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Countdown to Winner’s Circle at IoTWF Starts for 2015 Innovation Grand Challenge

So now the countdown begins to name the winners of our second annual Cisco Innovation Grand Challenge at IoTWF.

Today we unveil the six finalists selected by Cisco judges after a highly complex evaluation process, which started six months ago with 3,000 entries from more than 100 countries. I am calling these next-generation innovators, the Super Six.

AlexGIoTWFGrandChallengePic1The Super Six finalists are vying for three coveted spots in the ultimate winner’s circle at the IoT World Forum in Dubai on Dec. 8. In the weeks running up to the 2015 finals, all eyes will be on these ingenious entrepreneurs and startups. Their solutions are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible to improve the world around us through the power of the Internet of Things (IoT). Read More »

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Catalysts for 10x Innovation (Part 1)

“Why does a computer need a fan? I want my computer to be quiet and small!” Steve Jobs actually provoked that question when he started the journey that led to the creation of Apple II nearly four decades ago.  And, of course, the journey made history and continues on into new frontiers of technology.

Asking an unsettling question that breaks the status quo – in any era – is one of the key catalysts to ignite innovation exponentially. This is especially true today because of the unprecedented levels of innovation made possible by the digitization of society through the Internet of Everything – the connection of people, processes, data and things.Cisco Leadership Forum_Biren presenting

A provocative question that turns things upside down gets the innovation journey under way.  However, it’s just one of many key catalysts we have identified from extensive research and experience that accelerate innovation 10 times or more.

My colleague, Hagit Oron, and I recently had the honor of conducting a highly engaging workshop – Innovation Catalyst – at Cisco’s bi-annual Leadership Forum, an event series tailored for people leaders.  Igniting innovation is one of our company’s highest priorities as we transform from a hardware product company into an end-to-end solution provider delivering business outcomes to customers in vertical markets.

Encourage Inclusive, Diverse Culture. First, we emphasized that leaders must foster a climate of innovation with their full teams – not just by hiring a few outliers – but as a collective team to solve problems and develop new products and services. That means assembling teams with a full spectrum of diverse backgrounds, skills, perspectives and approaches, enabling them with the right tools and resources as well as empowering them to innovate collaboratively. Read More »

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Celebrating Cisco’s Four Marketing Excellence Awards!

If you’ve ever gone hiking through the woods, you know the importance of a trail marker. You can have a great map and plenty of wilderness experience, but sometimes the wild gets the better of you. All of the trees start to look the same. It’s disorienting. You can be on the right path all along, but you’ll start to lose confidence and move more slowly if you aren’t sure you’ve taken the right fork in the trail. Only when you see that familiar symbol carved into a tree, or splash of paint on a rock, do you know with certainty that you are on the right track.

Today, I want to celebrate a key point along Cisco’s journey to lead companies down the path of digital transformation. Our Cisco marketing teams have won four ITSMA Marketing Excellence Awards – the most ever awarded to one company in a single year! The teams and the awards they won are as follows:

MikeRiegalBlogPic1ITSMAITSMA Diamond Award for Marketing Excellence

Category: Driving Business with Thought Leadership

Winner: Cisco Thought Leadership Team

Our Thought Leadership Team has worked closely with Cisco Consulting Services over the past several years to codify a unified thought leadership agenda for the entire company. Their innovative research identified digital transformation in the Internet of Everything (IoE) as a major market transition and quantified the $19 trillion value at stake. Behind the strength of this analysis, Cisco made digital transformation in the IoE our top priority and company storyline. In recent months, this team has begun to translate their analysis into industry-specific roadmaps detailing how to capture the value from digital transformation.

As we have extended our thought leadership into specific industries, we have also worked to collect real customer stories of digital transformation in action as proof that the digital shift is a tangible reality. This integration of thought leadership across our consulting, sales, and marketing teams has helped to differentiate Cisco as a driver of business outcomes, given Cisco brand permission to enter new markets, and helped our customers take action to begin their digital transformations.

Congratulations to Kathy O’Connell, her entire team, and the many teammates in Cisco Consulting and all across Cisco who contribute to this work! Read More »

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Digital Adoption Lifecycle: Don’t Be a Laggard

I can remember it vividly: The year was 1995, and I was working at a start up in Silicon Valley. What was the Internet like back then? It was certainly not ubiquitous, as it is today. At that point, the Internet was still fledgling—although it was exploding—and ecommerce was starting to take off. There was no YouTube, no Google, and no Facebook.

In 1995, the domain was registered, and launched, and eBay was founded. We were quickly realizing the Internet could provide us with opportunities and experiences that were unimaginable only a few years prior. There were some early-adopter companies, with websites up and running and open for business. And there were many enterprises taking things slower. Was this Internet thing just a fad? What can we do with it? Will people actually buy goods and services online, and use their credit cards over a computer? Is this safe? Secure? Is this for everyone, or just the Silicon Valley tech crowd?

Fast forward to today, when we cannot imagine a world without connectivity and information, online commerce, streaming music and video—all at our fingertips, available in milliseconds. Many of the companies that hesitated back in the 1990s are not around today. And since we know that history often repeats itself, we again find ourselves at another massive disruptive crossroads.

There are already 15 billion connected things. That number could rise to 75 billion—some say 200 billion—by 2019, and there will be three times the Internet traffic by that date. By 2020, it is predicted that there will be 5 terabytes of data generated per person. The predictions back in the 1990s seemed lofty at the time, but they’ve been overshot massively!

What does this mean for the world we live in? How do companies prepare for this digital revolution? The answer is Read More »

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No Limits on Learning

EDUCAUSE 2015 – one of the leading events in higher education – will take place starting on October 27th in Indianapolis, Indiana. The conference gives national education experts a chance to hear from industry leaders and learn about the latest technology developments in higher education.

Here at Cisco we’re excited to return to EDUCAUSE again this year as we explore the new possibilities technology and the digitization of education can bring to colleges and universities. This includes solutions that help students to Learn without Limits.

In the past, learning has been limited by time and geographic constraints. But with the Internet of Everything (IoE), new opportunities are opening up for students to move beyond the limits of traditional education. We’re looking forward to exploring how IoE, cloud, mobility, and collaboration technologies – among many others – are being used to help educators engage with students in new and exciting ways. These new environments will help students learn anytime, anyplace, and on any device.

If you’re attending EDUCAUSE 2015, come visit us at Booth 1302, where we will be showcasing some of our Cisco Education solutions. Joining me at the conference will be:

  • Mary Schlegelmilch, Business Development Manager, Education
  • Tony Morelli, Vice President, SLED East
  • Kim Majerus, Vice President, SLED West

We’re also excited that our friends at the Universityof La Verne will be presenting a session at this year’s event on Thursday, October 29th at 8:00 AM in Meeting Room 140 titled, “The Digital Revolution at University of La Verne.” Here are the presenters: Read More »

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