Cisco Asia Pacific

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.

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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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The exciting evolution of our connected world

The world we live in is continuously evolving, especially when it comes to the technology landscape. By 2020, there could be as many as 50 billion connected devices around the world, including smart refrigerators and vehicles, all wired to the Internet, which unlocks a whole gamut of possibilities.

Some of the trends which are emerging as a result of these increased network nodes include hyperconnectivity, flexible working styles and wearable technology. These shifts have the potential to disrupt our existing way of living and doing business globally.

This hyperconnectivity in a zettabyte era describes the intricate interactions between objects, people, places, businesses and governments, accelerated by the proliferation of Internet access and smartphones.

What could take this mainstream are low-cost handsets from manufacturers, such as India’s MTN Steppa and China’s Coolpad 7231, both priced at less than US$50 -  truly game changing.

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is another key contributing factor, where everyday objects have an IP address, making automation and remote sensing a reality. The data mined from the inter-connectivity promises an incredible USD 19 trillion in value for businesses that embrace the opportunity to connect the previously unconnected.

Cisco Transportation - Connected Corner - WEBHyperconnectivity could bridge the digital divide, ushering the information age to the unconnected in Asia and transforming our occupation, lives, hobbies and education.

As far as enterprise mobility is concerned, a borderless workplace and flexible working hours are going to be the next frontier. We can already access our corporate emails and engage in instant messaging (IM) with colleagues around the world even as we’re on the go. Soon, more critical business services and data will be made available, too, delivered in a more convenient and secure manner.

An anytime, anywhere workplace could help alleviate some everyday issues such as peak hour traffic congestion as it reduces commuting volume. It also gives working parents greater flexibility in managing their time, boosts employment opportunity for the physically challenged and significantly enhances the agility of enterprises.

Although still in its infancy, wearable technology is being widely touted by market watchers as the next big thing for mobility, like  smart watches.

But in the health care industry, wearables in the form of electronic tattoos, Bluetooth-enabled dental implants, and other types of sensors that track our vital signs are changing healthcare from being prescriptive to predictive.

These trends described above are just a taste of what it’ll be like as the world develops into a digitalized society. We anticipate that, if managed correctly, the shift will allow us to become more sustainable through increased efficiency.

We will be unveiling more insights as to how Asia is digitalizing and becoming more connected through technology, and explore in detail trends that are emerging as a result of this evolution.

Tell us via a comment below what your predictions are for a connected future or join the conversation by following us on @CiscoAPAC on Twitter.

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Cisco ANZ Regional Roadshow 2014......8 cities in 5 weeks!

The Cisco Regional Roadshow has just finished its tour of eight cities across Australia and New Zealand.

More than 2,400 Cisco partners and customers registered to join the roadshow to heat the latest around how Cisco can provide end-to-end solutions that make innovation a business priority, whilst minimising risk and cost.

The roadshow gave our customers and partners an integrated view of new solutions across the business to show how Cisco is:

  • Delivering a convergent way of working
  • Concentrating on an application-centric approach to computing
  • Delivering on the promise of innovation
  • Providing security - anytime, all the time

Here’s a few insights from people who joined the Cisco Regional Roadshow:

“Short, sharp, thought provoking”

“Well organised, very engaging speakers”

“Very good, liked the content”

“Good high level overview, good sound technical information”

“Liked hearing about innovations and technologies”

“Structured and concise”

If you weren’t able to attend the roadshow, don’t worry! You can now download the presentation slides from Slideshare.

Keving Bloch opening Sydney

Cisco Regional Roadshow, Kevin Bloch opening in Sydney

The Cisco team in Wellington.

The Cisco team in Wellington.

Thank you to everyone who attended the Cisco Regional Roadshow in Auckland, Wellington, Canberra, Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, or Brisbane.

A special thanks to all of our speakers - Jason Brouwers, Kevin Bloch, Andrew Pillon, Glen Roberts, Robert De Nicolo, Anthony Stitt, John-Paul Sikking, Dave Robbins and Kris Boyd for their time and dedication over the course of the roadshow!

Connected, Intelligent Transportation for a Future-Ready Metro Manila

Metro Manila’s growing transportation needs require innovative solutions that use technology to transform the way Filipinos travel. Congestion, road and rail incidents, and traffic gridlocks are best dealt with forward-thinking approaches and smart solutions.

