22
May

Our week in San Francisco (I): Cisco

Escrito el 22 Mayo 2007 por Ricardo Pérez Garrido en Educación / Education

As I mentioned last week, we have spent a week at Silicon Valley visiting companies, amongst them Cisco, Sun, HP, Google, Electronic Arts or Ideo. This is the first post trying to describe the most interesting points (that are within the NDA’s we signed) we covered there.

Our first day (monday) was all about Cisco. As you know they are the leaders in providing the technology that makes the internet what it is today, and looking at their plans, they have a lot to do in terms of what internet will look like in the future, helping telecoms and other companies improve their communications, and, more importantly, make them simple and based on the user context.

The visit started the day before, when the group (remember, our Master of Management in Telecom and Digital Business) had the opportunity to share dinner with Alberto Mazagatos, country manager of Cisco Spain. During the conversation one idea was clear: Cisco is willing to explore new opportunities in different industries and is not afraid of change, something we had the opportunity to see the following day.

During our time at Cisco we had the opportunity to talk to several executives from different business areas about their specific strategies related to the Telecom industry, and their position in the market as a partner more than a provider of many of the key companies in the industry. A couple of those meetings used their Telepresence solution, in the real internal rooms they will use for internal meetings. A quite interesting experience, in which after some time you almost forget the distance from your counterpart (we were connecting to London).

But one of the most interesting parts of the visit was a discussion on diversity and retention of the workforce and their approach to the “new office”, where open spaces, shared spaces and a concept of a shared purpose and shared environment was key. This is not new or a strategy that only this company can claim, but the fact that a leader in the market is investing and paying that much attention to new ways of collaboration and the needs of those working with them… well gives a hint of what is going to take to keep being first in an industry based on invention and innovation. Their motto “welcome to the human network” is something you see reflected in every conversation you have there, which also talks to the way you build a culture in a young company.

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