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India: Transforming Promise into Performance

Seven years ago, many people (including my mother-in-law) thought I had made a career-ending decision to accept a high-risk assignment and relocate to India. My mission:  build from the ground up Cisco’s second headquarters, a Globalization Centre East in Bangalore focused on innovation, talent and partner development that envisioned 10,000 employees in three years, including the top 10% of worldwide talent. My charter included developing a world-class technology campus that also served as a showcase for incubating and advancing Smart City services worldwide, and to become the most relevant ICT company in India.

Was it the right decision?

Wim #1Although half a world away from Cisco’s corporate headquarters in the Silicon Valley, I thought the new job was still full of great promise. India was and still is the world’s largest democracy, had a growing talent pool, a zest for innovation, a co-operative government, aspirational middle class and a potentially huge economy purring along at 8% annual growth.

In four years, we partnered with national and local governments as well as an ecosystem of commercial businesses to architect and develop a fully networked campus.The Smart + Connected Community inBangalore integrated building systems with IT systems and applications onto one IP network, enveloped by artfully designed buildings and collaborative work spaces.

Today, the 1-million-square-foot Globalization Centre East campus employs more than 11,000 people, houses Cisco’s Research and Development, IT and customer support teams with the best talent in industry. The campus also meets my original charter Wim #2as the incubator for validating our industry-leading Smart + Connected Communities, especially Smart Cities, which today has projects on nearly every continent worldwide, encompassing more than 90 engagements.

All that has been extremely rewarding to see, but was it the right decision?

We achieved every critical objective except one: growing ICT technology throughout India itself. In my four years of living in India and after a number of subsequent trips revisiting there, I now realize that the promise and opportunity of India can be unpredictable.  After several years of nearly double digit growth, India’s economy spiraled down, experienced high inflation, a weakening rupee, allegations of government corruption and financial policy decisions that spooked the international investment community.

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IoE Can Be Key to More Energy Efficient Colleges

July 28, 2014 at 12:58 pm PST

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is becoming more real than ever, particularly in education. As we begin to see this massive transformation taking place, schools for both K-12 and higher education are utilizing Cisco networks to run applications and pilot projects that benefit both the students and the faculty.  We expect to see more and more of these examples in education, specifically, as schools, colleges, and universities find new and different ways to leverage these technologies.

Schools and colleges have proven that initiatives around Bring Your own Device (BYOD) and Connected Learning are part of the bigger picture when connecting people, process, data and things. But what may not immediately come to mind is that IoE can drive energy efficiency for colleges.

On Tuesday, July 22, journalists and analysts heard from Chicago-based leaders in local government, public safety and education about the impact of IoE in public sector during Cisco’s two-day IoE and Innovation event held in the Windy City. Read More »

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The Internet of Everything in Business: a Roundtable Discussion

Yesterday afternoon, Cisco hosted an “Internet of Everything in Business” roundtable discussion--featuring executives from Stanley Black & Decker, AeroScout Industrial, salesforce.com and FH Celebration Health--which spotlighted how the Internet of Everything (IoE) is fueling transformative business outcomes and results … Today! In the session, our panelists discussed ways they are actually acquiring some of the $14+ trillion of global, private-sector value-at-stake estimated by Cisco to be available with IoE by 2022, and included real-world examples illustrating manufacturing and healthcare industry benefits.

Honing in on the panel portion related to my beloved industry, manufacturers are really leveraging IoT to improve operational efficiencies and productivity with reduced downtime, to accelerate to market faster and with new IoE-based Product-as-a-Service business models, and to drive more flexibility and agility into their supply chain operations, just as I’ve been referencing in recent blogs.

Yesterday’s panel representatives from Stanley Black & Decker and AeroScout Industrial provided highly repeatable manufacturing use case examples describing how they are already achieving benefits today, as well as helping their customers to capture value with IoE. Utilizing location based services, real-time productivity and work-in-progress (WIP) monitoring, manufacturing businesses are seeing a strong return on investment and improved safety and security in the workplace.

IoE MFG blog

Above, catch the roundtable--recorded live from Chicago--and learn amongst those IoE use case examples how Cisco Systems and AeroScout Industrial partnered to implement a productivity-and-throughput-driving solution at a Stanley Black & Decker (SB&D) plant in Reynosa, Mexico. And keep your eye on the Cisco IoE blog channel early next week for my deeper dive on that very real, high-impact, highly replicable SB&D customer case study. Thanks for reading!

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Writing a new chapter of my story: Taking on the Internet of Things opportunity at Cisco

This week I’m excited to participate in an event we are organizing in Chicago, home of the 2014 Internet of Things World Forum.  We’re meeting with some of our partners and customers as we make a few joint announcements – including a new IoE Innovation Center in Barcelona, and showcasing some new solutions built on our platform by some of our partners. Additionally, I’m getting a preview of some of the amazing smart & connected deployments in Chicago – a preview for the IoT World Forum.

I am writing this blog as I gear up to lead Cisco’s Internet of Things (IoT) Systems & Software Group. Over the last few weeks I’ve spent time getting to know the group and have been struck by the tremendous energy and focus on customers and partners the team has.  I’m also excited about how dynamic the Internet of Things space is.

While we’ve calculated the total economic value at stake for Internet of Everything by 2020 – $19T – and the number of potential connected devices – 50B – these nearly unfathomable numbers may, honestly, not pan out exactly to the decimal.  The Internet of Everything could be smaller or, more likely, much much larger – but the overall point is that more and more people, process, data, and things are connecting.  Professor Michael Nelson of Georgetown University has said that “Trying to determine the market size for the Internet of Things is like trying to calculate the market for plastics, circa 1940.”  At that time it would have been nearly unfathomable for the numbers of existing things – milk containers, furniture, industrial components – to be made into plastic.  And just as plastics have pervaded every part of our lives and enabled new industries, the connections created by Internet of Everything will too. I think that’s a great way to think about the untapped potential of this market. Read More »

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Launching Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence in Europe

I recently wrote about how we are extending Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR)  and our open innovation strategy beyond Silicon Valley through local incubation partners in Chicago, San Diego and Berkeley.  Our presence in these innovation hubs will enable us to discover, influence and learn from new ideas and talent at early-stage startups with potential to disrupt our industry.

Today, I am pleased to announce the launch of Cisco EIR Europe, extending our program to a non-U.S. innovation hub for the first time.  Cisco EIR will be located initially in Vienna, where we plan to launch a small cohort of early-stage European startups by January 2015 – to be supported & incubated by Cisco – drawn from across EMEAR.  As with Cisco EIR in Silicon Valley, we will look for game-changing entrepreneurs in IoE, security, Big Data/analytics, Smart Cities & other transformational opportunities that are in Cisco’s strategic line of sight.  Also as in our Silicon Valley program, the startups will be supported by Cisco engineering & product teams as well as our EMEAR partner ecosystem.  The Vienna-based program is intended to serve as the beachhead – our “Phase 1” – for a broader EU-wide footprint for Cisco EIR.

Key to our success is how we leverage the startup ecosystem that already exists in Europe.  To this end, starting in Vienna, we have partnered with Pioneers, a leading startup community organization in Europe.  More partnerships are in the works.

I know all of you will agree innovation knows no national boundaries.  Europe, with its deep entrepreneurial talent, large market and history of innovation, presents a unique opportunity for usEurope is also one of the key regions for our Smart Cities – as you saw from our recent announcement of a new Smart Cities initiative in Copenhagen, following similar projects in Barcelona, Amsterdam Chicago and Hamburg.

We are thrilled to forge relationships in the European startup community – and support entrepreneurs as partners in open innovation.

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