Cisco has always been on the lead front when it comes to innovation. Nupur Sharma, Head – Brand Strategy and Advertising, Cisco India & SAARC talks to 4Ps B&M about the edge that Cisco posseses in a market where competition is fierce.
 
It started as a vision in 1984 and soon became an outfit that specialised in manufacturing of consumer electronics, networking and communication technologies in the west. And now, Cisco Systems wants to replicate the success in the east. In a discussion with 4Ps B&M, Cisco’s head of brand strategy and advertising Nupur Sharma talks about how the company is poised to become the key market for Cisco’s dream on this side of the globe.

How do you differentiate yourself from other technology brands in India?
What we really do is that we believe in bringing people together on platforms for using our products and solutions where people can come together to share things. This really differentiates us from other technology brands. So others might come up with different kinds of products and solutions, but what we really do is that we connect people and then we bring them together, which enables them to share what they have and I think that is what makes things better for us.

Being a trusted technology brand in India, what challenges do you foresee to protect your unique brand identity?
From an advertising perspective we have been in India for a period of about two and a half years now. We started investing in the brand almost around the same period. What we really feel is that we need to continue to spend on building the Cisco brand in the country. Cisco has been very well known to the technology decision makers in the country, but not equally familiar with the business decision makers. So those are the people we need to reach to. We also need to communicate the strengths of our brand to the community at large.

What’s the inspiration behind Cisco’s ‘My Human Network’? What scope do you see for the same?
We thought of this idea almost six to nine months back as part of our brand initiative in the country to take the Cisco brand to the next level. We always believed that we need to do something different. So we wanted to develop a platform where people can connect to something which is close to their hearts. That is how we came up with this platform. It is a kind of social platform where people can interact and be affiliated to causes that are close to their hearts. So for example, if I believe in a cause and want to do contribute to the same, but alone can not do it, then I can create a community and invite interested people to contribute. There are social networking platforms which help people to connect with friends, but this a more serious place where people will actually come together for different causes.

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Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

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09/08/2011 1:51am

This is a 10-week class on possibilities. I find this information to be in complete congruence and support’s my ideas of mental strength, inner strength and personal power.

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09/08/2011 2:02am

I want to learn the difficulty of life and improve my mind power.

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17/08/2011 2:28am

My interest was piqued again when Cisco announced the Connected Life Contest – and they invited the public to share their ideas. Well, I figured, what an incredible opportunity for me to contribute to their fun project, one more time…

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17/08/2011 2:29am

The next chapter of my story starts on Friday, September 14, 2007. Having submitted my idea to Cisco, I wrote yet another blog post. This time, I shared my appreciation for the concept of Crowdsourcing – but back then Cisco was using the term “Open Innovation” to describe this phenomenon.

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17/08/2011 2:33am

Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner, a married couple who worked as computer operations staff members at Stanford University, later joined by Richard Troiano, founded Cisco Systems in 1984. Lerner moved on to direct computer services at Schlumberger, moving full time to Cisco in 1987. The name "Cisco" was derived from the city name, San Francisco, which is why the company's engineers insisted on using the lower case "cisco" in the early days.

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17/08/2011 2:34am

Cisco's first product, Bosack adapted multiple-protocol router software originally written some years before by William Yeager, another Stanford employee who later joined Sun Microsystems.

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17/08/2011 2:35am

Cisco's current portfolio of products and services is focused upon three market segments – Enterprise and Service Provider, Small Business and the Home. The solutions for each market are segmented into Architectures, which form the basis for how Cisco approaches each market.

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17/08/2011 2:37am

In an effort to allow their sales team to have more business-focused conversations with customers, as opposed to focussing on discussions around products, Cisco announced a new focus around six ‘Architectures’ in 2009.

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17/08/2011 2:39am

ustomers accuse Cisco of intimidation when they did not buy anything, or enough from, the world's leading and largest networking company. According to this Bloomberg story, Cisco questioned the competency of IT and networking officials at companies that rejected Cisco in favor of equipment from its competitors.

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17/08/2011 2:40am

Cisco responded to Capps's decision by calling his boss and questioning his competence as a technology manager, he said.

"Cisco wasn't serving our needs," Capps said. "They were not innovating in the areas of data-center operations that we needed innovation. The way they go about their sales process is through pressure and intimidation."

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17/08/2011 2:42am

When Cisco was not against the ropes like it is now, when it was the king of the world just a few quarters ago winning sale after sale against the Junipers and HPs and Brocades of the world, it would be surprising if the competition did not resort to similar tactics. But now that Cisco is fighting harder for every sale in an effort to turn its business around, and competitors are taking share from the company, desperate measures are called for once again.

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17/08/2011 2:44am

Cisco’s name is derived from the city San Francisco. Cisco may not be the first company to sell commercial routers supporting many network protocols, but today Cisco's routers are used to deliver a magnitude of technologies through corporate, enterprise and service provider networks.

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17/08/2011 9:29pm

All I know is Mind is my/our true self and nothing to be feared. Any unpleasant experiences I’ve had were my projections and expectations.

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31/12/2011 2:13am

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30/03/2012 5:35pm

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