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Learning from Cisco

Digital Explorer website gets the Cisco treatment using their green screen video conferencing technology #verycool

What a first full day of the MCY Innovate 2012 expedition! We went to visit Cisco to find out what is behind the amazing growth of this company over the past 28 years, from a married couple at Stanford University, to a company employing 65,000 people across 165 countries.

The theme was innovation and the values that has kept Cisco at the forefront of innovation for nearly three decades. We were lucky to have a range of talks and demonstrations. What really struck me was the emphasis that Cisco places on talent, their people, as well as technology.

Innovation is not just coming up with a new idea or solution, it’s coming up with something new that adds value for customers or employees and also is a commercial success. Some of the facts were quite amazing. During 2008,there were as many connected devices as people on the planet and the number of devices is accelerating away.

The average person in developed economies uses 6.4 devices a day – home phone, work phone, mobile, laptop, work computer and potentially a tablet, as well as thinking about connected devices such as GPS in cars and entertainment devices such as TVs.

The whole team came away with an understanding of how systems and products can be used in a collaborative way, so that communication using voice, data and video links can be done in a seamless way. With some of the latest video conferencing technology, participants have almost felt that they were in the same room. Technology continues to break down barriers and bring people closer.

I was particularly interested in their rugged kit, designed for use by the military and on oil rigs, but I can see great potential in using the kit to live broadcast to classrooms from remote locations. Onwards and upwards with our exploration of what makes a great innovator.

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