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TheStreet Open House

Come Behind the Scenes of Tech Pioneer Cisco, Part 1

The following is Part 1 of a two-part series. Check out Part 2 for more on Cisco's behind-the-scenes business.  

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Cisco (CSCO - Get Report) is basically everywhere, but I bet you didn't know that. If you did know that, perhaps you underestimated how much Cisco is everywhere. Follow? In addition to Cisco products and services being everywhere, the company is leading the charge in new growth areas, such as smart cities.

Bringing me behind the scenes at Cisco was Patrick Finn, senior vice president of Cisco's U.S. Public Sector Organization. The bonus points in this two-part series: Insights on leadership.


Question #1

Cisco is known as the "Internet's plumber," that necessary company ensuring that everything magically works on desktops and handheld devices. Yet, so many are still unaware of Cisco because it's not as visible to their lives as Facebook (FB) and Twitter (TWTR). How is Cisco looking to play in the next era of tech, or as Cisco CEO John Chambers puts it, the "Internet of Everything." I think readers would be particularly interested in Cisco's view, and role, in smart cities.

I have often thought it was important to ensure you capitalize what you are known for, especially if you are good at it. Being the "Internet's plumber" has enabled us to ensure our customers communicate from the mobile desktop to the data center and in a secure manner. That is what you have described as the magic -- this magic allows us to create the foundation that makes the "Internet of Everything" possible.

Cisco's infrastructure technology has for a long time provided the building blocks for many of the technology experiences -- including the basic experience of being connected online -- that millions of people depend on every day across the globe. However, we are also present in the emerging technologies that promise to link millions of people, places and things through the "Internet of Everything" as well as connect the previously unconnected.

We are committed to transforming the way U.S. public sector organizations protect, serve and educate, and "Smart Cities" is one of many initiatives Cisco is leading as part of this effort. In February 2009, Cisco unveiled its holistic blueprint for "Smart+Connected Communities" (S+CC), a global initiative using the network as the platform to transform physical communities to connected communities that actually run on networked information.

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