SINGAPORE -- 26 January 2000 -- Cisco Systems, Inc., the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, today announced the opening of a US$6 million Executive Briefing Center (EBC) and Proof of Concept Technology Lab in Singapore. Equipped with the latest Cisco internetworking equipment, the new facility will offer telecommunications and enterprise customers in Asia a look at next-generation technologies in a "live" networking environment. It will also provide a forum for exchange of information between Cisco and customers, with customized briefings for a whole range of organizations.
The Singapore center is the first of three EBCs in the Asia Pacific, soon to be followed by similar facilities in Sydney and Beijing. All three centers will be linked in a "live" network spanning the region to demonstrate real LANs and WANs in action.
"The investment we put into this lab will help enterprises in Singapore and the region to prepare themselves to compete in the Internet Economy. Companies will be able to see the equipment that telecoms companies are building into their backbone networks and also the technologies and networking solutions that will form the foundation of tomorrow's communication infrastructure," said Richard Freemantle, Senior Vice President, Cisco Systems Asia Pacific Theater. "As well as staging true-to-life demos and network displays, the EBC will be a meeting place where we can find out about customer needs and communicate our evolving networking technology strategies."
Mr Philip Yeo, Chairman of the Singapore Economic Development Board said: "We are proud to host Cisco Systems' Proof-of-Concept Lab here to showcase these technologies. It is a strong testimony to Singapore's position as a leading Infocommunications hub. We are certain that this center is only the beginning of a deeper partnership to build more of such new and advanced technologies here."
The key technologies that will be running in the Proof of Concept Technology Lab include Voice over IP (VOIP), Virtual Private Networks and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) - the cornerstones of future networking services.
"Cisco understands that the potential customers of Internet and telecommunications service providers are interested in complete services, not raw technology," said Sameer Padhye, Director of Solutions Marketing and Engineering, Telecommunications, Cisco Systems Asia Pacific. "Data, voice and video are intersecting to create a host of new revenue opportunities for service providers - for example, the convergence of voice and Internet access. Thanks to advances in technology, virtually every data port now employed can also function as a voice port, and customers are more attracted to a service that exploits both capabilities."
To meet the needs of individual customers, EBC staff will co-ordinate with Cisco account teams to tailor presentations to specific requirements, drawing on the expertise of Cisco experts worldwide. In addition to the presentations, there will be open dialogue sessions to explore topics of mutual interest and discuss business issues and networking trends. The briefings will bring Cisco end-users and partners face to face with Cisco executives as well as engineering, consultancy, information systems (IS) and customer service and support staff.
"Even with the wealth of information available on-line about Cisco's networking products and technologies, there's nothing like meeting technology experts in person and seeing Cisco's end-to-end network solutions first-hand," said Freemantle. "The EBC will also help us get to know and understand our customers better."
The first EBC was set up in Cisco's corporate headquarters in San Jose, California in 1992 and the program now attracts 20,000 customers and partner representatives a year, hosting 4,000 individualized presentations. About half of the visitors to the EBCs in the US come from overseas, and the new EBCs in the Asia Pacific are designed to bring the experience and the technologies closer to home.
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