, representing both industrial machine builders and end-user manufacturers.

Our research confirmed that manufacturers get it. They understand that a digital revolution is taking place, and they want to be part of it. Seventy-nine percent believe that digital disruption will drive a moderate to major impact at their companies in the next three years. Moreover, they see digital technologies such as cloud, IoT, and analytics as having the biggest impact on their production — not more manufacturing-centric technologies such as robotics and 3D printing.

However, in terms of driving new value, many are faltering. Their service strategies, for example, are seen as a key opportunity for new revenue, but they are not driving expected levels of growth.

Digital business transformation is the solution, but it can’t be done in a piecemeal fashion; it must be implemented across the entire organization and beyond, throughout the ecosystem. Analytics, cloud, machine-to-machine connections, and collaboration tools all enable new opportunities for sharing data insights. Getting those insights to the people (or machines) who need them most, on the other hand, can be challenging. In this context, silos — between IT and operational technology (OT), engineering and design, and so forth — are the enemy to progress.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Executing on Our Vision and Strategy: The Future of Networking for an Application Centric World

We shared our vision for the future of networking over a year and a half ago.

Today, we continue to execute on our vision and strategy. Our customers and partners continue to derive the value of these innovations to the fullest potential.

We are extending our leadership in SDN with the most complete solution portfolio today, driving choice in automation and programmability for our customers. Solutions based on open APIs, standards and a broad ecosystem for three approaches: programmable networks, programmable fabrics and a turnkey approach with Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).

Cisco ACI continues its focus on three primary areas: (1) automation through policy; (2) consistent support for physical, virtual and containers; and (3) open, standards-based with embedded security. Add a centralized pane of management, scale, and a broad and deep ecosystem, and you have 1100+ satisfied customers, and the 2015 Best of Interop in SDN category (my sales plug…).

The future of networking is here. We’ve created an infrastructure that is hypervisor agnostic, with the most advanced security enforcement capabilities on the market today. Manage your entire fabric with a familiar user interface. And manage policy across any endpoint group – physical, virtual, and containers with a consistent security posture.


Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

Software and Digitization Are Leading Business Transformation

Companies are embracing the idea of the digital enterprise as an “inevitable movement toward a ‘digital center’ in which business models, offerings and value chains are digitized to the maximum extent possible.” Digitization offers promising prospects for improved customer experience, closer employee engagement, and more agile IT and business operations. And software innovation is at the heart of what makes it all happen.

Just what is digitization? At its simplest level, digitization is about bringing together connected things and processes through automation and analytics to provide new insights and value. It can be offering a traditional service in a new online and interconnected way such as mobile banking. Or it can be offering an entirely new service based on unique insight harnessed from a network of devices, or from an active series of transactions, such as an early-warning fraud-alert service. As consumers, we experience the benefits of digitization every day in the many mobile and online apps we use.

And this trend is behind the emergence of new companies built on digitization that have quickly risen to multi-billion dollar valuations. Tom Goodwin of TechCrunch writes:

“Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.”

What all of these companies have in common is a digitized business model that allows them to deliver a new level of customer experience through innovation in software. Winning companies will delight and amaze their customers. Customer experience is the new competitive battlefield.

Through software, Cisco can help companies take advantage of these opportunities. Cisco Collaboration and Cisco ONE mobility software for example can help a retailer deliver an unparalleled customer experience. Let’s say a shopper is using her smartphone to browse a retailer’s web site. Cisco software innovation enables “Click to chat” with video capabilities so she can get personalized, live help in making a decision. And with Cisco Connected Mobile Experience (CMX), the retailer can better understand the shopper’s exact preferences and profile to help them locate the closest store that carries the item, generate promotions, etc.

Shopping is just one of the many areas in which winning businesses are continually blurring the physical and digital boundaries. Please join the discussion and let me know if there are areas in your business that you’ve digitized successfully, and if you have others in the works.

JB

 

Tags: ,

Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Acano

We are at an inflection point in video adoption. In the enterprise alone, less than 10 percent of the conference rooms in the world are connected via video and only 1 percent of users have video systems on their desktop today. The market is poised for dramatic growth, with IP video expected to represent 80 percent of all global Internet traffic by 2019, up from 67 percent in 2014.

Cisco believes that we can capture this massive market opportunity by delivering the best collaboration experience across every endpoint, every screen, every workspace, and to every user. Our vision is to dramatically increase the number of video-enabled conference rooms – moving from every one in 10 conference rooms connected with video, to every one in four within the next ten years. And we want people to be able to connect to those rooms easily from any device or system they have today. That’s why today we are announcing Cisco’s intent to acquire privately-held Acano Limited, a leading provider of collaboration infrastructure and conferencing software.

Acano’s portfolio includes video and audio bridging technology and gateways to enable customers to connect different collaboration solutions from disparate vendors across cloud and hybrid environments. Together, Acano will help Cisco expand the interoperability and scalability of our collaboration portfolio – allowing customers to connect from anywhere, from a browser on a mobile device to the corporate boardroom, and now scaling to easily connect thousands of users across an organization.

Over the last two years, Cisco’s collaboration business has provided a standout example of the strength of our build, buy, partner, invest and co-develop approach to innovation. Internally, Cisco’s collaboration team has achieved several significant milestones, refreshing the entire endpoint portfolio in the past 12 months and simplifying our offerings from 65 endpoints down to 17, and driving double-digit endpoint growth each quarter for the past year. We’ve introduced a new cloud collaboration platform and Cisco Spark, a new team collaboration service. Acquisitions also played a key role; over the past two years we’ve acquired three companies to help accelerate our development in cloud, Collaborate, Assemblage and Tropo. And we’ve introduced key partnerships such as one with Apple earlier this fall to integrate iPhones with Cisco environments and provide unique collaboration capabilities on iPhones and iPads.

Today’s acquisition builds upon this strategy. By combining Acano’s expertise with a Cisco team that has driven incredible growth of our collaboration business, we believe we can accelerate our collaboration momentum and bring new capabilities to market faster. The Cisco and Acano teams together will help make video dramatically more pervasive to the desktop and to conference rooms of all sizes.

*UPDATE: January 29, 2016: We are pleased to welcome the Acano team on board!  Watch the video.

Tags: , , ,