Cisco Asia Pacific

Reflecting on the Year of the Horse in Asia Pacific

Time flies, and in almost the blink of an eye, the Chinese Zodiac Year of the Horse is almost over. It has been truly exciting and memorable for all of us at Cisco, particularly in the Asia Pacific and Japan.

In the Chinese Zodiac, the horse symbolizes leadership and freedom. In the same vein, we kicked off 2014 by launching our Annual Security Report, as well as an online marketplace for SMEs in Indonesia to bring partners and customers together. The latter is notably the first of its kind in ASEAN. Meanwhile in March, Cisco announced the Intercloud, a globally interconnected “cloud of Clouds”, which is poised to revolutionize cloud computing. Already, we’ve grown our InterCloud partner network around the globe, signing up Asia-based companies like LG CNS, NTT Data and Wipro.

Not only is a horse majestic, it is often regarded as a symbol of success. To galvanize innovation and support local start-ups, we held the inaugural Cisco Internet of Things (IoT) Innovation Grand Challenge in May. Among the finalists for this competition was Subnero, a start-up from Singapore aiming to make underwater wireless communications a reality. Moving into June, a total of 40 million US dollars was allocated to fund early-stage firms in India, underscoring Cisco’s commitment in promoting growth and entrepreneurship.  In addition, we celebrated 20 yearsof Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE) accreditation in China, home to the largest pool of CCIE professionals.

In July, Cisco and ELCIA jointly established Asia’s first end-to-end IoT Innovation Hub in Bangalore, providing an important foundation for companies engaged in IoT product development. Over in Korea, we invested $100 million in August to further IoE innovation, funding early-stage firms like N3N, an IoE visualization solution provider. September marked the launch of the NetRider National CCNA Competition in Asia Pacific, as part of the Cisco Networking Academy. To date, 92% of our CCNA students in Asia Pacific have cited better career and education opportunities, directly as a result of this Industry-leading certification program.

September also saw us unveiling the ‘Cisco Smart City' blueprint in India, and establishing Australia’s first IoT Innovation Hub in Adelaide, collectively under Cisco Smart+Connected Communities concept for modern cities. There was also the opening of Cisco Global Support Center Dalian, facilitating round-the-clock customer service in countries, such as China and Russia. In October, the worldwide IoT Challenge for Young Women was unveiled in Malaysia, encouraging ideas to better peoples’ lives and boost efficiency, as reflected by the adventurous spirit of the horse. Our CTO Monique Morrow was also featured in the pioneer “Women Rock IT” Cisco TV series, under a similarly named initiative to encourage women in APJ to pursue an IT career. As a matter of fact, this region currently has the most female CCNA participants compared to anywhere else in the world.

We also unveiled our newest Internet of Everything (IoE) Innovation Center at Tokyo in November, spearheading smart solutions for the local and international markets, as well as launching Cisco Investments in Japan. In other IoE-related activity, the Cisco IoE Codefest in Korea which lasted for 28 hours was a resounding success, where over 100 developers converged to share their ideas and passions.

Another major milestone in November was the global release of our latest Cisco Connected World Technology report. It offers insights into the future of work and the paradigm shift that is happening amongst Generation Y employees, as a result of the transformative nature of modern technologies. We’ll also be releasing an Asia-centric study based on the same theme very soon, so keep a look out for it! In early December, Cisco also showcased its products conceptualized and designed in India, in a continuous push to realize a digital India vision and bolster local innovation. We are ecstatic to shape the future of IoE in Australia and New Zealand through our investment in Blackbird Ventures, a venture capital firm that specializes in building internet start-ups.

For the year 2014, Cisco also marked its 20th anniversary in transforming lives in China, Korea and Thailand. In recognition for our contribution in promoting growth across APJ, we have been receiving awards, too, including the Asia Best Corporate Social Responsibility Practice Award for Community Development and the Golden Peacock Award for Corporate Social Responsibility from the Institute of Directors for Cisco India.

This year, we celebrate Cisco’s 30th anniversary - as we look back at our humble roots as a network equipment manufacturer and then at our journey into a company that is transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborate, all around the world.

And as we look forward to the Year of the Goat, on behalf Cisco and all our employees, I wish you and your family the very best for the year ahead.


