I attended the Cisco Partner Summit last week, which took place in the company’s birthplace of San Francisco. The event is held annually and is an opportunity for partners to hear Cisco’s vision and strategy for the coming year and beyond. Entitled ‘Full Speed’, the core theme of the Summit was digitisation, and the speed, scale and impact it will have over the next 20 years.
I have recently been writing a blog series around the ‘Power of Digital’ within health and care in the UK. The acceleration of capability that technology has enabled for healthcare provision within our communities has been profound, and continues to transform at pace. The series explores the notion of a ‘new normal’ and considers why certain changes are yet to occur, despite the benefits to all being obvious.
Cisco is heavily involved in the digitisation of the UK, extending its British Innovation Gateway programme to commit $1Bn over the next 3 – 5 years. It is clear that both innovation and cultural change will be needed to move people to a new national norm. The part that UK companies will play in enabling this will be key. Their innovation and drive for change will be the foundations on which the UK future economy will thrive.
Cisco shared some great new innovations during the event, such as its Digital Network Architecture (DNA). This is a new approach to networking that is built for a new digital world, in which not only will people and devices connect via computers, tablets and smartphones, but also things such as cars, vending machines, homes, wearable and hospital equipment. This new network will provide a simple, intelligent, automated and secure platform on which we will all connect. This will transform our industry in the way we provide IT infrastructure for our clients and provide the basis for our industries, communities, cities and country to transform.
For me, innovation is the key to digital transformation and economic growth, so it was particularly pleasing to have once again won the Cisco UK&I Solution Innovation Partner of the Year award. This was for the provision of our Connected Customer offering that we architected for a prestigious British department store. This provides shoppers with high speed, high quality internet access and enables the store to use analytics to better understand their customers, operations and tailor their services intelligently. Although we have won this award 3 times over the last 5 years, and worldwide in 2013, it is great to have been rewarded for the innovation we delivered in an industry we entered just 2 years ago. It is a solid reflection of our vertical knowledge and understanding of industry challenges.
On our 10th anniversary earlier this year, I wrote a piece on our values and how key they have been to us as a company throughout the decade. One of our core values is to Think Differently. To apply inspired thinking to fuel continuous improvement and innovation. To innovate and improve is within our DNA and we work hard as a leadership team to ensure we reward and allow for the inevitable trial and error this approach brings. As a company we want to make a difference to the society we live and work. Finding new answers to challenges old and new is what motivates me every day. We are really excited and proud to be a small UK company that will play its part in bringing change within our society through digital transformation.