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Building Scalable, Sustainable, Smart+Connected Communities with Fog Computing

This week, Cisco is showcasing innovations across our Smart+Connected Communities portfolio at the Smart City World Expo Congress in Barcelona.

We’ve entered the digital age and smart cities worldwide are embracing technologies to streamline their operations and meet the growing expectations of their citizens. Today, citizens in the most vibrant cities are already seeing many initiatives designed to make urban services smarter, whether for transportation, parking, lighting, traffic and waste management, safety or law enforcement.

Urban services powered by the Internet will certainly enhance citizen quality of life, but developing this new generation of services requires integrating together many disparate technologies and billions of “things,” or devices. Today, it’s estimated that some 15 billion devices are connected, and this number is set to explode to 50 billion by 2020, particularly in and around urban centers. This complex assemblage will generate and transmit unimaginable amounts of data from all kinds of sensors, mobile devices and smart “things” to and through the Internet.

As the network of connected things grows, an increasingly significant volume of the data will be produced at its edge, where the data will also need to be processed, analyzed, and secured. As a result, new computer processing technologies must also be placed at the network edge to manage this new deluge in a distributed way across a citywide network to intelligently connect and inform people, processes, data and things. These technologies must deliver computing power at an unprecedented scale and help cities ensure economic, social and environmental sustainability.

What does that mean in practical terms?

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Protecting Innovation – Moving Forward

With the second International Trade Commission (ITC) trial regarding Arista’s use of Cisco’s proprietary networking technology patents almost complete, now is a good time to provide an update.

As you will recall, Cisco filed copyright and patent infringement cases against Arista last December in the District Court in Northern California. One case, focused on 12 technology patents, remains “stayed” while the ITC trials involving the same patents are ongoing. The other District Court case, regarding Arista’s literal copying of Cisco’s command line interface (CLI) and two related patents, is moving forward. None of the patents in these cases cover technology that has been adopted as a standard. And all the patents were invented by people who worked at Cisco and then went to Arista, or by Cisco employees whose managers went to Arista.

Arista makes no secret out of its willful, intentional and on going use of Cisco’s proprietary networking technology. That’s why this litigation is necessary. For instance, why does Arista use over 500+ of Cisco’s multi-word CLI commands, when competitors like Alcatel Lucent, Brocade, HP and Juniper have only a fraction of that overlap in their own products?

To appreciate the brazenness of Arista’s behavior in this regard, and why the litigation is necessary, let’s listen to Arista’s own words. Here’s Ken Duda, Arista’s Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, and a former senior engineer at Cisco, in a public domain interview talking about Arista “slavishly” copying Cisco’s CLI.

Here’s where each case stands:

District Court Case (CLI and related patents)

This case, before Judge Beth Labson Freeman, is slated for trial in August 2016. Recently Arista moved to delay the start of the trial to 2017. The Judge held a conference on that issue, and will rule after briefing the question.

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Cisco Live Cancun Delivers Great Conversations on Service Provider Innovations

Guest Blog by Igor Dayen, SP Product and Solutions Marketing

Cancun is a paradise for many and thus it is known to draw crowds. Another reason for Cancun’s popularity is the addition of the Cisco Live Conference right in the center of this resort town. This event allows Cisco customers, executives, experts, and partners to share insights on new Service Provider technologies and their potential to transform the way we work, learn, and play. This year we had a successful conference showcasing service provider product and solution demonstrations as well as technical training. The demonstrations in the service provider booth and the breakout sessions that were presented to the attendees were very well aligned.

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Cisco Live is Cisco’s premier education and training destination for IT professionals worldwide. With that spirit, Cisco Live Cancun proves to be Read More »

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Partnering to Accelerate Innovation, Growth, and Customer Value

At Cisco, we have long believed in the power of relationships. Recently, I’ve laid out how we plan to be the most strategic technology partner to our customers, and while we are very focused on the opportunities ahead, it’s clear that no one company can deliver the full breadth of technology solutions that customers need at the pace the market requires. Building next-generation strategic partnerships will be as important in driving customer value and future growth as M&A has been over the last decade.

In the last few months, we’ve announced a series of strategic partnerships that unite Cisco’s portfolio, market leadership and scale with market leaders that bring complementary solutions. With Apple, we are delivering the future of mobile work, and with Inspur, we’re building the infrastructure and solutions to power cloud, data center, smart cities, and big data for one of the largest economies in the world.