In a recent study, it was concluded that without intervention, traffic costs will likely to increase to 6 billion pesos a day from today’s 2.4 billion pesos by 2030. Metro Manila experiences daily gridlocks as the number of cars grow faster than the completion of road improvements. According to the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines Inc. (CAMPI), the volume of vehicles in September 2014 was a massive 41.7 percent growth than the 14,764 units sold in the same month last 2013 and this is despite more than a hundred ongoing road projects, and interruptions to the city’s train services.

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Introducing Cisco Investments in Japan

On 14th November,  we launched Cisco Investments in Japan and announced the appointment of the first investment executive for the country.

“Cisco Investments has 50 employees globally and as the corporate venture capital arm of the company, the portfolio is currently valued at US $2 billion and approximately US $310 million has been allocated to next horizon ‘themes’ that will accelerate the development of disruptive technologies and markets like big data and analytics; the Internet of Things (IoT); connected mobility; storage; silicon; the content technology ecosystem; India innovation; China innovation and Israel Innovation. We recently closed our first venture investment in Japan since 2001, and will actively seek investment opportunities in IoE, Cloud and SP Mobility. We look forward to co-investment opportunities with Japanese Venture Capitals and Corporate Venture Capitals,” said Hideaki Yajima, the recently hired Senior Manager for Cisco Corporate Development in Japan.   (more…)

Are you ready for insights from Asia in the Cisco Connected World Technology report?

Before we unveil the results of the findings from Asia, we thought it might be a good time to take a look back at the past reports and evaluate its key findings and their implications today.

The Cisco Connected World Technology Report (CCWTR) is an international study of the behavior and demands of the next-generation workforce, aimed at identifying the latest developments and trends poised to transform markets and industries.

Debuting in 2011 and published annually, this report has been evolving since then to reflect technology trends, user behaviour, employee awareness and with that, the importance of (internet) connectivity.

The 2012 global report found that big data is a goldmine for vendors as the industry is making nearly S$30 billion in annual revenue, while investment in the space is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 17% over the next 6 years to a staggering US$76 billion. This doesn’t come as a surprise, seeing that it’s becoming more widely accepted that big data has the potential to provide groundbreaking business insights and create competitive advantage. That said, the majority of businesses are struggling to mine the avalanche of data that’s coming in.

The report also found that the existing BYOD (bring your own device) model for workplaces is becoming a growing security concern and costly to manage, leading to the introduction of a CYOD (choose your own device) model recently. This has led to analyst firms like IDC starting to champion the CYOD model as an alternative to BYOD. It makes further sense when we look at the fact that the majority of Gen Y employees – who are highly connected and mobile – have a very lax attitude towards corporate IT policies, and the CYOD model provides a balance between mobility and security.

Talking a bit more about the connectedness of Gen Y employees, there are currently an estimated 411 million Facebook users alone in Asia. Instead of just blocking access to social media, businesses can turn their employees into ready advocates as part of their social media strategy, cultivating brand awareness online with minimum cost and employee satisfaction at the same time. This is something that we’re already doing at Cisco, empowering our employees with tools and policies that encourage them to be advocates of the company and exciting them with great content to make the advocacy genuine.

Accompanying this year’s report will also be an exploration of issues specific to the Asia Pacific region, which we believe will prove valuable to business leaders, HR executives and anyone with a staff pass. Speaking of employees, they form a key research focus of the findings from Asia, which will zoom in on how the way of work is changing due to the confluence of technology and a paradigm shift in the work-life balance concept.

Stay tuned!

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Cisco's Allyson Corcoran wins prestigious ARN Women in ICT award

Cisco’s Allyson Corcoran wins the ARN Women in ICT Award for Achievement

The Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) are run by ARN to recognize female excellence in the ICT channel and reward professional achievements and outstanding results each year.

Allyson Corcoran, Director, Operations of Cisco Technical Services was chosen as the winner for the Achievement category for her strong business and financial acumen. Allyson has worked in the ICT industry for more than 22 years, fourteen of which have been spent at Cisco.

ARN Allyson

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20 years of Connecting Thailand and Digitizing the Economy

Cisco Team Thailand_low res

Cisco celebrates 20 years of operations in Thailand,  having played a key role in digitizing the economy and transforming Thailand. Our technologies, expertise and solutions have been embraced by business and organizations, changing the way Thais’ work, live, play and learn. (more…)

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