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Agility is the New Smart

agile businessAs businesses strive to become digital, they need to be more flexible, innovative, and agile than ever. Customers are engaging with businesses differently from how they were just five years ago, and the bulk of their interactions are not with people but with systems (think airport and hotel check-in, ordering a product, or getting a taxi).

For all this to work, it’s critical that the systems on the back end know who you are, where you are, and what you need, to connect flawlessly to the front-end device. That airport check-in app on your phone, for example, requires integration with the airline reservation system, the ticketing system, the baggage handling system and gate information in order to provide full value to you as a user.

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Co-Innovating with Ecosystem Partners to Deliver Truly Integrated Solutions for Our Customers

When we designed Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), we listened to our customers. They asked us to create an open architecture. They wanted us to help create joint solutions with a broad ecosystem of partners (and yes, some competitors).

Today, ACI has over 46 partners at varying stages of integration, covering areas of storage, compute, security, cloud automation and more.

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of participating in the SAP TechEd keynote with Steve Lucas.  We announced an integrated solution between Cisco, SAP and Vnomic – an SAP startup:  a complete policy-driven automation of SAP’s next generation Big Data and Analytics solution.

Why is this such a big deal? Fundamental shifts toward Web 2.0 applications, Big Data, Cloud and IOT are unleashing new data, engagement and insights across many industries. In order to get faster business decisions from this vast amount of data, enterprises need to drive agility, security and governance across their IT environments.

Project Benjamin is a policy driven reference architecture and solutions center. Benjamin automates HANA Vora and SAP applications on a jointly certified Petabyte-scale HANA cluster.

Our goal was to make SAP Big Data solutions incredibly simple to deploy, secure, govern and audit. And it is. This innovation enables large SAP landscapes for BW on HANA, S4/HANA and HANA Vora to be deployed in hours and governed continuously.

What we didn’t get a chance to highlight yesterday are the results of our co-innovation. With this ACI integration, we deliver a joint solution today at Petabyte scale – analytics running in real-time. We bring deployment time down from months to days and hours. And we are driving a high level of automation to the digital enterprise.

With Benjamin, customers can test their data environment on jointly certified and supported ACI and UCS Integrated Infrastructure for on-premise and or cloud deployments.

Application policy at the heart

The network is the best place to put policy because it touches everything. It never lies. And ACI is the magic that seamlessly integrates all the way to the application layer.

Application policy runs through the heart of Project Benjamin.  SAP application landscapes today contain a variety of compliance and user policies.  Together, Cisco ACI and Vnomic automatically capture and implement these policies throughout a customer’s infrastructure, including defining the network topology, connecting compute and storage endpoints, configuring L4-7 services and delivering dynamic enforcement as policies change. Read More »

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Grace Hopper Celebration 2015: Build the future. Make your mark

Cisco has been attending the Grace Hopper Celebration for 6 years and this year, we were proud to show our long-standing dedication to this conference by partnering at the highest level as a Visionary Diamond Sponsor. Cisco has been working with the Anita Borg Institute (ABI) since 2006, and I recently joined the ABI Board of Trustees. The conference saw 12,000 excited attendees in Houston, Texas from October 14-16 and we were delighted to be a part of it all.

Grace Hopper 2015


“To Cisco, Grace Hopper is more than a conference, it’s an opportunity for personal and professional development for all attendees to experience Cisco as an industry-leading and incredible place for women to advance their technical careers and showcase our culture of innovation to secure the best talent out there!”

This year our executive sponsors, VP of Engineering Liz Centoni & VP of Human Resources, Engineering Christine Bastian represented Cisco on my behalf with a coalition of 300 energized Cisco employees from Engineering, Services, IT, Sales, Supply Chain, Corporate Strategy & Operations.

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Transforming the Global Landscape through the New Digital Age

Worries about diminished GDP growth, a shrinking middle class and rising geopolitical conflicts are rampant. Many may be concerned about the direction our world is headed in, but complete disruption of the ways our cities and countries operate is key to turning it around.

Digitization will impact productivity like no other disruptive trend being discussed right now – tapping into the 50 billion devices that will come online over the next five years – this will have 5 to 10 times the impact the Internet has had on our lives so far. This will be key to how countries maintain global competitiveness, increase GDP growth, foster innovation and create new jobs.

