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In The Boardroom With...

Mr. Faiyaz Shahpurwala
SVP, Emerging Solutions and Advanced Services
Cisco India Site Leader Hi, Faiyaz, thank you for being with us today. First, please tell us a little about yourself.

Faiyaz Shahpurwala: I am a senior vice president responsible for Cisco’s Emerging Solutions portfolio, advanced services and India site strategy. I have been a part of the senior leadership team at Cisco for 19 years, having joined the company in 1992. I was a founding member of the Advanced Services team and subsequently held many senior leadership roles. In 2001, I left Cisco to become a key executive at Andiamo Networks, a startup company manufacturing intelligent storage switching products. Andiamo was later acquired by Cisco. Subsequently, I built and co-led Cisco’s billion-dollar Advanced Services enterprise business. I also pioneered the data center networking practice and led the worldwide technology practices for OSS, infrastructure, and security and invented NatKit, a remote network monitoring tool for which I hold a patent.

In my current role, I spend a lot of my time creating and leading the charter for the Emerging Solutions Group. My team oversees a portfolio of solution practices that primarily focus on the areas of health care, education, physical safety and security, and energy, among others. My team brings deep technical expertise, globalization models, services innovation, and delivery excellence to serve customers with Cisco solutions and advanced technologies. We heard about the recent shift in strategy for the Cisco physical security business from being product-led to solution-led. Please tell us more about it.

Faiyaz Shahpurwala: The Cisco physical security business went through a major transition to align Cisco strengths with market opportunities and customer requirements. The teams have come together to evolve and transform the physical security experience in verticals such as urban security, energy, health care, and border security. The evolved strategy brings to our customers and partners a combination of Cisco core networking, data center, video and collaboration products along with emerging physical security products and services. This is further integrated with ecosystem partners' products and third-party systems.

Cisco doesn't just supply individual physical security products for our partners to integrate. We are invested in improving the capabilities and reducing the risk for those systems integrators as they take on large, multitechnology projects. Cisco has a new solution architecture team that is designing and testing integrated solutions. This involves combining products from Cisco and our partners to address the safety and security incident-management lifecycle. The team is developing modular, scalable and reusable building blocks. These include surveillance-ready network designs for both distributed and centralized environments. Other building blocks include compute and storage platforms where physical security applications run on the Cisco Unified Computing System with external storage. Then there are command-center solutions that combine video surveillance, access control, and emergency communication and collaboration integrated through physical security information manager (PSIM) applications.

The sales and services teams have also evolved their approach to provide our system integrator partners with the presales and post-sales services needed to help them incorporate the new Cisco architectures into their offerings and programs.

A lot of small companies and startups specialize in physical safety and security solutions --- which is great. But that does not solve the issue of fragmentation, disparate systems and different protocols in the space. Cisco comes to the market with expertise in cloud and data center, video, collaboration, and more. We are able to provide the technology and the network-based platform that allows a lot of specialty products to converge together and interoperate intelligently. No other company can do that! You mentioned urban security. What initiatives is Cisco undertaking in that area?

Faiyaz Shahpurwala: We realize that community leaders are pressed for answers to overcrowding, pollution, budget and resource constraints, inadequate infrastructures, and the need for continuing economic growth. They must provide sustainable access to education, health care, energy and utilities, and transportation. Security is an important requirement for a stable, resilient, productive community.

Cisco's vision is one of Smart+Connected Communities. Smart cities rely on a safe, highly secure, and lawful environment as the cradle for economic development. Smart cities are using security systems and the command center technologies, such as collaboration systems and video, to conduct citywide operations. These range from public transportation to street maintenance and sanitation, not to mention public works. Operation centers that used to be a single room with many seats and screens are now becoming virtual, and their interfaces range from large video walls to smartphones. With IP-based communications, multi-agency collaboration is more flexible and more timely. Such collaboration means better information, better city services - a smarter city at work - and lower crime. Could you give any examples of Smart+Connected Safety and Security solutions and how they can help communities and urban areas?