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The Next 30 Years And India’s Second Technology Revolution

Recently I read with great pride that in 2014 India received the third highest venture capital funding among countries and Bengaluru was fifth in cities globally that received the most funding. When we celebrated our 66th Republic Day in January, it was a wonderful feeling to reflect on what we have achieved in the technology industry in the country. It’s just over 30 years since the first technology revolution in India began with the success of Indian companies providing IT services to companies globally. Today the Indian IT services industry is a $118 billion industry. India is home to 5000+ companies and 750+ MNCs, according to Nasscom.

3 million direct jobs and 9.5 million indirect jobs have been created in India through this technology revolution and yet the impact of the technology industry has been far more. Technology is providing millions of entrepreneurs and thousands of companies with opportunities to address needs and overcome problems. Think about the millions of man-hours saved with close to half of all reserved train tickets booked online. Look at how companies like Flipkart are bringing modern retail to smaller cities in the country by creating reliable supply chains and innovative payment models.

Cisco celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and has seen the power of the Internet transform businesses and modernize economies. We have been in India since 1995; at that time less than 1 percent of the world’s population was connected on the Internet. Today 40% of the world is connected and India is adding an average of 5 million Internet users a month. We believe that we have the opportunity for a second technology revolution in India.

Through the government’s Digital India program, infrastructure will be offered as a utility to every citizen, governance and services will be on demand and citizens will be digitally empowered. India is home to the world’s largest talent pool: 4.7 million graduates and postgraduates according to Nasscom. Imagine what happens when entrepreneurs and companies start to better address unmet needs and challenges in the country.

Cisco is excited to help enable the vision of a Digital India. The foundation of a Digital India will be the intelligent connection of people, process, data, and things. We will see companies digitize and the country digitize: street lights, parking spaces, kiosks, sensor-based water defences and smart energy grid services. The Digital India vision holds the potential of a second technology revolution in India where everything and everyone can be connected.

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Top 10 ICT Trends in 2015: are you ready for digital transformation?

Cisco 30 YearsOne of the best parts about my job is that I get to spend a lot of time listening to some very smart people, both internally within Cisco and externally. As we touch so many parts of the global technology industry and market, it puts me in a fantastic position to see what’s coming down the track. So, each year around this time, I take the opportunity to offer some predictions for the year ahead (which, incidentally, is Cisco’s 30th birthday).  (more…)

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Welcome to the future!

Cisco 30 YearsHappy new year from Cisco in Asia Pacific and Japan! As we start the new year, I want to take just a few moments to share with you what Cisco has been doing in the region to bring the transformative power of the Internet to governments, businesses and individuals in the region. (more…)

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10 things that led to a #connectedfuture

Cisco 30 YearsInnovations and great ideas have resulted in ground-breaking technologies that permanently transformed the way we work, live, play, learn and connect. Continuing with Cisco’s 30th anniversary celebrations, here are ten things that became the foundation for  a truly connected and digital world.  (more…)

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Smart offices and flexi-work: The new frontier in Asia

For decades, the physical office has been the de facto definition of a workplace for most of us, where we get our jobs completed.  While it is still important to retain this physical space, the future office will undergo a fundamental transformation. Already, many companies in Asia are now warming up to the idea of a ‘borderless’ office - essentially a virtualized workplace which empowers employees to work from anywhere and at anytime. These could include homes, libraries, cafes, remote offices, airports, hotels and customer or partner offices.

Future of Work in AsiaBorderless offices are instrumental for enabling flexible work practices, increasingly a necessity in a globally connected companies. Flexi-work also levels the playing field for working parents and those with disabilities – empowering them to fully participate in the workforce – while saving precious commuting time to-and-from the office. In Bangkok for example, it can take up to 2 hours to travel less than 1 km by car. Implementing flexi-work practices providers employees with the option of starting out later or working from home, saving them hours of commute time.

Driving the borderless office trend is the confluence of cloud and mobility technologies. Many companies today already enable their employees to access just about all corporate data, ranging from regular emails to confidential business data online. Moreover, this is achievable seamlessly and securely across an ecosystem of devices – mobile, desktop, personal and company owned.


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Santa Connects with Children at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital via Video from the North Pole!

Christmas came early to patients of Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane, with Santa making a surprise visit! Unable to leave his grotto in the North Pole, tech savvy Santa had the elves work with Cisco, UXC, the Starlight Children’s Foundation and Queensland Health, so he could connect with a number of children who are unable to leave the hospital to celebrate Christmas.

Captain Starlight made his way around the hospital visiting children with Santa accompanying him, connected through a mobile TelePresence video unit. The children and their families were then able to interact directly with Santa, sharing their wishes and hopes in the lead up to the big day.