A great example is France. Government leaders clearly understand the importance of digital transformation and are taking the digitization process a step further by building an ecosystem that will grow innovation power. Collaboration between corporations and startups will be key to maintaining international competitiveness across Europe. I traveled to France last week for the opening of the Paris Innovation and Research Center, which will bring together government, companies like Cisco, startups, universities, developers, researchers, and the venture capital community to ensure continuous innovation and accelerate of France’s digital transformation. With tools like a floor to ceiling interactive video wall, groups from around the world can collaborate seamlessly. Through the right infrastructure and resources, France will be able to build an environment that supports new ideas to improve the citizen experience and transform the way the country operates. Over the next 10 years digitization could help France generate $101 billion contribution to GDP, 1.1 million jobs, and $51 billion in value from a sustainable innovation network.

While people question whether economic slowdown in emerging markets is an ongoing trend, India has laid the groundwork for prosperity. I sat down with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his trip last month to Silicon Valley. As the first Indian head of state to visit California in three decades, he sent a clear message about his commitment to partnering with industry on projects for his Digital India initiative. One key area that this will impact greatly is a highly skilled workforce – we’re already seeing this in the ICT industry, a frontrunner in creating a talent pool ready for jobs of the future. Additionally, Modi has set a vision for India to be a key manufacturing hub for the world, which will enable local innovation, jobs creation and increase India’s global competitiveness. Finally, with the Startup India initiative Modi has shown full support for creating an environment that is conducive to next generation companies. With the right technological investments, and partners, India can completely change how citizens, businesses and the government interact, potentially adding $224 billion in economic value for the country over the next decade.

I believe the time is now for industry and government to take the initiative on transformational projects to harness the power of digitization. We must take advantage of the $4.6 trillion public-sector opportunity the next phase of the Internet holds. Through training programs for the workforce of the future, harnessing an innovation ecosystem, leveraging the power of partnerships, and building a secure digital infrastructure with the ability to scale, countries can not only survive, but will thrive in this new Digital Age, unlocking new economic growth.


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Bringing Our People Deal to Life

At Cisco, we want our employees to be at their best, and that means we need to bring the best to them.

This is why we launched Our People Deal, which is centered around unleashing every employee’s potential by connecting everything, innovating everywhere and benefiting everyone. Our People Deal is simple: an understanding of what Cisco can do for our people and what we expect in return. It is the foundation in providing an unmatched employee experience.

We are personally very proud of the culture we continue to build together and creating a community of 70,000+ people. Our people are our No. 1 commitment and we want them to be proud to be a part of Cisco.

I am pleased to share several updates that highlight how we are living Our People Deal.

Today we were recognized as one of the top 25 companies on The Great Place to Work® Best Multinational Workplaces list. Two-thirds of the score is comprised of employees’ responses representing 45 countries. Being part of this prestigious list tells us that Our People Deal is being felt among our global teams and that they trust our leadership team and believe in our vision and strategy.

We were also ranked No. 26 by LinkedIn as one of the Top Most InDemand Employers in North America. This is very exciting for us, as these rankings are based on the billions of interactions from LinkedIn’s 380 million members and the innovative approach companies are taking to enable their employees and followers to be passionate advocates. We not only talk about Cisco in social media, but encourage our employees to share their experiences.

To help our employees have the best experience, we know that one of the most important things we can do for them is to offer them access to quality care, manageable medical spend and holistic health care. Last week we celebrated the opening of our new LifeConnections Health Center facility at our Research Triangle Park campus in North Carolina, one of three state-of-the-art facilities we have at our largest campuses. While our employees and families can get primary and family medical care from the best healthcare providers, they also can get other personalized care through chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, health coaching and counseling services. Need glasses? Visit the optometry care center for your check up and then buy your glasses or lenses. Need real time with your doctor if you are at home sick? You can do that through Cisco TelePresence, digital media and mobile devices. When you just need a bit of relaxation, there also is the massage room (one of my favorite rooms to visit!)

From healthcare options, to your birthday off, to paid family time off to performance management focused on development, we are seeing Our People Deal manifest in everything we do across Cisco. We want to enable our people to have impact. We want them to be part of the most incredible and inclusive teams.

This means as a company Cisco emphasizes a culture that provides our employees with the most innovative experience, where they continuously learn, live their passions and can be their best selves.

It is an exciting time at Cisco and together we are building our next chapter. #WeAreCisco #gladtobehere

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