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There is No Limit to Innovation

There is no limit to innovation.  Cisco has embraced that idea for more than three decades with our build, buy, partner and integrate growth strategy.  Part of that strategy is investing in order to gain insights and drive new innovation.  True to that spirit, we have just announced the next evolution of the Cisco Investments[1] platform and a set of investments in support of an exciting new investment theme. These announcements build upon the foundation of our current $2 billion investment portfolio, which fuels innovations across many domains and geographies.

In addition to our primary strategic investment activity, we are also allocating $150 million in theme-based investments over the next three years to explore new, disruptive markets, including: big data/analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), connected mobility, advanced storage, silicon, content technology ecosystem, and India innovation. The $150 million in funding builds on our previously announced $100 million plan to invest in IoE-focused starts ups and funds.

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Cisco Investments Shape the Disruptions that will Define Tomorrow’s World

It’s impossible to predict the future, especially when it comes to the impact of technology on our lives.  This has been true since the time of the very earliest human inventions, and in the modern era, we no longer need decades and multiple generations to see these changes; they are immediate and have the power to transform single generations many times over.  Just consider how the personal computer, Internet, email, and mobile devices have changed our lives time and again. These innovations, taken alone, are extraordinary.  However, the power they have unlocked by coinciding in time and the profound consequences of connecting people, places, and things—Everything—makes the potential of the future both unpredictable and boundless.

The ability for any company to stay well ahead of disruptions—whether to defend their own markets or to expand into others—is extremely difficult.  And it is nearly impossible to do so consistently.  This is because the nature of the innovation, the context, time or market in which it lives, as well as its cost, all play a role in whether it takes seed and matures.  The better you can understand the factors that may make a lasting crop, the smarter you can be in choosing what field of soil to till, under what conditions to plant seeds and when the best time is to do either.  This really amounts to making the best and most educated bets you can.  In practical terms, these wagers can range from choosing the right customers to pursue to determining where you invest precious resources.

Some companies, including Cisco, have adopted robust build, buy and partner models to keep ahead of the market and inevitable disruptions that pose both threats to current market positions as well as offer powerful tools to enter into new markets.  For Cisco, having an additional lens to help see factors a little better in order to make smarter bets, has long been part of the Cisco Investments approach.  Putting capital to work through equity investments in start-ups and funds has helped to improve illusive visibility that can make the difference to catching critical market transitions—or missing them. Insights learned through equity investments into young and interesting companies on the bleeding edge of change helps Cisco gain valuable understanding of market trends, assess and develop better partnerships as well as strengthen relationships with other investors and partners that complement our M&A and organic development efforts.

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Cisco Announces Acquisition of Collaborate.com

As the rapidly developing mobility and cloud markets transform the technology landscape, the population of mobile workers looking to extend the boundaries of their offices continues to grow. They want to connect, communicate and collaborate seamlessly, and their organizations are seeking user-friendly, mobile-centric collaboration tools that enable teams to work faster while being as productive as possible.

Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco’s acquisition of Collaborate.com to help capture this market transition in mobility and cloud. Collaborate’s skilled team of cloud and mobile software developers has created a mobile collaboration application that provides unified document sharing, task management and team communication capabilities, enabling today’s mobile workforce to collaborate with team members on projects. Workers can instantly create virtual collaboration rooms where they can chat and share documents, notes, photos and videos.

Collaborate’s platform integrates with email and third party cloud services to make collaborating efficiently with others while on-the-go that much easier.  Collaborate’s flexibility also enables teams to integrate collaboration and communication into their enterprise workstreams, as the application helps keep teams aligned and accelerates decision-making.

Cisco’s acquisition of Collaborate supports our goal of driving market leadership in Collaboration. Together, Cisco and Collaborate plan to provide a comprehensive solution that enables the mobile workforce to work smarter and more efficiently from virtually anywhere. Collaborate’s cutting-edge technology and strong engineers as part of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group will help accelerate Cisco’s innovation in Collaboration.

With deep experience building innovative mobile-centric collaboration experiences, we are excited about the new opportunities the addition of Collaborate and its talented group of individuals will provide to Cisco. The Collaborate team will enhance our ability to deliver industry-leading solutions and unique value to our customers.

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Composite Software

Big data and cloud are drastically changing today’s IT landscape. The proliferation of traditional and new data sources plus the movement of data to the cloud complicate a company’s ability to access all of its data assets. This creates an important need to complement traditional data warehousing by providing a real-time, consolidated logical view of data, better known as data virtualization.

Today, Cisco is announcing its intent to acquire Composite Software, a market leader in data virtualization software and services. Composite’s technology connects and optimizes many types of data from across the network and makes it appear as if it’s in one place, allowing companies to make better business decisions. Together, Cisco and Composite will help to accelerate the shift from physical data integration to data virtualization.

For example, the NYSE Euronext produces billions of data per day through quotes, trades, orders, receipts. This data is housed in multiple locations. Composite provided a solution with its data virtualization platform, which functions as a virtual data warehouse to provide access to trades, orders, quotes and other data for analysis, compliance and reporting across 14 exchanges. With data virtualization’s flexible data delivery infrastructure, the organization increased business responsiveness, improved the breadth of analytic insight and lowered its costs.

Consistent with our model for Next Generation IT, Composite will expand Cisco’s portfolio of Smart Services and extend our next-generation services platform with software and hardware solutions. By connecting network knowledge (APIs) and programmability with Cisco’s industry leading Unified Computing System, and adding Composite’s software and query optimization expertise, Cisco will be well positioned to provide highly differentiated capabilities to our customers.

In addition, this acquisition reinforces our commitment to support partner consumption models and assist our partners in broadening their services portfolios.

This acquisition builds on Cisco’s framework for a unified platform and our software services strategy with the recent acquisition of SolveDirect. Composite’s data virtualization solution, combined with SolveDirect’s process integration platform, will provide cross-domain data and workflow integration capabilities to enable real-time business insights and operations.

 

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Ubiquisys

Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco’s intent to acquire Ubiquisys, a privately-held company headquartered in Swindon, UK for $310 million in cash and employee retention incentives. Ubiquisys is a leading provider of intelligent 3G and LTE (Long-Term Evolution) small-cell technologies that provides seamless connectivity across mobile heterogeneous networks for service providers.

The acquisition of Ubiquisys exemplifies Cisco’s innovation framework based on a build, buy and partner approach. The Ubiquisys acquisition also complements Cisco’s mobility strategy along with the recent acquisitions of BroadHop and Intucell, reinforcing in-house research and development, such as service provider Wi-Fi and licensed radio. These technologies will tie together the mobility architecture that leverages the intelligence of the network from the wireless edge of the network into the wired core.

As carriers around the world increase cellular data capacity to serve the rapidly growing population of smartphone and tablet users, adding small cells is one of the most cost-effective ways to multiply data capacity and make better use of scarce spectrum assets. Ubiquisys’ indoor small cells expertise and its focus on intelligent software for licensed 3G and LTE spectrum, coupled with Cisco’s mobility portfolio and its Wi-Fi expertise, will enable a comprehensive small cell solution to service providers that supports the transition to next generation radio access networks.

The acquisition of Ubiquisys further reinforces Cisco’s commitment to service providers and strengthens Cisco’s mobility capabilities to continue to extend the intelligent mobile network.

Ubiquisys’ product portfolio and team will be integrated into our Small Cell Technology Group led by Partho Mishra.

 

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