By Ned Cabot, Maulie Daas, and Mike Colao
Fostering innovation is key to unlocking new technological frontiers. To inspire this exciting work, Cisco created a global program to cultivate new thinking for how solutions are imagined: The Cisco Fast Future Innovation Awards (FFIA). After a successful launch in Canada, we brought this program to the United States, and specifically Enterprise West Customers, for the first time. This program was created around the understanding that every company today faces disruption, but many still rely on traditional technologies - and that is not enough to remain competitive in today’s ever-changing environment. In addition, FFIA celebrates a critical element to innovation at Cisco – that it’s a team sport and best realized when done in partnership with customers.
The Cisco Fast Future Innovation Awards Enterprise West Edition sought innovative ideas around driving a more inclusive future through technology within the three challenge themes:
- Equitable Experiences in a Hybrid World
- The Future of Risk Management
Our Global Enterprise West Customers submitted phenomenal ideas, and without further ado, we are thrilled to announce this year’s winners:
First Place: The Boeing Company, The Future of Risk Management
Boeing, among the largest US domestic manufacturers and the top exporter, aims to capitalize on opportunities to advance its efficiency and capabilities through digital manufacturing. With a future forward mindset, Boeing’s Applied Innovation team aims to bring outside innovation into Boeing through strategic external collaborations in areas of safety, productivity and sustainability, unlocking the next generation of digital manufacturing. Boeing’s “Smart Factory” winning submission intends to advance production systems and enable capabilities such as prescriptive digital insights and at-the-edge analysis. Boeing intends to utilize capabilities from their venture portfolio companies’ offerings in AI/ML/Computer Vision and Cisco’s connected system’s expertise to bring next gen innovation to the factory floor.
“Advancing Boeing’s “Smart Factory” through this co-innovation opportunity with Cisco brings tremendous value that benefits all stakeholders – our people, our suppliers, and our customers who rely on a safe, timely, high-quality production process.” – Ayal Somech, Executive Director, Boeing Applied Innovation.
Second Place: Honeywell International Inc., Sustainability
Smart buildings help reimagine how a building works. Buildings use a lot of energy so leveraging digitization tools to operate with a sustainability-first mindset is critical. Honeywell Building Technologies (HBT) is a leading building controls company that is focused on solving two pressing yet often conflicting objectives facing building owners and operators: optimizing indoor air quality and reducing the environmental impact of buildings, with the aim of helping them meet carbon neutral goals. Leveraging its OT expertise and working with Cisco, Honeywell’s smart building solution focuses on securing IT/OT convergence, creating enhanced building data insights, and improving the overall occupant experience. Honeywell’s advanced portfolio can help improve occupant well-being, meet energy efficiency goals and, importantly, change the way occupants experience a building.
“We look forward to continuing our work with Cisco to identify innovative ways to converge IT and OT operations in buildings to help solve big problems faced by the industry from creating a better occupant experience to reducing carbon impact.” - Armin Wellig, Director Software Engineering, HBT Architecture and Innovation Staff; Dr. Chris Inkpen, Senior Advanced Systems Engineer HBIT; Simon Wilton, Principal Software Engineer.
Third Place: Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Equitable Experiences in a Hybrid World
In today's hybrid work reality, employee's home networks must be an extension of the enterprise network. But many home routers lack the enterprise-grade features necessary for network management, traffic prioritization and security. This absence of enterprise-class capabilities directly impacts employee’s productivity and puts the enterprise’s IP at risk. Qualcomm Technologies’ winning proposal uses a combination of Qualcomm® Wi-Fi platform innovation and Cisco's expertise to bring the reliability, security, and stability of an Enterprise grade router to the home. This solution will bring an equitable and unified experience for employees working from home to enable a productive, safe environment without compromising the security of their company.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with Cisco, exploring new ideas and evolving them to solutions that address the complexities of today's hybrid work reality. The shift to work-from-home created many challenges but ensuring remote employees’ productivity, seamless cloud collaboration and safeguard from security threats is the most critical tool that enterprises can deploy to guarantee a unified and equitable experience.” - Rahul Patel, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Connectivity and Networking, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
Over the next several months the FFIA winners will have the opportunity to partner with Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) & Cisco Innovation Labs (CIL) teams for investments towards the winning solutions. CDA’s main purpose is to unlock the value of digitization in proof of concepts and pilots that demonstrate the value of Cisco’s technology in solving our customer’s business issues. Cisco Innovation Labs (CIL) works closely with Cisco customers to offer hyper local in-country innovation capabilities with access to our global incubation engine and all the emerging technology and ventures our team works on.
Thank you to all our Global Enterprise West Customers that submitted their innovative solutions. We look forward to witnessing how these powerful solutions from our FFIA winners will power an inclusive future for all.