Cisco Asia Pacific

Smart, connected and secure Songkran in Thailand

Image courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Image courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Did you know: Songkran is derived from the Sanskrit word saṅkrānti and refers to astrological passage into the first zodiac sign and therefore, the start of the New Year.

Celebrated around the warm presence of family and friends, some of the traditions surrounding this festival include temple visits, paying respects to the elders, spring cleaning the home and poring a bowl of water on family members to symbolically wash off all misfortunes in the past year, thus welcoming the New Year with a fresh new start.

As Songkran takes on a more festive mood, the humble bowl has become a bucket, water guns, and even garden hoses! And where there are merry memories, there are selfies. Songkran celebrations now include selfies, hashtags, video clips of joyful moment, video calls with loved ones in distant lands (who are suddenly not too far away) – all thanks to the Internet.

With the proliferation of smartphones and other internet-ready devices, people are able to connect in ways that were unimaginable a decade ago. Now that the constraints of space and distance are eliminated by technology, the celebrations of Songkran can be extended to just about everyone.

In Thailand, connected devices and video have been bringing joy and warmth during holidays. Most Thai peSongkran selfieople head to their hometowns to get blessings from their parents and elder relatives. For others who do not have the luxury of making the trip home during Songkran, Internet video – whether posted online or live video calls – are bridging the gap, so that they do not miss out on this special occasion with their families and communities.

While we enjoy and embrace this connectivity, there is a need for caution. As we share the selfies and panorama and vine videos, please check that you are on a trusted network as criminals are disguising malware as everyday apps, although they are designed to infect and hide in plain sight on smart devices. Utilizing Web browser add-ons to distribute malware, this strategy is proving to be successful because non tech-savvy users inherently view them as harmless. Thailand currently ranks third in the world for having the highest number of location based attacks and most online breaches were ultimately traced back to user-installed malware.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand estimates that 2.4 million tourists will arrive in the month of April to join in the merriment of Songkran and to keep the everyone connected, there is a need to boost the modernization of infrastructure in Thailand. This is why it is important to build out the next-generation broadband and video support for the country wide network – not just for the increasing number of tourists, but also to embrace the inter-regional connectivity enabled by the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015 at the end of the year.

Image courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand.

Image courtesy of Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The Internet and connecting the previously unconnected is changing every aspect of how people live and communicate in Thailand, creating deeper connections despite being separated over great physical distances.

With the rise of more versatile smart and connected devices, the idea of festivities away from your family is slowly fading as these smart devices will allow us to connect and interact with our loved ones no matter the distance.

Happy New Year and here’s to our connected and secure future!


Tags: , ,

Technology, Sharing and a World of Solutions: Cisco Live 2015, Melbourne

Great vibe at Cisco Live!Cisco Live 2015 - Audience 
What an amazing event we’ve had in Melbourne at Cisco Live 2015! Five exciting days filled with Cisco technologies and the energy of participants and speakers from around the world – subject matter experts, partners, IT professionals, students and customers across industries. They all came to Cisco Live 2015 in Melbourne to be part of the great things we’re doing.

As the Chief Technology Officer and managing director of Enterprise Networks for Asia Pacific and Japan, I speak and attend many events. But not many like this. The excitement around our innovations and the positive vibe from our partners and customers couldn’t have been more palpable! (more…)

Tags: , , , ,

Celebrating Cisco Partner achievements in Australia and New Zealand

We deal with our partners and resellers every day, and have first-hand experience of how hard they work. The technology industry is constantly evolving, and it is always very challenging to thrive in such a competitive industry.

We believe that Cisco partners are the best in the business, and want the world to know what an amazing team we have around us.

So, in order to recognise the dedication and hard work of our partner network in Australia,  we hosted an event earlier tonight, where Cisco congratulated the winners of two Cisco Partner award programs, before the official opening of our annual event Cisco Live in Melbourne.

As the Director of Cisco Australia’s Partner Business Group, Jason Brouwers said that the Cisco Partner Insight Awards at Cisco Live is probably his favourite professional event of the year. Cisco is a business built on partners, and it’s incredibly important to focus on the people who constantly perform above and beyond expectations.

This year we also had the pleasure of recognising the four winners of the Partner Marketing Excellence Awards. These awards reward innovative, creative marketing programs that deliver outstanding business results.

The Cisco partner team and our reseller community enjoyed an amazing dinner, and shared many laughs, stories and memories, and Cisco is looking forward to enjoying it all again next year!

The official winners of the evening are listed below, but Jason wants to acknowledge all of Cisco’s hard working partners, and thank them for everything they achieved through 2014.

