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Cisco Bets On Digitised India

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It is not just the Union government that is all for a Digital India. The $47-billion, San Jose, California-based Cisco Systems is pulling out all the stops to go ahead with a digitised India. At the Cisco India Summit recently, the company showcased three products that were conceptualised and designed out of India that will help enable the vision of a digitised nation. It has also announced a partnership with ILFS Technologies (ITL) to jointly develop solutions for digital infrastructure and smart cities in India.

The three products demonstrate the company's ability to create products and solutions for the next generation of communications technologies. Spanning mobility, cloud and computing technologies, the networking products have been designed to power the vision of a digitised India. Says Amit Phadnis, president engineering and India site leader, Cisco says: “Our belief is that innovative application of technology can have a positive impact on India's competitiveness, and in its ability to create jobs and improve quality of life for its citizens.

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, 2013 – 2018, there will be 526 million internet users and 1.5 billion networked devices by 2018 in India. Of that video will be account for 62 per cent of India's mobile data traffic and the gigabyte equivalent of all movies ever made will cross India's IP networks every 2 hours by 2018.

While the products will do their job, the collaboration with ITL is an important step for both companies. Basically, Cisco's vision of the Internet of Everything will complement ITL’s technology services capabilities. ITL is currently managing five national and two global land management projects. The venture does not have any specific projects as yet, though talks are reportedly on for a couple of projects. Both the companies will jointly go to market to pursue opportunities in smart cities. ITL has rolled out the communication backbone for Gurgaon Rapid Metro among several other key projects.

The Digital India programme aims to bring connectivity to villages. However, not much of scaled effort is taking place to empower the Digital India mission.

But how quickly will smart cities happen in India? That’s also going to take some time. That’s because, the solutions and needs of each city are very different. What works in one city will not work in another. As Anil Menon, Deputy Chief Globalization officer, Cisco says: “What are needed are a few things. That includes visionary leadership, global standards and local innovation.” He points out that there is a lot of attention on cities in Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh now for becoming smart cities.

The partnership will bring together Cisco’s Internet of Everything (IoE) solutions and ITL’s understandings in infrastructure development in India. “With this partnership, we aim to develop India centric technologies to digitize the country. The collaboration will focus on delivering core infrastructure, creating a smart ecosystem and service delivery,” said Dinesh Malkani, president, sales, Cisco India and SAARC.

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@anupjayaram