Sophie and her mum sharing their Christmas wish list with Santa (photo provided by Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital)
Sophie and her mum sharing their Christmas wish list with Santa (photo provided by
Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital)

This was all made possible using Cisco high-definition video technology that creates life-like face-to-face connection with Santa, over the hospital wireless network. Take a look at the ABC’s coverage from the event.

A big thank you to Santa and Captain Starlight for helping bring smiles to so many children’s faces – and the entire team and partners who made this visit possible.

Santa is visiting sick children in hospitals around the world thanks to Cisco’s annual Connected Santa program, to bring festive joy and happiness. The team at Cisco was absolutely delighted to be part of such a special and worthwhile visit in Brisbane!

Anniversaries, partners and Nanjing long-distance calls

This month, Cisco celebrates our 30th birthday, a company that I have been with for the past 16 years. While many people played a role in the launch of the Internet, Cisco’s claim to fame was that its two founders, Sandy Lerner and Len Bosack, created the first multi-protocol router which allowed data to be sent from one computer to another across a network.

Sandy Lerner and Len Bosack, Cisco's Founders.

Sandy Lerner and Len Bosack, Cisco's Founders.

Legend has it that they were motivated by the desire to send love notes to each other across the Stanford campus. For love or money, this invention helped Cisco to become the fastest company in history to reach US$1 billion in annual revenue, and today a large majority of the world's Internet traffic travels across systems built by Cisco.

Just six years after Cisco was founded, the company opened its first office in Asia-Pacific, in Sydney, Australia. Coincidently, that same year, I also moved from my native Canada and set up shop in Asia-Pacific, in Nanjing, China. Of course the Asia of 1990 was a radically different place than the Asia of today. When I first lived in Nanjing, there were no private cars on the roads, only bicycles. In that city of 5 million people, there was only one building over 15 stories tall. And to phone Canada the cost was US$7 per minute, which proved a pretty quick way to bankrupt me as I dragged out a break-up with a girlfriend back home.


Commemorating Cisco’s 30th anniversary

Today, Cisco kicked off a year-long celebration of our 30th anniversary. Cisco has come a long way - from our first multi-protocol router 30 years ago to becoming the global leader in networking and now working towards becoming the no. 1 IT company in the world. Cisco has transformed how people connect, communicate and collaborate by enabling the Internet with innovations such as IP Telephony, TelePresence, Unified Computing, Application Centric Infrastructure, Intercloud and most recently, Connected Analytics.

In Asia Pacific, Cisco too has come a long way. From our first office in Tokyo in 1992, we now have over 38 offices and over 15,000 employees across the region. One of our recent milestones in the region includes the Global Center of Excellence, established last year in Songdo, South Korea, as a showcase for Smart Cities. Meanwhile, the Cisco Internet of Things Innovation Grand Challenge lets startups like Singapore-based Subnero punch above their weight. By giving them a voice, this global open competition aims to recognise promising companies as well as accelerate the adoption of breakthrough technologies and products.

Cisco 30 Years


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Cisco Is Investing in Australian and New Zealand Innovation

To accelerate the implementation and adoption of the next phase of the internet which Cisco refers to as the Internet of Everything (IoE), Cisco itself is innovating and investing in many areas to make the IoE a reality, from the network platform to cyber security, cloud and data analytics. But there are still many opportunities for innovation and new companies to emerge and we want to seek out, invest in and where appropriate, assist those companies to accelerate the transition to IoE on a global basis.

With this in mind, Cisco is pleased to have made an investment in Blackbird Ventures. Blackbird is a venture capital firm whose purpose is to help build global internet start-ups from Australia. The organisation is a collection of the founders of some of the country’s most successful start-ups, including Atlassian and one of Silicon Valley’s top investors.

Australians and New Zealanders have a wealth of relevant Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills and have proven themselves to be adept at identifying market opportunities. We have recently seen significant momentum among local start-ups and early stage companies and our announcement today is the first part of a multi-phase plan to foster this growth and to invest in this region.

Cisco’s investment will allow Blackbird’s portfolio companies access to cutting edge Cisco technologies very early in their life cycle and will help accelerate their path to becoming global organisations. By collaborating with Blackbird who has a good understanding of Cisco and where the market is heading, we are opening up our visibility to the Australian and New Zealand start-up community well beyond that which we are able to do independently. We are excited about playing a part in investing in local innovation and helping where appropriate to globalise.

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