Blog Post

Mobilize: Padmasree Warrior, CTO, Cisco

I joined Cisco as a CTO about six months ago from Motorola, so I had the opportunity to work for the company that invented the cell phone, and now I am working for the company that’s running the Internet. Mobility as a term has existed for a long time and for a long time it was synonymous with wireless and cell phones for voice. Now that has changed in the last few years, and that’s because of the massive scale of mobile-phone use and adoption.

For example, every second four babies are born and every second 30 phones are sold. The way we are connected today is just mind blowing. So, what are the drives and challenges behind the mobile Internet?

First, let’s take a slight detour where we think back to the 18th and early 19th centuries and if you thing back to that era it’s probably one of the most memorable milestones in the human era of innovations where we started taking our scientific discoveries and turning them into something that’s commercially valuable. Things like the steam engine, railroads and the cotton gin. That allowed us to think about how to use technology to change human lifestyle.

So to think back to the last few years and think about what are the most fundamental changes we have seen. There are two big changes with the adoption of mobile devices and the Internet, which has been the catalyst in terms of globalizing human innovation and making the world flat.

It’s proven to be a challenge to bring these two things together, but more recently we are beginning to see these things converge. In my view we will stop talking about the mobile Internet and the Internet will be pervasive.

That will shape the future. In the past the flow of capital and innovation that flowed from developed markets to emerging markets and now capital and innovation flows back and forth.  We are entering globalization 2.0, and the flat world concept is somewhat dated. Innovation will tap into the ideas of billions and globalization will be something we see every day.

Innovation itself will change. Before the industrial revolution and used to be the innovation from the solitary genius and with the help with the Internet now there’s open innovation. But it is still not completely free from restraint. We still look for ideas from corporations and startups. But as innovation changes we will move away from the concept of brainstorming to brainforming because of the way the Internet and people can work together. When you get an idea using collaborative technologies the old paper-based brainstorming way was laborious and inaccurate. I use Twitter and today I can put an idea up and people react immediately and I am able to sift and formulate my ideas. In this way technology makes us able to bring ideas to market faster.

New technologies will drive this. In the ’60s we had modems that delivered 300 bits per second and today we have terabit network speeds. By 2010 we’ll have 10 Tbps speeds. With the bandwidth expansion we will reduce the latency and the user experience will be optimized. This will drive multiple applications we have not thought about into the picture.

That’s important for all networks because remember in the future the Internet and the mobile Internet there will be just one.

There are three big multibillion opportunities for the Internet:

Video which is a $20B opportunity

Collaboration which is a $34B opportunity

Virtualization which is a $85 billion opportunity.

But I’m only going to talk today about video. Video used to be a passive way to consume content with a one-way broadcast, but now we’ve reached the era of interactive. Going forward the evolution of video will move from interactive communications to combine with social aspects to create what I call visual networking.

But the technology is preventing us from deploying video. There’s already a lot of strain on the current internet platform. At Cisco we added 453 percent capacity to our own internal network. But we can’t jsut add capacity. We have to create an optimized network for the idiosyncrasies of video. We lack traffic management, the ability to prioritize bandwidth and those things have to be incorporated into the Internet today for video. We we see that as being the medianet.

There are challenges in this space and the majority of them have to do with business challenges because the mobile world has a very different business model than the one developed on the Internet.

Mobile Operating Systems: There are 4-5 existing today and some are proprietary and some are open and that’s very confusing for apps developers

Standards and regulations: There are no standards in the mobile world and regulation drives what frequencies get utilized and that has to do with having multiple radios.

Security and presence and policy: Especially true in the enterprise world. It’s not just identity that’s improtant, but also policy what do I give you access to once I know who you are.

In the past we used to think about the consumer and enterprise worker. Today we talk about the user.

In the past we talked about the public and private network and today we talk about the network.:

In the past we talked about compartmentalizing our life. Today it’s anytime anywhere.

In the past creating and consuming were two different things and today we are talking about collaboration and sharing.

We need to stop thinking about the mobile world and the Internet as two seprarate thigns and start bringing thsoe things together.

12 Responses to “Mobilize: Padmasree Warrior, CTO, Cisco”

  1. Today’s revolution of mobile and internet has brought true globalization by bring human innovation to The Flat World. With time rolling, mobile and internet mashup will soon become pervasive in our way of life. Result is Globalization 2.0, which is allowing seamless flow of capital and innovation between Developed world and Emerging economies. With this we see innovation is flourishing with solid collaboration across the borders. Today, innovation is not the means of solitary genius and large corp, it is oozing from all over places. Put your idea on blog/twitter and you will see people start ideating with you right from all corners of planet. This is indicative of transition from Brainstorming to Brainforming.

