Talk about circumventing the whole RFP process.
Cisco Systems says it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work with the Metropolis urban planning organization to define technology that could support its Vision 2030 for sustainable cities.
Metropolis includes 106 of the largest cities from around the world (representing more than 1,200,000,000 people), and it is focused on creating a plan to keep the environmental impact from quickly growing urban communities at a minimum.
Under the agreement, Cisco will provide WebEx services and TelePresence technology to help support Web 2.0 collaboration between member cities. It will work with Metropolis to establish regional centers that can offer certain services to select cities. It will also create an "Urban Leadership Academy." This academy will be focused on creating best practices for cities to use technology to support sustainability projects. Cisco will offer training and skills development to this end.
Think Cisco technologies might be involved when cities actually start investing in this stuff with an eye to making things better by 2030? Yes, I think so, too. Very neat way to get into the door of these potential accounts.
Cisco's latest announcement (yes, I know, this is my third blog about them this week I apologize), dovetails with its Connected Urban Development Program, and it will likely build on the company's "Connected and Sustainable Work" initiative announced last November. Central to this philosophy are Cisco technologies including its collaborative services (think WebEx) and its virtual meeting technology, TelePresence. Cisco is pushing the concept of what it Smart Work Centres (think extremely well-connected office space) in cities around the world. The first is located in Almere, Holland. (HP, IBM and the City of Amsterdam were the first official occupants.)