The full list of 2015 Cisco Partner Insight Award winners:

Learning Partner of the Year Dimension Data Learning Solutions
Cisco Capital Partner of the Year Optus Business
Services Partner of the Year Optus Business
Application Platform Partner of the Year Contexti
Cloud Partner of the Year Telstra
Cloud Solution Excellence Partner of the Year Dimension Data
Smart and Connected Partner of the Year iiNet
Software Solutions Partner of the Year Data#3
Community Contribution Award Dimension Data
Internet of Everything Partner of the Year Bridge Point Communications
Innovation Partner of the Year NEC Australia
Innovation Partner of the Year Spark Digital New Zealand
Small Business Partner of the Year Mercury IT
Mid-Market Partner of the Year Harbour IT
Vertical Solution Innovation Partner of the Year Telstra
Technical Excellence Award Lee Stafford, Dimension Data
Alliance Manager of the Year Chris Losco, Telstra
Distribution Partner of the Year Ingram Micro Australia
Teaming Excellence Award Lianne Cummins-Toi, Telstra and John Kent, Cisco
Solutions Delivery Excellence Award Arthur Thodis, NEC Australia



The full list of 2015 Cisco Partner Marketing Excellence Award winners:

Best revenue marketing program Optus
Best vertical marketing program Amcom
Best Cisco Powered marketing program Data#3
Best Distributor marketing program Dicker Data




Calling all hackers… Join us @ Cisco Live Melbourne for the first ever DevNet!

For the first time in Australia, Cisco will host DevNet and a Hackathon at Cisco Live 2015 – exclusively for the developer community. This is a new addition to the Cisco Live program which is our premier annual event for customers, partners and IT professionals in Melbourne from 17 – 21 March, 2015. It is the third of its kind and Cisco is planning to expand these globally.

What is DevNetCLMel_DevNet_1?
DevNet is a series of practical sessions designed to help developers stay informed on the latest Cisco technologies. Developers will get involved in a range of sessions which cover basic to advanced tutorials across platforms including: IoT, ACI, SDN, Openstack, Data Virtualisation, and Collaboration. They’ll walk away with the ability to create new apps and solutions on Cisco technology platforms for a global market coupled with practical tips and insights from Cisco technical experts.

Ultimately, DevNet will help developers build applications to enhance and manage Cisco networks and/or create new network-enabled software applications. An essential benefit of the forum is the opportunity to connect and network with fellow hackers and experts.

The Hackathon
Cisco will host its first Hackathon in Australia with developers competing to create an app that solves a real-life problem whilst leveraging Cisco technologies. The Hackathon will be a great opportunity to meet other developers who will unleash their coding and design talents, provide hands-on support and come up with the solution to the big challenge.

What you can score?
If you’re registered for DevNet Hackathon you can take out a share in a cash prize of $9,000!

To sign up to the DevNet program and Cisco Live Melbourne visit:

For news and updates from Cisco Live Melbourne 2015, follow me at @KevinBloch and @CiscoLiveMEL


Tags: , , , ,

Increasing Philippines’ Competitiveness through IoE

The internet has evolved from a message medium to a network grid connecting numerous computers and people throughout the world. Millions of people connect to the internet for entertainment, interaction, work and study. It has been such an integral part of the modern man’s life that the United Nations declared the internet as a fundamental human right. At Cisco, we believe that Education and the Internet are the great equalizers of the next century. (more…)

Tags: , , , ,

Bigwigs, bugs and bad traffic – building better models for Asia

In case you missed it, the planet’s bigwigs met at the World Economic Forum (WEF) last month to discuss global issues and drink wine amongst the Alps.   A couple of weeks earlier the WEF published their annual Global Risks Report which detailed a litany of macroeconomic, socio-political and governance problems which threaten our fragile world. Two other ‘companion pieces’ released around the same time made for further uplifting reading: the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report laid out graphically the environmental challenge engulfing us, while Oxfam’s Wealth – Having it all and Wanting More paper shocked with the statement that by next year 1 percent of the globe’s population will own more wealth than the ‘bottom’ 99 percent combined.

Here in Asia, it is sometimes easy for us to be a little too sanguine about the world’s problems. We have economic growth rates which others can only dream of. Unemployment remains low, especially compared to Europe. And we have so far avoided the deadly Ebola virus, while our political climate remains stable compared to the conflict and political paralysis seemingly endemic to other parts of the world. (more…)

Tags: ,

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.


Tags: , , , , , , ,

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.

Tags: , , , , ,

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…)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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…)

Tags: , ,

More Posts