Cisco readies for India with Engage
Networking major Cisco that begins a new financial year in August 2014 reported a drop of 5.5 percent in its third quarter results over the same quarter, previous year. According to the results released mid-May, it reported revenues of $11.5 billion for the quarter. However, the performance was better than Cisco forecast and analysts’ estimates for the said quarter even though challenges abound, primarily related to leveraging its transformation into an Internet technology company and riding the wave in emerging markets such as India.
Cisco has betted heavily on Internet of Everything (IoE), a move that will take long in market adoption and consequent addition to the bottomline. But that hasn’t dulled the fervor or the belief in the direction the company has taken. The company announced its plans to build the world’s largest global Intercloud for the Internet of Everything (IoE) together with a set of partners, a distributed network and security architecture designed for high-value application workloads, realtime analytics, “near infinite” scalability and full compliance with local data sovereignty laws.
Cisco Investments, the venture capital arm of San Jose -headquartered Cisco, is investing an additional $150 million over the next 2-3 years to fund early-stage companies globally. The new funding allocation builds on Cisco’s $2 billion investment portfolio. The focus of these investments is on the next horizon themes to accelerate the development of disruptive technology markets, including big data and analytics, the Internet of Things (IoT); connected mobility, storage, silicon, the content technology ecosystem, and has a special focus on India innovation. The new funding increases Cisco Investments’ thematic investing to $250 million, adding to the previously announced $100 million commitment to startups focused on the emerging Internet of Everything (IoE) market opportunity.
With its Globalization East R&D center located in Bangalore (India) Cisco has expanded its technology footprint in India with the presence of a 7,700 plus strong R&D force. The company is trying to meet disruptive market changes head-on.
Earlier in April, Cisco India hosted second edition of Engage, its CXO outreach event that aims at understanding customer business priorities and partnering with them to arrive at technology solutions that enable business outcomes. Over 500 Cisco engineers helped put together this event themed ‘The Next Generation Enterprise’ and over 100 customers experienced live demonstrations addressing enterprise market trends of cloud, mobility, application centricity, and Internet of Things.
Cisco Engage showcased the company’s innovations in routers and switches, integrated with solutions for banking, employing Intelligent WAN (iWan) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) that is expanding to touch multiple domains beyond data center and in the process delivers productivity benefits and sig- nificant savings through automation and orchestration. A live demo of IoE application in the manufacturing environment was also on the showcase integrated with real-time analytics.
Cisco India in this quarter has been characterized by leadership change at the highest level. India head Jeff White had moved out and Dinesh Malkani formerly VP Sales of India & SAARC region has taken charge as President Sales for India & SAARC. He is being assisted by Amit Phadnis as President-Engineering & India Site Leader and VC Gopalratnam as President-Strategy, Planning & Operations for India. The networking behemoth that has the reputation of not compromising on its gross margins is getting squeezed in the fast growing India market with competition from the likes ranging from Huawei to Google. The company’s solutions and services led strategy likely requires some more alignment with the market realities in India. The task is cut out for Malkani and team.