With both internal and external programs to feed innovation, Cisco aims to nurture disruptive ideas. In this light, we are using our new startup innovation program, Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR), to spur open innovation and drive Cisco’s own leadership position in the emerging IoE opportunity.
The Entrepreneurs in Residence program offers financial support, access to a co-working space, basic software tools and a potential opportunity to collaborate with Cisco product or engineering teams. Each cohort lasts six months, and startups are selected through a rigorous multi-phase selection process that evaluates the viability of their business plans, the strength of their teams and their alignment with Cisco’s strategic focus.
As cities and communities prepare for the future and the Internet of Everything, they must confront a tsunami of challenges that can overwhelm how people live, work, play and learn. More than half the world now lives in cities for the first time, and the influx is growing faster than many cities can accommodate.
Today, about 500 million urban dwellers live in poverty, without access to healthcare or education. The world population will swell about 50% to more than 9 billion in the next few decades, placing huge strains on energy and food resources, jobs, transportation and more. The population in many mature cities continues to shrink while it’s booming in developing economies, triggering seismic demographic shifts worldwide.
21st Century is the Century of Urbanization
Indeed, the 21st century is shaping up to be the century of urbanization, and competition will be more between cities – not countries. That’s why it’s increasingly incumbent on all of us to foster more sustainable communities for our children – economically, socially and environmentally.
On June 18th, I had the privilege of hosting a media roundtable at the New Cities Summit held this year in Dallas, Texas, to share insights with urban officials and experts about innovative solutions they are implementing to address many of these challenges. They have turned to “connecting the unconnected” through the power of the Internet of Everything to deliver more effective urban services that are improving everything from education and public safety to parking and even more direct and democratic exchanges between government and citizens.
At Cisco, we have identified $3 trillion of economic value that can be realized by cities alone over the next decade by leveraging sensors, applications and data analytics linked to the Internet through a common platform.
Here are some highlights of the media roundtable:
Midland County, Texas, Library:
In Midland, Texas, officials struggled with declining visitors, especially young students, at the county library, composed of an old building where technology was an afterthought. By converging new digital and physical architectures at the outset, they completely rebuilt the structure into one that’s the envy of libraries everywhere. This resulted in a 1,000% increase in materials circulated and 100% increase in traffic, stated Jason Bates, Midland County, Texas, Library’s IT director; and John Trischitte, the director of Midland County, Texas, Public Libraries.
They shared about how this award-winning library enhanced patronage experience via Cisco’s fast and reliable network and solutions, such as upgrading their portal site, interactive digital signs and kiosks, online book searches, video stories, computer rooms, access controls and much more. Today, they are gratified to see more young readers spending more time there.
“Congratulations to Congressman Kevin McCarthy on becoming House Majority Leader. Kevin is a true champion for California and the innovation economy. Cisco looks forward to continuing to work with Leader McCarthy and other members in Congress to make needed progress on the very real challenges facing our nation and the technology industry.”
As business leaders navigate an increasingly complex world of connections, they need IT to provide a programmable infrastructure that can dynamically respond to their needs. This four-part blog series explores how responsive infrastructure helps IT leaders succeed. The first post in this series, by Colin Kincaid, discusses how Fast IT, a new model of IT, offers a broader focus of next-generation infrastructure. The second post in this series by Jim Grubb highlighted what IT leaders can do now to adopt a roadmap to Fast IT. The third post in this series by Doug Webster discusses how service providers specifically stand to benefit from Fast IT. Today’s post, the final in this four-part series, will explore how a Fast IT model can mitigate common infrastructure challenges.
Many organizations realize that they need to change the way they are networking today and they are looking to SDN as the answer. However, the answer is broader than SDN.
To succeed in a new world of networking, organizations need a Fast IT model. In other words, an infrastructure that embraces technology transitions using programmability, automation, orchestration, virtualization, and security throughout.
As executives look to future-proof their business, many are facing innovation challenges in today’s infrastructure landscape. IT organizations are increasingly expected to drive revenue growth, reduce operational costs, mitigate security risk, and increase innovation – and do it all faster than ever before. Today, it is absolutely critical for IT to partner with the business and continue to be relevant to the organization’s growth.
So, what distinctive differentiation points of a next-generation infrastructure can mitigate these challenges? How can Fast IT help IT organizations deliver greater business value?
Challenge #1: Be More Agile
It’s becoming clear IT needs the ability to respond quickly. There is a growing proliferation of IT as a Service (ITaaS) applications that supplant traditional service models. And in today’s landscape, business agility requires application agility, so IT teams need to provision applications much faster. IT leaders are increasingly measured by their speed to deploy applications because this will determine how successful they are in new markets and new business models.
Every day our world becomes increasingly connected. And as the Internet of Everything (IoE) continues to develop, service providers who provide us with video, voice, and data services are faced with managing explosive growth of demand on their network, including the number of applications and platforms needed to improve the way we live, learn, work and play.
All of this makes networks more complex and expensive to manage. At the same time, increased competition is driving service providers to introduce new services more rapidly. While Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and network programmability both help improve scale and functionality of networks for service providers, they do not solve the bottleneck caused by operational complexity.
That is why today, I am pleased to announce our intent to acquire Tail-f Systems, a leading provider of multi-vendor network orchestration solutions for traditional and virtual networks. Tail-f will help achieve our goal of aiding customers in their quest to simplify and automate network management, enabling service innovation and deployment acceleration. The acquisition of Tail-f accelerates Cisco’s cloud virtualization strategy of delivering software that increases value to our customers’ applications and services, while supporting Cisco’s long-standing commitment to open standards, architectures, and multi-vendor environments.
Tail-f’s innovative and talented team is also the thought leader around the development and implementation of the NETCONF protocol and YANG data modeling language, which is the leading industry approach to simplifying and automating networks. Tail-f also has an amazing team of talented engineers. Tail-f’s talent and technology, when added to our existing offerings, will enhance how Cisco addresses network orchestration and will help simplify and automate how physical and virtual networks are both provisioned and managed.
We couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to continue driving leadership in cloud virtualization and orchestration with the addition of Tail-f. Stay tuned for more details in the weeks and months to come. And welcome Tail-f!