Wow -- I’m impressed. We have the best folks in Cisco. I’m sure of it. The best in the industry. And I don’t just mean me (he jests)!
No, really, Cisco’s innovation is ‘on fire’ as John Chambers puts it. I’m not just saying that because I work at Cisco. I’m saying it because I meet up with folks every day at Cisco who simply impress me with their down-and-out inventiveness. It might be products, processes or business architectures. Whatever it is, I’m often left thinking we have to tell our customers about that.
Innovators -- here are just a couple I found at Cisco - more where they came from! Actually Neil Dieder, Tech Leader, and Walt Shaw, Sr. Prod. Line Mgr, both from WNBU, the Cisco Wireless Networking Business Unit.
I speak to many customers at Executive Briefings (EBCs) and they echo my sentiment. When I talk about what we’re doing in the manufacturing industry, many of them say ‘Wow, I didn’t know Cisco did that!’ Well, I guess that’s the purpose of the EBC. Bring the customer to Cisco to tell them stuff they don’t know. Add that to what they do know and, well, they’re going to make a more informed decision.
It’s hard to choose one innovation since there are so many, but since my blogs are about manufacturing, I decided to talk about something that, on the surface is not all that exciting. Wireless Networking. Been around for years right? Right. Easy-peasy, right? Wrong! Read More »
The public Internet is pervasive. It’s an essential ingredient to the way many of us choose to live, work, play and learn. When this amazing resource is viewed through the perspective of mainstream users, the path that led us here may seem unimaginable.
It’s an example of open innovation and creative collaboration, with a common cause that was shared by determined pioneers. The Internet Society has published a brief history that starts with the following story introduction:
“The Internet has revolutionized the computer and communications world like nothing before. The invention of the telegraph, telephone, radio, and computer set the stage for this unprecedented integration of capabilities. The Internet is at once a world-wide broadcasting capability, a mechanism for information dissemination, and a medium for collaboration and interaction between individuals and their computers without regard for geographic location.”
Coke fork-lift truck drivers Use these Cisco phones with headsets to pick products more accurately and drive more safely.
For years Coke used a manual pick system Then they moved to a semi-automated one that could deal with full pallets, but then, with more and more products being added, Coca-Cola Refreshments U.S.A (CCR) found that it needed a better system to handle mixed pallets and make less shipment errors. Enter Cisco and Datria.
As their order profile changed CCR could no longer rely on a manual system to deal with mixed cases (80% of the order volume is now mixed pallets). CCR needed to have order accuracy rates of over 99.5% to get preferential supplier treatment from customers like Walmart. The Voice picking solution gives CCR 99.8% overall accuracy and 100% in some locations. And there’s more… Read More »
I recently had the opportunity to chat with Soni Jiandani about the nature of innovation at Cisco. For those of you who know her, you know she knows a thing or two about bringing innovation to market. Soni is currently a VP in the Server Access and Virtualization Business Unit. In a prior role, she was Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s LAN and SAN switching business unit within the Data Center, Switching and Wireless Technology Group, where she was responsible for the industry leading Catalyst modular switches and a comprehensive portfolio of intelligent SAN switches.
Omar Sultan: Soni, you often refer to the “Cisco Innovation Edge” -- What does this refer to?
Soni Jiandani: Specifically this refers to our ability to introduce technology innovations more quickly than the rest of the industry that deliver quantifiable benefits to our customers. This really speaks to our culture of being a customer-centric company. Throughout our history we have maintained a close collaboration with our customers in order to understand their current requirements and vision for how technology can benefit their business in the 3-5 year time horizon. By listening and then applying our technology expertise and experience of over 2 decades, we have been successful in driving many innovations into our architecture through custom silicon development. At the same time, we are often leading the charge to drive these innovations through the standardization process and providing engineering support for plug-fests and industry-wide interoperability efforts. We do this because we believe it is in the best interests of the customers, the industry and Cisco.
A recent example of this is Fibre Channel over Ethernet, a technology which is helping customers to save up to 50% on their data center infrastructure and operation by consolidating equipment and networks. We were the first company to introduce FCoE switching products in 2008 in our Nexus data center switches. At the same time we were helping to lead several industry-wide efforts which resulted in Lossless Ethernet and FCoE becoming official IEEE / INCITS standards in 2009. Our custom silicon development allows us to introduce innovations more quickly to our customers, allowing them to benefit through cost savings and more agile infrastructures. Once these innovations become standard and required by customers, they may then make it into merchant silicon; but often this can be several years later. That’s a significant “Cisco innovation edge” that delivers real value to our customers maximizing investment protection. We are on an innovation treadmill here. As we standardize Cisco innovations, we are constantly investing in the next set of innovations.
OS: There are a number of competent companies out there that make merchant networking silicon, so why does Cisco continue to commit R&D resources to make our own chips?
Neil Diener and Walt Shaw, the leaders behind Cisco Clean Air technology, are pretty humble when it comes to talking about their innovative contributions at Cisco. But there is no hiding their passion for their work and the impact it has on the industry. Learn more about Diener, Shaw and Cisco Clean Air technology here!