Today we are announcing a new global, business and technology relationship with Ericsson. With this partnership, we’re bringing together two networking powerhouses, with a clear plan to leverage one another’s strengths and complementary portfolios to drive growth and innovation. As I look at Ericsson’s strong mobility portfolio, network management track record, and incredible global services scale and capability, I believe there is no question that we can add tremendous value to our customers together.

We’ve taken the past year to clearly solidify how we will bring together our companies and our portfolios, and we’re prepared to move with speed. In Ericsson, we’ve found a company that shares our vision for what will be possible in the digital world, and like us, they recognize the central role the network will play in meeting the goals of business and societies. We also share robust cultures of innovation, and a strong focus on the customer. It is these shared principles that will drive the success of our partnership.

I recently had the opportunity to have a conversation with Ericsson’s CEO Hans Vestberg, and I encourage you to listen in.

This partnership is yet another decisive move we are making to invest in Cisco’s market leadership for the next decade. Together, Cisco and Ericsson will create the networks of the future, and I couldn’t be more excited about collaborating to capture the opportunities ahead.

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Reflections on the Fortune Global Forum: How businesses will win in the midst of the biggest revolution of high tech

I had the great privilege of attending and speaking at Fortune Global Forum this week, which gathers business leaders to discuss the most pressing challenges we face and to set the global business agenda. The theme of this year’s conference was “winning in the disruptive century” and focused on how businesses must operate in order to stay competitive in this environment. One common concept fueling discussions around the disruptive market we’re navigating was connectivity. CEOs across industries – manufacturing, technology, healthcare, finance and so on – are recognizing the need to not only digitize, but to reinvent themselves to stay ahead. As I reflect on the conversations I had at the Fortune Global Forum, here are some of the points that really resonated with me:

Businesses are poised to lead on digitization if we make it our priority.

Current forecasts around the number of connected devices are too conservative. By 2030, I believe that there will be closer to 500 billion connected devices. With digitization every aspect of day to day business will change, from supply chain to customer interface to productivity, every company will become digital. However, according to The Global Center for Digital Business Transformation, only 25 percent of executives have a proactive plan to address digitization. Leaders at Fortune Global Forum agreed that value is created by not just connecting things, but by how you use these new connections to make an impact on not only business, but also on governments and society.

I’ve met with government leaders in France, Israel, UK, Germany and India who not only understand the impact of digitization, but they’re moving quickly to bring it to life for their countries. I think we have something to learn from these leaders. First, that digitization should be a priority on our national agenda here in the U.S., as technology strategy will play a critical role in our success as a country in the digital world. Second, that digitization should also be at the top of the corporate agenda. If governments are moving on digitization with this type if tremendous speed, our businesses have to move even faster and be even more dynamic to realize the full potential of this opportunity.

Your company is defined by much more than just your core products.

Most companies today make 90 percent of their revenue from two or three products that have been in their portfolio for some time. To stay competitive in today’s disruptive environment, you can’t stay doing the same thing for too long. Business leaders must have the courage to expand into new emerging areas ahead of market transitions. This takes courage!

An overwhelming majority of leaders at the Fortune Global Forum noted that this challenge keeps them up at night, and that it’s made even more pressing by the increasing number of connected devices that are coming online. For instance, with the rise of mobile, my fellow panelist BT CEO Gavin Patterson saw an opportunity to make a foray into a new market and had the courage to expand his business beyond voice. This was just one of countless examples of how BT reinvented itself over its hundred-year history. This theme of reinvention rang true for others too, including Wells Fargo. To be successful in the digital world, leaders must find new profit streams and tie everything back to customers’ expectations.

Your competition today may not be your competition tomorrow.

Forty percent of market leaders will be displaced or eliminated by digital disruptors in the next 10 years. In my opinion the average time to disruption (meaning a “substantial change” in market share among incumbents) is now about 3 years, a dramatic escalation in the rate of competitive change versus historical levels. These disruptors offer differentiated products and services and better value than incumbents. This creates a hyper-competitive landscape driven by digital disruption, where lines between industries are blurring and markets are changing exponentially.

Companies that fail to keep up with the accelerating pace of innovation in this environment will be left behind as new competitors grab hold of market share. We saw this type of disruption occur with cloud and mobile, for instance, and we must always be thinking about the next transition. It’s important to remember that the disruptors of today look much different than they have in the past. If we don’t pay attention to this next generation of competition, we risk being left behind entirely.

The Fortune Global Forum agenda has made it clear: business leaders recognize the tremendous sense of urgency around our digital future. We are in the midst of one of the most revolutionary changes in technology we have ever seen which will have 5 to 10 times the impact of the Internet to date and will impact all industries – manufacturing, telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, and others. To win in this new age, businesses must make digitization a top priority.

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