Dr. Badr Al Badr, Cisco’s General Manager in KSA, said that Cisco’s Research and Development (R&D) investment hit $3.2 billion annually. This annual investment comes as part of the company's business model, based on Cisco’s Network-Accelerated Innovation (NAI).
The announcement was revealed during Dr. Al Badr’s presentation at the 5th Management Forum held in Riyadh from February 26-28, organized by the Saudi Management Association under the patronage of Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz, Governor of Riyadh.
Al Badr pointed out that Cisco’s NAI model is based on a methodology that begins with collecting data, generating ideas, selecting the best and most effective ones, and then developing and marketing the effective ideas using the simplest and most widespread techniques.
Al Badr explained that this process relies on an integrated networking environment that connects all parties concerned with the innovation process, from the brainstorming stage till the execution one, in a way that gives depth and versatility to the knowledge and experience of the human resources. This model, Al Badr added, ensures spreading the effective ideas throughout the organization around the clock, via a communication system connecting all the concerned parties regardless of their locations.
At the event, Dr. Al Badr also confirmed that Cisco has a worldwide network of 1110 labs with 12,000 professionals and that more than 1100 patents were issued to Cisco inventors.
Stressing the significance of innovation, Dr. Al Badr highlighted the findings of a global survey carried out by Boston Consultancy Group (BCS) in 2005. According to BCG’s survey, 66% of surveyed managers said that innovation was one of their company's top three strategic priorities.
Additionally, Dr. Al Badr explained the most common myths about management innovation. He stated that innovation requires an idea-to-execution process. Contrary to common belief that innovation just happens, the innovation process is about ideas, business processes, culture and execution. It happens through group activity and does not come from one lone genius.
Dr. Al Badr also confirmed that the success of any NAI model is based on suitable environments and the availability of resources necessary to make the model effective. "Developing new ideas is not sufficient to achieve business results," said Dr. Al Badr
In the Arab world, Cisco is developing partnerships with regional R&D centers through setting up innovation centers that will empower the information society in the region. This initiative is part of Cisco's SR 1 billion investment plan in Saudi Arabia which was announced by John Chambers, Cisco Chairman and CEO, during his first ever visit to the Kingdom last April.
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