I wrote in March about a new approach to globalization in which companies create multiple global hubs to serve emerging markets and then create networks to link their marketing, manufacturing, logistics and research & development functions. I cited Lenovo as one company adopting at least some aspects of the hub approach.
Cisco is another company amping up its focus on emerging markets, based on a presentation given by its CTO, Padmasree Warrior, at the recent Cisco Live user conference. According to a Network World story about the presentation, markets like India are beginning to generate innovation and capital rather than simply serving as secondary markets. Says Warrior:
Traditionally, capital flowed from developed markets to emerging markets and emerging markets were passive recipients of innovation. That model will change in the next few years, where we'll have multiple centers of economic power.
In an effort to capitalize on this, Cisco has established a Globalization Centre East in Bangalore. One-fifth of its executives across all global functions will be based there by 2012. It intends to open two more similar centers. Under the aegis of its Global Talent Acceleration Program, it has opened regional training centers in Johannesburg and Amman, Jordan, and plans to add centers in India and China by the end of 2008.
Cisco CEO John Chambers credits the company's use of Web 2.0 technologies like wikis and blogs with streamlining its product development process. Speaking at the same Cisco Live event, he says Cisco worked on six major product launches in its third quarter. "That's more announcements than we'd normally make in a year," says Chambers.