In my last blog, I touched on some of cool innovation happening at Cisco. Today, I want to focus on one in particular: CHILL (Cisco Hyper-Innovation Living Labs). CHILL is helping Cisco re-define how ideas come to fruition. CHILL takes a vertical and creates an environment where a handful of Cisco’s biggest (non-competing) customers come together, collaborate and build prototypes to drive rapid results – Not in a matter of years but within months, days, or mere hours. Now that’s cool (no pun intended) innovation.

Cisco's New Innovation Engine
Cisco’s New Innovation Engine

Recently, CHILL brought together giants of industry to transform supply chain and logistics. They included Airbus, Caterpillar, DHL and Cisco’s very own Supply Chain as well. Over two days these customers were teamed together in a living lab environment to ideate and develop solutions. The solutions were then prototyped and tested with end-users live in the room to validate each solution. They went through 12 cycles of iterations and truly drove disruptive outcomes.

Last year CHILL also brought together four of retail’s biggest brand titans – Costco, Nike, Lowe’s, and Visa. With a willingness to focus on customer needs, learn quickly, and build on ideas, sleeves were rolled up and co-innovation blossomed over 48 hours. These companies worked together under the single ambition of how to remove queues from the retail experience. Ideas ensued and — with the power of Cisco engineering, proto-typing, and technology resources to support them — moved the needle toward real tangible solutions that could be taken to market.

Moving real solutions from concept to action in today’s world takes hyper-innovation. CHILL’s formula is quickly working across the globe, in verticals like healthcare, financial services, and transport to ignite innovation that is valuable for Cisco and our customers. Customers involved in these CHILL experiences tap in to Cisco’s $6 billion in R&D resources and $2.2 billion in venture capital portfolio. The solutions that are developed provide opportunities to drive growth for Cisco and our customers through joint ventures, seeding new businesses, joint projects, and partnered go to market.

Pretty cool, right? How do you see hyper-innovation changing your industry?


Kip Compton

No longer with Cisco