Feature Story

Cisco Innovators: Reverse Innovation and the ASR 901 Series

The Cisco Innovators series showcases the vast amount of engineering talent at Cisco by featuring top engineers, in their own environment, sharing their experiences and innovations.

The ASR 901 is the first product developed end-to-end from Cisco's Globalization Center East and represents one of the first examples of reverse innovation from the IT industry.


My name is Ishwardutt Parulkar. I am the Chief System Architect and CTO for the Provider Access Business Unit

I love working on technology that can make a difference in society.

Meeting the Needs of a Mobile Culture

Society is transforming radically because of acceptance of mobile devices. So you see a lot of smart phones in the developed markets and in the emerging markets there is a need for a lot of mobile devices for solving problems like access to healthcare and education in rural areas.

What AS901 allows the service providers is to build next-generation mobile networks that can handle the scale and the bandwidth, this bandwidth, in a very aggressively low cost and power-efficient platform.

Reverse Innovation - A First for IT

The ASR 901 is a classic example of reverse innovation because we started with requirements of service providers in the emerging countries like India and China, but ended up developing a product which was a globally attractive and competitive in the developed markets as well.

 There are several examples of this in health care and in the automobile industry. The ASR901 is the first example in the IT industry.

The Evolution of a Global Team

The ASR901 is the first product- Cisco product developed end-to-end from the India site - the product was conceived in Bangalore, it was architected the hardware and software development piece of it the testing and qualification piece of it, the manufacturing and marketing piece of it – all of this was done out of India.

If it was to happen anywhere it had to be Cisco and that's because I think Cisco is one of the very few companies that is very invested in making itself a global company.

Absolutely (laughs) it's the thing I'm proudest of in my career so far.

Innovation is Happening at Cisco

More in this Series

Related Links

Blog post by Ishwar

More about ASR 901