‘Internet of Everything’ to roll out over the next 10 years: Cisco

Rajesh Kurup Recently in Boston | Updated on March 12, 2018

Padmasree Warrior

“There is a need to ‘connect the unconnected’, whether it is using 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi.” – Padmasree Warrior of Cisco

Regarded to be one of the most powerful women in the Silicon Valley, Padmasree Warrior has a huge responsibility at Cisco Systems, the world’s largest computer networking gear manufacturer.

The 51-year-old helps drive technology and operational innovations, oversees strategic partnerships and M&As to name a few.

The Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at Cisco Systems is also a contender for the company’s Chief Executive Officer’s post, with its Chairman and CEO John Chambers, 63, planning to step down.

Warrior, who had joined the company in 2007 from Motorola, is also in charge of mergers and acquisitions, and has also led the San Jose-headquartered company through 14 acquisitions in the past 12 months. In a tête-à-tête with Business Line, she talks about the company’s vision of Internet of Everything, acquisition strategy and importance of India as a market. Excerpts:

What do you think are the technologies that would gain ground in a country like India where 2G scripted a success story, while 3G is struggling and 4G faces an uncertain fate?

In India, it wouldn’t be a single technology, but a combination. In some cases, it would be enhancements of 2G combined with Wi-Fi, while in certain cases it would be 3G with higher bandwidth and faster speed, and with users moving over to mobile Internet it could be 4G also. It could even be Wi-Fi or some kind of a combination such as unlicensed spectrum with Wi-Fi.

Does technology really matter to the user?

For the user, it doesn’t matter whether he is getting access on Wi-Fi, 3G or 2G networks. What matters is good connectivity and as a technology provider our job is to hide the complexity of the technology.

Earlier, you were looking at WiMax to ‘connect to the unconnected’. But it did not take off as expected?

Yes, Wimax has not taken off as much as we thought. I think, at that time, when we were talking, Wi-Fi had limited capability but today we offer a lot of Wi-Fi capability to number of operators. So it’s sort of bridging the gap.

Regardless of the technology, we at Cisco believe that there is a need to ‘connect the unconnected’, whether it is using 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi. We are working on enabling heterogeneous access across different technologies. The basic need to ‘connect to unconnected’ still remains.

Cisco is now talking about Internet of Everything, the next phase of evolution of the Internet. How long will this take to become a reality?

What we were talking about is that the Internet will evolve to the next phase, which we are calling the Internet of Everything.

We can’t say how long will it last or how long will it take. The first phase of Internet was probably in the 80s, which was providing basic connectivity such as e-mail.

I don’t think we are saying that IoE will replace how the Internet has served us so far. So, I think from our perspective, the IoE will rollout over the next 10 years.

Cisco has acquired more than 160 companies of which 14 were bought in the last 12 months. What is the strategy going forward?

All the 14 acquisitions (in last 12 months) were in cloud, recurring revenues and software, and this could be an indication of directionally where we are headed. We are looking at acquisitions from a talent perspective or capability perspective.

What are the sectors video technologies could be put to use in India?

Video would be an enabler in changing education in India, while it would also find applications in the retail sector. India is a little bit behind in smart grid technology, while China and Europe are much ahead in smart grid technology. We have a strong presence in video. Moreover, we are looking at enabling video on the cloud, in addition to having a premise-based solution like Telepresence.

How important is India to Cisco?

India is a great market for us and we have a lot of latent based in India, especially in engineering, and we continue to grow that. We are not just doing product support in India, but are developing some major platforms also. It’s also an important R&D centre. We are looking at solutions for education and healthcare, and it’s not just in India, emerging countries are key priorities.


(This correspondent was in Boston at the invitation of Cisco.)

Published on June 12, 2013

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