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Cisco India's innovation worth emulating
Cisco is the world's largest networking company. Today Cisco's innovative solutions have been extended to education and healthcare in India. Both segments use the network as a platform with integrated audio-video, educational/medical devices and collaboration tools to deliver services to remote towns and villages.

Cisco’s India site leader, Faiyaz Shahpurwala, has ambitious plans for taking Cisco’s innovative solutions in education and healthcare to reach many areas in India. He calls Cisco’s newest building in Bangalore as the Taj Mahal.

From the outside, Cisco’s new building in Bangalore looks like any other commercial building but it has brought in many new concepts inside the building premises which are worth emulating by other progressive groups who strongly believe in ‘changing for the better’. The credit goes to Mr. Shahpurwala for bringing in all these innovative changes inside the building – chief ones are as follows:

Global architectural elements known as The Park turns out to be pretty impressive; this is based on Park Guell in Barcelona designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudi. It has a lovely fairytale look and it is said that a stroll through the Park Guell would awaken even the sleepiest imaginations, something that is important for both Mr. Shahpurwala and for Cisco because innovation is what the company aims from this city of Bangalore. US 46 billion dollar company Cisco is considering its base in Bangalore as its second headquarters.

Some floors have lounges for relaxation with massage chairs and more, or playhouses with game consoles and billiard tables. Though employees do not have dedicated spaces, but once an employee sits in a vacant space and logs into the Internet protocol-based phone on the desk, the workspace transforms into his or her own.  If there is a digital frame in the space, it will automatically download a previously chosen picture, say, a family one.  

Everything is controlled through IP phones, be it the AC, lighting, window blinds and the audio-video systems.  Meeting rooms are booked online and the AC would start just a few minutes before the scheduled time automatically. Mr. Shahpurwala opines that all these measures have improved the energy efficiency by 30% and the installation of highly efficient water fixtures have resulted in enormous water savings.  No Cisco building anywhere currently matches these standards and Mr. Shahpurwala says, “He did it to set an example that we (Indians) can build the best from emerging countries and we can innovate out of here, despite not having the best infrastructure”.

Regarding education, medical /healthcare solutions and taking pan-India overseas, the comments made by Mr. Shahpurwala are worth noting, as given below:

On education, Mr. Shahpurwala says, “We have made a commitment to provide to reach in vocational education and K-12 schools at a very reasonable cost. We are already delivering this in some places in both Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. Students can talk to teachers online, lessons come online”.

Remote primary healthcare services are also being delivered similarly in tie-ups with healthcare providers. Cisco is using cloud computing model which means both schools and healthcare services centers can avoid buying expensive infrastructure and instead have to just pay a small subscription fee. “We will make money with the volumes, which should be possible here,” Mr. Shahpurwala says.

Regarding taking pan-India overseas, having established the robustness and scalability of the solutions, Cisco’s Indian team is working to bring the doctor’s consultation fee in this model down to $1. Mr. Shahpurwala is looking to take the solutions even to the West. He adds, “The US has major healthcare issues, with insurance costs going through the roof”.

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