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Smart Trade: Cisco Is Helping Revolutionize Legacy Trade Practices Around the World

Trade (also known as “commerce,” “financial transaction,” and “barter,” among other terms) involves the transfer of ownership for goods and services from one person or entity to another by receiving something in exchange from the buyer. A network that allows trade is called a market.

Trade originated with the start of communication in prehistoric times. Trading was the main facility of prehistoric people, who bartered goods and services long before the introduction of modern-day currency. Peter Watson traces the history of long-distance commerce to 150,000 years ago (source: The Mediterranean in History, David Abulafia, Getty Publications, 2011).

Practices in modern cross-boundary/country trade have remained relatively static for the past 150 years. The only widespread implementation of technology to facilitate trade has been the advent of phone, fax, and (since 2002) EDI – Electronic Data Interchange (source: “Integration of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI): A Review,” Gengeswari, K. and Abu Bakar Abdul Hamid). More recently, widespread use of email has augmented phone- and fax-based communications.

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Technology Innovation: Disrupt—or Be Disrupted

An explosion of new technologies is creating new winners and losers in nearly every industry. You only have to look at the changing fortunes of Apple and Hewlett-Packard in the personal computer/tablet arena over the last decade to see how innovation can propel one company into superstar status, while another becomes irrelevant in the same market space.

So how can companies gain and hold an edge in technology innovation? In an engagement with a major global manufacturer, Cisco IBSG identified three key factors in the product innovation process that companies must clearly understand and be able to orchestrate:

  • Technology Strategy: Develop a technology strategy based on internal and external scans of rapidly emerging capabilities. These should include an assessment of each technology’s ability to disrupt, its stage of incubation, differentiating factors, competitive alternatives, and identification of platform choices. Developing a business and technology architecture for how the technology fits into your company’s platform portfolio is a critical step in this analysis.
  • Ecosystem Management: Arrange and manage ecosystem partners by assessing the need for technologies to perform certain functions that extend beyond your own internal capabilities, such as the ability to connect to a broader environment. You will need to understand existing and future profit pools to validate partner choices. For example, providing “smart services,” such as analytics, can extend a product’s useful life and be the source of long-term profitability, for both you and the ecosystem partners that deliver them.
  • Market Interactions: Prepare and execute detailed plans for managing market interactions, from initial introduction through full-scale market management. This includes an ongoing analysis of customer reactions, portfolio management, media communications, and potential competitors.

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Cloud-Enabled Enhancements Can Fuel Adoption of Connected Life Services

These days, many people take it for granted that they can stay informed, connected, and entertained anytime and anywhere.

But as with any change, these new capabilities and new expectations bring new challenges.  With more devices, ubiquitous internet access, and content digitized at their finger tips, consumers now face new struggles-- from managing content libraries fragmented across devices to worrying that they’re paying again and again for the same song or movie in order to access it when and where they want.

As Connected Life continues to evolve, the advancing front is being driven by the cloud.  The cloud provides answers to the new challenges consumers face living their Connected Lives. Read More »

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Cultural Considerations of Facebook

“The one thing all the popular Japanese social media platforms have in common is anonymity,”

Facebook has more than 500 million active users and is the most popular social media channel in the world. But accordingly to an online article from The Next Web, Japan is one of Facebook’s lowest performing markets. Out of an online population of almost 100 million, there are just 2 million registered Facebook users which represents a penetration of just 2%. Read More »

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