  2. Jeff Harley

    I agree with last few comments – Padmasree has no vision whatsoever. When the iPhone came out – this was her blog entry:

    ———- blog entry starts———

    Padmasree Warrior – Motorola Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

    iPhone, uPhone, We all Phone!

    January 10, 2007

    Lights, camera, action!

    As worshippers come out of the heady, enthralling, grandstand production called Macworld, the hype settles and reality sets in. It’s called “the morning after”!

    Many people ask me what I think about Apple’s announcement of the iPhone. If you are one of those, here is my opinion. If you are not, my apologies for making you read yet another post on the much-anticipated Apple iPhone.

    First, I am thrilled that an innovative tech company like Apple finally decided to “join the club” and build a cell phone with multimedia. I have always been a fan of Apple’s creativity and cache for the cool factor. It is great for the mobile industry to have an icon like Steve Jobs stand up and say that it took his company over 2 years to build a multimedia cell phone! It just goes to show how complex it is to get into this business. The photos and pictures of Apple iPhone did not disappoint me. I expected nothing less from the likes of Jonathan Ive. Disclosures – I am a Jonathan Ive fan, I have owned an iPod since early launch, and I am a nut for cool gadgets.

    I am also delighted because Apple’s announcement validates what I have always believed – mobility will change the world and transform communications, computing and entertainment. At Motorola, we call this vision, “Seamless Mobility” for the Mobile Me.

    Having said that, here are my morning-after doubts:

    1. Touch screens have been around for a long time. I wonder how practical users will find this on a “phone”. There is a huge difference in the usability between a portable media player that you can put in a pretty case and carry on your hip versus a mobile phone that you constantly take in and out of your pocket or purse, hold up to your face, drop on the floor many times in the course of a day! Smudges, scratches and breakage are big issues. Let us hope we don’t have to spend more money and carry special cleaning lotion and buff cloth as accessories!

    2. There is nothing revolutionary or disruptive about any of the technologies. Touch interface, movement sensors, accelerometer, morphing, gesture recognition, 2-megapixel camera, built in MP3 player, WiFi, Bluetooth, are already available in products from leaders in the mobile industry – Motorola, Nokia and Samsung. So, what appears to be the initial pricing at $499 and $599 with a minimum 2 year service agreement seems a stretch.

    3. Battery life is problematic. User experience will be compromised with a mere 5 hours of talk time, and what about standby time? Speaking from over 20 years experience building products for the mobile industry, power management in mobiles is a non-trivial problem!

    4. At a time when the entire industry is moving to 3G, UMTS, HSDPA, 1x EV-DO and WiMax for wireless broadband, why launch an “internet device” on a 2.5G EDGE network? It is weird to me that high-speed over-the-air data access is under-leveraged. I am also puzzled as to how this will increase ARPU for the service provider, how will it drive traffic onto their high-speed networks? IMO, a super way for Apple to differentiate itself would have been snappy over-the-air music and video download and synch.

    5. I am not sure about the lack of a keyboard. Remember most people use a cell phone to make calls, especially when they are driving. I reserve judgment on how easy this will be for making calls or texting while we are moving at high speeds.

    6. Is 4GB or 8GB of embedded memory necessary on a mobile, especially when you can have a cheaper option with an expansion slot that allows the consumer to add the memory and pay for it separately if they need it?

    7. Lastly, when you have billions of devices – is a closed, proprietary system the right strategy? What happens to the operator’s differentiation with branded services? Is this signaling a sea change in the service provider’s mark on the UI?

    As always, Apple raises the bar with a compelling concept; and this time to enhance the vision of Seamless Mobility for the Mobile Me – which I welcome.

    Stay tuned for other great products from others and us in the mobile industry! The race continues.

    ———- blog entry ends ———

  3. movision

    This lady has NO vision and very little if any technology skills. She is simply a politician. She is called the Chief Talking Officer by the Cisco engineering people because she has no real power and is just a talking head but using the words of others. She is all about promoting herself and has no accomplishments.

  4. Moron-detector

    I worked with this lady at Motorola. She is totally incompetient. Very weak technical skills and simply plays politics. Others write her material and she just says the words without any deapth of understanding. She left a disaster behind at Motorola and has done nothing at Motorola. Can ANYONE tell something she did was a success.

  5. The Internet can help you out in this by doing most of traffic management for you and saving valuable time. They try to add in enough to keep capital and innovation relatively the same. If you’re trading during the past, you could do developed markets of capital and innovation and still fail.