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Innovating Beyond Technology

When people talk about innovation, they typically refer to the underlying technology and its benefits to users.  For example, articles on innovation in the cloud often describe the new features and applications organizations can now access and the ways these will transform how they do they business.

Innovation, however, can go far beyond technology.  Sometimes, how technology is delivered is as important as the technology itself.  There can even be innovation in how a customer pays for services.

In their blog “How Predictable is the Cost of Your Cloud?” Cisco partner Vodafone describes how it has added value to its Cisco Powered Unified Communications service offering through their unique pricing model.

According to Vodafone, one of the benefits of unifying an organization’s communications is the ability for users to work where they want.  For many users, this means they can stay connected even when traveling in other countries. Read More »

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Innovation Moves Quickly; Arista Should Not Delay ITC Case

We previously committed to providing important updates on our legal action over Arista’s pervasive copying and misappropriation of Cisco intellectual property. Today, an International Trade Commission (ITC) Administrative Law Judge issued an order rejecting Arista’s request to consolidate Cisco’s two ITC complaints.

Arista’s request had itself included an acknowledgement that consolidation could cause a six month delay in the proceedings. We felt this ran counter to the language of the Commission’s own Rule 201.7(a) permitting consolidation “in order to expedite.”

We are pleased that the Administrative Law Judge promptly rejected this request, and with it the argument that Cisco was somehow looking to “game the system.” Our filing of separate complaints was consistent with ITC practices, and focused squarely on delivering a speedy and lowest cost resolution for all involved.

As highlighted in the January 22 update to our blog (Protecting Innovation: International Trade Commission Commences Investigation), Arista’s initial legal arguments had focused on attempting to avoid enforcement of Cisco’s rights by utilizing the “public interest” exemption, an approach the Commission chose not to refer for action. This latest decision is a rejection of Arista’s legal maneuvering to delay the outcome. With the discovery process now underway, we are looking forward to Arista addressing the complaints directly.

We now believe that Arista intends to file a motion seeking a delayed 22 month target date in one of the ITC cases. We hope that in light of today’s ruling, they will reconsider this motion so we can focus on the prompt resolution of the case.

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Mobile in Milan – Cisco Live!

Whether you are among the 8,000 attendees participating at Cisco Live Milan in-person or among our many virtual attendees catching the live web broadcast, you’ll find lots to help you with your mobility-related projects.

Mobile in Milan

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Protecting Innovation: International Trade Commission Commences Investigation

A short while ago, the International Trade Commission (ITC) took an important first step toward the speedy review and action we requested regarding Arista’s widespread infringement of Cisco’s patented networking technology. We welcome the ITC’s initial action in this case, and by voting to commence an investigation into our complaints regarding Arista’s use of Cisco’s patented technology in its products, the ITC has started down a road that should lead to resolution within a matter of months. Trials are generally completed within 9 to 12 months after an investigation is instituted. We are committed to driving fast action regarding Arista’s illicit copying. Our complaints to the ITC detail Arista’s inclusion in its products of a wide array of important Cisco features covered by 12 different U.S. patents. All of these patented technologies are core technologies being used in products we currently ship to our customers. And none of these Cisco proprietary implementations are part of industry standards. You can read our complaints here and here.

We look forward to the opening of the discovery process so that we can further document the widespread infringement, which Arista itself has advertised as a key selling point of their products (see my blog when we brought our lawsuits on December 5).

As the ITC’s decision to commence investigations was just confirmed, we will evaluate the documents that we expect to receive, and provide updates in the coming days.

Further Update: 22 January 2015

Interestingly, the ITC apparently did not elect to undertake further investigation into Arista’s request that the trial judge consider whether their products are so vital to the national interest that they should be allowed to continue to be sold, even if they infringe (See Arista’s Public Interest Statement). We were surprised that Arista even asked. We had expected them to simply deny infringement. Instead, they claimed, “Many others have used, and continue to use, technologies Cisco accuses Arista of using without any complaint from Cisco” as a justification for infringement, and claiming that “Arista’s products serve critical roles in U.S. commerce and security [and] [t]he issuance of any exclusion order would raise public health, safety, or welfare concerns.” As laid out in detail in the December 5 blog, Arista is unique in the scope of its copying of Cisco technology. That’s why this is the first patent lawsuit we’ve initiated in eleven years. Arista has many competitors who do not copy the Cisco technologies Arista chose to incorporate in their products.

Arista has it backwards. There is a strong public interest, long recognized by the ITC, in protecting innovation and excluding the importation and sale of infringing products. That’s why the ITC exists. So we are pleased it looks like the trials will focus on the merits of our claims, without spending resources on Arista’s argument that the public has an interest in letting it infringe Cisco’s patents.

 

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In Retail, Insight Is Currency, and Context Is King

Today’s retailers face a rising tide of change, disruption, and challenges, all driven by technology. As their business landscape is upended, many are struggling to adapt to changing consumer behaviors, competition from disruptive innovators, and exponentially increasing complexity.

The source of much of this disruption is the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the networked connection of people, process, data, and things, and Cisco projects these connections to surge from 13 billion today to 50 billion in the next decade. For retailers, that means a sharp increase in the potential channels, devices, and shopping journeys that are available to consumers. Increasingly, retailers must meet new demands for relevant, efficient, and convenient shopping experiences, whether in-store or out.

IoE_Retail_Figure_Journey_3-2

But for traditional retailers, IoE also presents tremendous opportunities. At the National Retail Federation’s “Big Show” in New York this week, I have seen a great openness to change and innovation. As I see it, traditional retailers are ready to step into the IoE era, but they will need the right ecosystem of partners to guide them through the transformation and help them make the right investments.

To better understand these opportunities and the changing competitive dynamics in retail, Cisco recently undertook a comprehensive, three-pronged study consisting of original research, economic analysis, and interviews with retail industry thought leaders. Released this week, the first wave of primary research findings includes 1240 consumer responses from the United States and the United Kingdom.

A key theme that emerged from the research was that today’s consumers demand new kinds of digital experiences, both in-store and out. In our survey, we presented respondents with 19 concept tests — everything from digital signage and same-day delivery to mobile payments and augmented reality. Above all, we found that shoppers seek a hyper-relevant experience — more so than a hyper-personalized one. In short, efficiency and savings are more important to them than personal engagement.

In our survey, 38 percent of respondents identified greater efficiency in the shopping process (e.g., ensuring items are in stock, speeding checkout times) as the area retailers most need to improve. By contrast, 13 percent sought improvements that would lead to a more personalized shopping experience. Read More »

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