Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Enterprise Architecture Discussions @ LinkedIn

I have been discussing about some of the pressing issues of Enterprise Architecture within the organization with fellow professionals in LinkedIn Enterprise Architecture Network. They can be found here (This discussion is about the relevancy of EA practice in a diversified business model) and here (This thread is focused on the value proposition of EA). I think its a great opportunity to connect with professionals across the world and share some of the common problems being faced in the industry. Thanks to LinkedIn!.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Cisco's Innovation in Emerging Markets

Top Multi-national organizations are getting serious about Emerging Markets. In a move towards gaining market share in these markets, those MNCs are indigenously designing products/services that are exclusively tailored for those specific market needs. This is a paradigm shift. And the examples are GE and Cisco. GE recently designed low-cost Electronic Cardiogram devices for rural India and it has become a major hit. Now, the same product has started creating significant demand in developed markets like Europe.

The other innovation which I wanted to blog in this post is about Cisco's latest innovation in alliance with a Commercial Vehicle Manufacturer in India - Ashok Leyland. The company Ashok Leyland has recently demonstrated an intelligent vehicle (bus) with Wireless connectivity to a remote control centre that can be used initially in the context of emergency healthcare. Cisco has designed the entire communication system for this intelligent vehicle.

The interesting part is that the platform can be enhanced to be used not just in healthcare, but in other contexts such as education, defense, banking and security as well. Cisco also claims that if the business demands more such applications, they can be deployed on the vehicle platform.

I would like to draw some interesting observations here:
1. Ashok Leyland - traditionally a manufacturing company - is incorporating Technology to introduce its new generation of its product line. This shows that slowly but steadily Technology is making inroads into traditional businesses such as manufacturing. The fusion of business & technology is going to define the future product lines of several other industries as well. Its very similar to GM's Onstar network services but here the idea is applicable to larger audience (since its targeted at commercial vehicle segment)

2. Cisco, being a multinational, has started looking emerging market business seriously. It is already planning to shift the base location of several of their top leaders to India. This move demonstrates the company's commitment to the emerging markets and it would enable new growth initiatives get accelerated faster than before.

3. The core idea behind this offering is the ability to deploy new business applications on top of a Telematics enabled IT platform. As Ashok leyland articulates, the company shifts its gears from being a vehicle manufacturer (product) to intelligent mobility solutions (services). (Reminds you of iPhone's platform based apps?)