February 12, 2009; BANGALORE: Cisco is looking beyond consumers and corporates -- to whole cities and states, as candidates who can sorely do with some intelligent networking. In India this week, Chairman and CEO John Chambers helped kick off the latest in a series of city-specific urban initiatives in Bangalore, February 12, partnering with the state government of Karnataka to launch a pilot in India's infrastructure -challenged Silicon City, that would embrace safety and security, transport, power, health and green buildings.
It is part of the networking leader's Intelligent Urbanization blueprint that has already touched cities like San Jose and London; Brussels and Barcelona; Medina (Saudi Arabia) and Incheon (S. Korea). "No one is moving faster than India", Chambers said, kicking off an Intelligent Bangalore project that has already seen the city's main public transportation terminus (still known to locals as the Majestic Bus stand), fully wired with video surveillance cameras.
If the memorandum of understanding signed Thursday by Cisco and the state government bears fruit, key challenge areas like health services, local transportation and power will soon experience the "garam hava" or warm breeze of Internet-enabled networking technology. "We believe in technology for improving citizen services" assured Karnataka state Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, and in a spirit of give and take, added , "We are with you (corporate sector) in your moment of difficulty".
Cisco's Executive Vice President and Chief Globalization Officer Wim Efrink (he is based in Bangalore, which since 2007 has been Cisco's Globalization Centre East) kicked off the event by MCing a teleconference session with 6 other capitals on Ciscos urbanization road map from San Jose to Hong Kong -- as neat a way as any, of showing off the capabilities of the company's telepresence solution. Link to Cisco's backgrounder on 'Network as the next utility for Intelligent Urbanization':