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Introductions and Introspections

May 12, 2008 - 4 Comments

I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself, and to reinvigorate what I hope to be a broad and open dialogue between you-the industry analyst community-and the Cisco AR team. My name is Terry Anderson and I am VP of Corporate Communications here at Cisco, responsible for the public relations and community relations teams, and more recently, the industry analyst relations group as well. In my ten years here at Cisco, I have worked both directly and indirectly with the industry analyst community, and can attest to the appreciation we have of your broad customer and market insight, your willingness to debate and dialogue with our executive team, and most importantly, your candid feedback. In this spirit of two-way dialogue, I’d like to share with you a summary of comments made by John Chambers regarding Cisco and innovation during our third quarter fiscal year 2008 conference call last Tuesday. John’s comments struck me as perhaps a new way to think about innovation in the high tech industry. At minimum, certainly a clear focus on how Cisco innovates and our vision for how we view the role of intelligent networks in shaping the future of businesses, countries and communities. To recap at a high level, the 8 areas of innovation John highlighted include:

  1. Product Innovation: This is the ‘traditional’ way that many people look at technology companies. Product innovations highlighted for this past quarter included the ASR 1000, the Nexus 7000 and 5000, AXP, TelePresence momentum, and Web –
  2. New Business Models: The network’s role in enabling innovation for our customers as what we believe will be the future of how technology should be viewed
  3. Market Transitions: We believe innovation should be based on leading market transitions, as opposed to the traditional definition of innovation being viewed as a direct comparison to competitors
  4. Technology Architectures: We believe this will be the way that our industry evolves, moving from boxes and software, operating systems, ASICs and services being independent components, to the future of technology architectures, where the network becomes the platform for all of IT and communications
  5. Business Architectures: This is where Cisco will focus on a total architectural solution to achieve the top business priorities of our customers. The intelligent network enables these solutions. An example of how Cisco innovates in terms of our businesses top priorities is how we use collaboration and networked web 2.0 technologies to implement our strategies across 22 cross-functional priorities. Another example would be how we partner with countries to build their economic cities of the future.
  6. Productivity Innovation: In many ways, Cisco led Phase I of the Internet in internal utilization with resulting productivity increases for both ourselves and our customers. We expect that the business models enabled by collaboration and networked web 2.0 will drive a very similar”instant replay” in Phase II of the Internet. It is this type of productivity opportunities that will cause, in our opinion, the investments in our industry to increase over the next 3-5 years.
  7. Entertainment Innovation: This will be based on Visual Networking and will change everything from the way we interface between our family and friends, to how we watch sporting events with our community with common interests, to creating our own entertainment with different social networks. Cisco is moving rapidly in these market areas and may over time focus with our partners on how this will change business models, including advertising.
  8. Organization Evolution: We believe that perhaps the most fundamental form of innovation in the market is what Cisco is leading moving from the traditional hierarchical command and control approach to collaboration and teamwork approach enabled by networked technologies.

So-your thoughts? Which of these resonate most with you (or don’t)? Again, your reactions, observations, feedback and input are welcome and valued. As for this blog, moving forward I’d like to use it as a platform for the global AR team to chat about news of note, concepts on our minds, the role of AR, the changing analyst landscape-you name it. Please weigh in-the broader, the bolder, the better. We look forward to hearing from you. Best Regards, Terry

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  1. H Terry,The answer is yes, yes and yes, but recognising that there will be no single answer. For some people, and in some situations the face to face will be preferred, and in others a direct message over Twitter will be the most effective. They key right now is to experiment, test things out, see what works, where and why. Its not only useful for the specific interaction, but it is also a huge help to understanding how these things work in general.All the best, Jon

  2. Barbara-Our engagement model with industry analysts has evolved quite a bit over time. Over the past few years we have built, as you put it, an upstream”” focus into the program and are finding it to be a solid win – win for Cisco and the analysts. For both, we have better alignment and insight in how Cisco’s corporate strategy/direction aligns with our products and solutions approach. Your second point is one I’d like to explore a bit further. As to the future of our IA program, we are looking at how innovation across process, technology and culture plays a role in our engagement model going forward. Culturally, we value a high-touch model with a diverse set of analysts, but how do we scale that approach as we expand into new markets and geographies? We know that our budget will not likely expand tremendously, so we must embrace new forms of communication and collaboration with the analyst community. We are looking at a number of options of how this new engagement model might work and you’ll definitely be hearing more from us on the topic. In the interim, I’m curious to hear from the analyst community — are you open to a new model of interaction? How comfortable are you tapping into Cisco via technology as an extension to face to face, phone and email communication? We are already using TelePresence broadly here, but what about targeted social networking or other forms of collaboration technology to drive that model?”

  3. Terry, Good to see you reaching out through this blog. I would be interested in understanding how Cisco leverages the industry analysts (and other types of advisors and market analysis) in approaching each of the 8 areas of innovation. There are few examples of real-world analyst involvement upstream, in the early phases of business and technology planning.Plus, it would be interesting to learn Cisco perspectives on how the process and culture of innovation is changing at Cisco, and what that means to the future of IT analyst relations and budgeting at Cisco.

  4. As a internet video producer, some of the comments here particularly interest me. With YouTube and the many permutations therein, the door is wide open for companies to deal directly with productions as far as advertising is concerned. There are some productions (Lonelygirl15, Redearth88) that have attempted to utilize social networking to be apart of their production, but have yet to properly use it other than as a gimmick for the hardcore”” audience.Some then have attempted to integrate advertising into their show. However, most of these ads are shoehorned into the show and not only fail the production, but the advertisement as well. I believe there are ways for social networking to be used to the fullest in an entertainment production that is both successful for those looking to dig deeper, and easy-to-use for the casual user, as well as advertisement that isn’t overbearing (which makes both the production and the company advertising look bad) without rendering the integrated ad itself ineffective. I would love to discuss this further if possible with anyone willing to listen, as I believe companies like Cisco are on the right track, and could lead the way in achieving the sort of advertising on internet video productions that is successful without the audience feeling bombarded.”