Innovation is often defined as novel technological invention. What is far less known about successful innovation efforts is that it takes a special breed of individual who possesses the rare combination of technical depth and sharp diplomatic skills. To be a successful innovator, one must be able to maneuver through political mine fields inherent with industry level leadership and standards bodies.

Cisco is fortunate to have such individuals who work in our Government Affairs, Compliance, SP Standards and Corporate Consulting Engineering teams and it makes the company a very formidable entity.

Our preparation for the ITU-T CTO meeting, the Global Standards Symposium and the World Telecommunications Standards Assembly, all held in Dubai this November, provide very recent and tangible examples of how Cisco is succeeding in this multi-dimensional world.

It is in such meetings that we as a team will push back on what may be unnecessary replication of standards efforts and/or an encroachment to an open, multi-stakeholder Internet. I have been participating in the ITU CTO meeting for the past few years representing our CTO, Padmasree Warrior.  Chip Sharp has served as my my advisor in preparation for the ITU CTO meeting, Chip has been responsible for flagging issues that private industry intends to discuss in these meetings and in accordance, prepare a coalesced Cisco response.  Some recent examples include SDN and eHealth.

About five months prior to the GSS-12 and WTSA-12 events, Cisco’s Eliot Lear started team meetings involving SP CTO, Compliance, Government Affairs and the Corporate Consulting Engineering teams to shape a coalesced Cisco position.  Cisco senior engineering leadership additionally endorsed their support for Technical Leader Paul Jones and myself to be candidates for the ITU-T Vice Chair positions.  In fact, Paul Jones was consented at WTSA-12 as Vice Chair for Study Group 16 (Multimedia). I will serve as Vice Chair for the Telecommunications Standards Advisory Group where some tough issues are expected to be discussed.

These nominations are vetted by the U.S. State Department. Another recent example was my engagement as FTTH APAC Council President in a workshop held in Dhaka, Bangladesh in November. I was accompanied by Cisco Director, Marc Teichtahl. Marc co-leads the FTTH Council APAC Cloud and Gigabit System Committee. The Cisco leadership engagement in the FTTH Council is supported by the SP Access Group. http://www.ftthcouncilap.org/

The purpose of the workshop was to kick start a grassroots discussion regarding FTTH deployments in Bangladesh. We also wanted to bring thought leadership to the SP/Operator market and build relationships with the government entities responsible for the national broadband agenda. The event was a great success, attracting about 65 participants including many CXO attendees, and the Honorable Chairman of the Bangladesh Telecommunications Regulatory Committee. Here are some related news items:




Media Coverage:






What an awesome team we have at Cisco.

I’d like to acknowledge some people who have been key contributors in this recent round of standards events: Chip Sharp, Eliot Lear, David Case, Tony Al-Makdissy, KY Hong, Gale Lightfoot, Phil Jacobs, Robert Pepper, and Paul Jones.


Monique Morrow


New Frontiers Development and Engineering