Nicola Villa

Managing Director, Global Analytics Practice

Cisco Consulting Services

Nicola Villa, a 15-year veteran of Cisco, is Managing Director of the Cisco Consulting Services Global Analytics Practice, which deploys an innovative consulting approach to developing customer insights based on network (“Big Data”) and Analytics.

Previously, Villa was a senior director in the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), leading the Public Sector Practice as global director. The Practice engaged with globally innovative public-sector organizations on Open Innovation programs in central and local governments, education, and public safety.

He was also head of Local Government and Broadband for IBSG, and was in charge of consulting activities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. In addition, he set up IBSG’s consulting operations in Southern Europe. In 1998, Villa developed and ran Cisco’s first Internet Commerce program, the world’s largest business-to-business e-commerce website at the time of its implementation.

Villa also managed Cisco’s Connected Urban Development program, which was part of Cisco’s commitment to the Clinton Global Initiative to develop innovative information and communications technology (ICT) and broadband solutions in large metropolitan areas to help reduce CO2 emissions.

He is an executive board member of the World Economic Forum’s “Future of Urbanization” program, and an advisor to Metropolis, the global network of metropolitan regions through its Partnership for Urban Innovation Commission.

He has a strong focus on innovation and sustainability policy, and collaborates with central government agencies, often at the Cabinet level, to support the creation of national innovation, ICT, and broadband strategies.

Villa is an Italian national who has been living in the United Kingdom and in the Netherlands for several years. He studied business economics at the Universita’ Cattolica in Milan and at the Brighton University in the United Kingdom. Villa wrote his thesis on industrial economics, analyzing the effects of technical standardization policies on the Internet and GSM telephony market.


Analytics at the Edge: Where the Network Becomes the Database

In 1984, John Gage of Sun Microsystems coined the phrase “the network is the computer” as computing functions started to become increasingly distributed across the network. Today, boundaries that once separated individual computers have disappeared and application processing is enabled—and managed—by the network. We are now at the forefront of a new market transition, as […]

December 17, 2013


Digital Disruptors and the Future of Consulting

In my role as leader of the Analytics Practice for Cisco® Consulting Services, I often meet with clients who remind me of how the nature of consulting is changing. Traditionally, a consultant’s value and relevance to the customer has been derived from his or her business background and knowledge of specific industries or areas of […]

November 18, 2013


Big Data: Not Just Big, but Fast and Smart, Too

I am attending South Korea’s Big Data Forum in Seoul, and one question here is, “How big is Big Data?” My friend and colleague Dave Evans has pointed out that by the end of this year, more data will be created every 10 minutes than in the entire history of the world up to 2008. […]