Faiyaz Shahpurwala: Perhaps the best way to show the benefits of Smart+Connected Safety and Security solutions is to show that costs are reduced by having a safe, secure smart city. It is important to understand the impact of crime on an economy, be it a developing economy or one in the developed world. That impact can be very significant, ranging from 5 to 15 percent of GDP in some cases.

A safe and secure city is one where crimes are prevented before they occur or where they're detected quickly and a well-coordinated response is put in place. These cities attract citizens and businesses that lead to sustainability and prosperity.

The Cisco Smart+Connected Safety and Security solutions are built on a platform that allows law enforcement agencies to quickly detect incidents, develop automated operating procedures, and easily collaborate with other agencies within government and enterprises to coordinate activities. Safety and security are of course primary concerns, but security management platforms seem to be used for other things these days. You mentioned transportation earlier, and I know that traffic cams are becoming widespread. What role does Cisco play in this area?

Faiyaz Shahpurwala: Yes, networked surveillance with an open platform and an open network extends well beyond fighting crime. In Cisco Smart+Connected Transportation systems, IP-based video surveillance is useful for live streaming. These are essentially intelligent traffic systems that use the network as a platform and related analytics for studying prevailing traffic patterns and subsequently use the data for traffic optimization and management. As a result, drivers can change their routes and reduce congestion.

From roads to railways to airports, transportation is the heart of any community. And transportation services need to be smart, safe and energy-efficient. They can do that by using the network as the platform to set up real-time collaboration. IP-based networked solutions integrate workplaces, residential buildings, travel service providers, airlines, and hotels onto a single platform to increase sustainability and productivity.

The cost of congestion varies somewhat for large cities in the world. To give you an idea, both Los Angeles and New York City saw studies showing an annual impact of $10 billion or greater. An economic inhibitor like this is just as bad, or worse, for a developing economy trying to increase productivity. In our experience, networked solutions show direct benefits in densely populated Southeast Asian countries. Networked solutions are starting to use video analytics on smart city surveillance cameras to derive vital traffic management data. This data can help optimize traffic signals and highway ramp metering to get the maximum efficiency from existing road capacity.

The data is also used by smart cities for long-term planning, and cities are starting to evaluate dynamic speed limits to minimize congestion as well. All of this is getting the most out of the existing lane capacities of roads without compromising road safety. Worldwide we are starting to see smart cities of all sizes taking steps toward using networks and video technology in this way. Smart city technology involves both security and IT players. What issues are there for integration so far?

Faiyaz Shahpurwala: The physical security industry is evolving in a number of ways, and as you say, it's becoming more of a focus in information technology provider, integrator and support organizations. We are working to improve this integration with a medianet-enabled architecture, allowing a physical security device such as a camera to be more "network aware" while at the same time making the network more "surveillance aware." As we implement new capabilities on the network across all cameras - not just Cisco's - we allow the camera to be installed at a lower cost and in a more error-free approach, and reduce the burden of configuration and assurance quite a bit.

A medianet-enabled architecture essentially means that devices can be monitored for failures or networking trouble and that self-healing capabilities can be based on set policies. Thank you for taking time to share your insights, Faiyaz.

Faiyaz Shahpurwala: My pleasure.



Case studies show how reliable and cost-effective a security system can be.

  • The JW Marriott Marquis Miami luxury hotel transforms the guest experience through Cisco Unified Computing, combining 12 Cisco technologies for business video, collaboration and physical safety with the underlying media-optimized network (medianet).
  • Georgetown County, S.C., uses Cisco's Smart+Connected approach to provide physical security for multiple agencies, increasing the return on investment.
  • The Missouri State Highway Patrol deploys mobile Cisco Emergency Response Vehicles to integrate communications with state and federal agencies and to provide better services to Missouri residents.