by March 4, 2009 0 comments



    Intelligent urbanization is a term we haven’t heard before. Please explain
to us what it means.
Chambers: Giving to global citizens a better quality of life has always been
on Cisco’s agenda for a long time. We are here at the Bangalore Global Delivery
Centre with Cisco’s intelligent urbanization vision — we believe cities that run
on IT can change the quality of life for its citizens and improve civic services
and management. By 2030, the number of people living in urban areas is set to
grow from 3 Billion today to 5 Billion. Already, the world’s 20 most populous
cities account for 75% of the world’s energy consumption. It is about time
cities and towns became ‘intelligent’ enough to counter this change.

Has this initiative been carried out anywhere outside of India before?
Chambers: I want to assure everyone in India that we are not here for
arbitrage; we have made India, Cisco’s global delivery centre East, because in
today’s technology world, nobody is moving faster than India. 20% of our top
talent is based in India, and have invested USD 1.16 Billion here. Cisco has
collaborated in intelligent urbanization initiatives for half a dozen cities of
the world. In San Jose, transportation, in London, smart energy grid, in Medina,
Saudi Arabia, a knowledge city, in Incheon, South Korea, an entire satellite
town to the capital, Seoul, and city specific solutions for Brussels and
Barcelona. A complete intelligent city vision covering transport, sports and
entertainment, smart buildings, security and power efficiency is what we have
come up with for India. As a starting point, we are signing a MoU with the
Government of Karnataka towards a vision of an intelligent city, which will
embrace the initiatives Cisco has embarked on across the world and provide as a
complete all round package. An ideal example of this is the Bangalore
Metropolitan Bus Stand that has been equipped with a live 24×7 high quality
video surveillance, to avert terror attacks.

John Chambers,
Chairman and CEO,
Cisco descended upon
Bangalore a few days back, with a vision to bring what he calls ‘intelligent
urbanization’ to India. After signing a MoU with the Government of
Karnataka, he spoke to
PCQuest about the initiative, and more:

Are you planning to reach out to smaller towns as well?
Chambers: I have personally noticed that India has a large number of small
and mid-sized companies that in more ways than one, share the same vision of an
intelligent city. Cisco is open to reach out to them, understand their
technology, and use Cisco’s expertise in networking to connect their
technologies to the larger ecosystem. It is the small companies located in the
small towns that understand the grass-root problems, and they use simple
technology to solve their problems. I invite these companies to approach Cisco
and join us in this intelligent urbanization programmes.

Aren’t there other important issues to tackle when we are in the middle of
an economic breakdown?
Chambers: Cisco believes India can do a lot to solve this crisis. We have
done this in the past when the Asian economic crisis happened, every other
company shifted people back to the US. Cisco recruited more people in Asia. This
time too, we believe that India is to a great extent, unaffected in the long
run, and more importantly, the strength of the innovative thinking by the IT
fraternity here, and their contribution to the rest of the world, will help
itself and other countries overcome this crisis. We have always taken India
seriously, and we still do, whether it is by retaining our agreement with Satyam,
or to device this intelligent city vision for Bangalore.

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