Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
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8/3/2009
11:09 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
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Cisco Seeks Big China Growth By Partnering With Universities

Cisco's creation of a supply-chain institute in China, in partnership with two universities, underscores its desire to become a major, broad-based player in the massive export-driven Chinese economy. Cisco hopes to leverage its presence with this new effort beyond supply-chain education and into entrepreneurship, funding, and business leadership.

Cisco's creation of a supply-chain institute in China, in partnership with two universities, underscores its desire to become a major, broad-based player in the massive export-driven Chinese economy. Cisco hopes to leverage its presence with this new effort beyond supply-chain education and into entrepreneurship, funding, and business leadership.Cisco China chairman and CEO Jim Sherriff said the company expects the supply-chain institute to fit into its broader strategy of "cultivated innovation" that will see the company becoming involved in "capital, technology, process expertise, incubation resources, and leadership investments," according to Purchasing.com.

Cisco's partners in the institute are the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the School of Management at Fudan University, at which the program will be based. Aimed primarily at but not limited to Chinese nationals, the week-long programs will offer courses in the following disciplines, according to Purchasing.com:

• Supply Chain Management Strategies • Supply Chain Operations Best Practices • Supply Chain Logistics Best Practices • New Product Introduction and the Supply Chain • Emerging Supply Chains • Supply Chain Partnerships, and • Managing Change.

This is a smart move by Cisco to position itself as more than just another tech vendor eager to capitalize on the huge growth potential of China. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but by positioning itself as a supplier of knowledge and expertise and insight, and as a developer of forward-looking business leaders, Cisco creates an opportunity to differentiate itself from competitors in the Chinese market, and to be seen by the actively involved Chinese government as a source of education and knowledge.

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