Cisco has followed up a successful week in Spain by signing a memorandum of understanding with its neighbour Portugal.
The new agreement will see Cisco work with the Portuguese government over the next two years to ready the country for the digital economy. The brief is quite broad, but some of the highlights include improving economic growth, education, innovation, and competitiveness as well as social inclusion and quality of life.
“By accelerating the national digitization agenda, Portugal can increase GDP growth, create jobs, and improve digital inclusion for our people and businesses,” said António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal. “We strongly welcome Cisco’s contribution to create a sustainable innovation ecosystem that will enable our country to better compete in the global digital economy.”
“Cisco is proud to partner with Portugal’s government, businesses, and citizens in their commitment to digitize the nation and become a European leader in digital transformation,” said Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco. “We are committed to helping accelerate the Portuguese ecosystem of talent, entrepreneurship, and innovation that is key to creating a digital Portugal, and can bring even greater value to the country.”
Looking at some of the specifics, Cisco will partner with Startup Portugal focusing on areas such as security, mobility, and Internet of Things. The US technology giant will also provide local start-ups with access to its European Venture Capital initiative and Incubation program to help accelerate business and expand internationally. The agreement will also see Cisco supply products and services to several ministries, with a focus on public administration modernization, health, justice, and defence.
Another area of interest will be the four-year Industry 4.0 plan launched by the Portuguese government recently. The plan focuses on tourism, transportation, cities, and regions, with the aim being to improve services to citizens, visitors, and businesses, as well as to help competitiveness and operational efficiency. Part of this plan will include work with Turismo de Portugal to take advantage of wifi with analytics to improve experience and attract more visitors to the tourist hotspots in Portugal.
A few questions have been asked of Cisco in the last couple of days, namely focused around how recent product releases which essentially undermine Ericsson’s place in the radio segment. The gloriously named ‘Multi-Vendor Open vRAN Ecosystem Initiative For Mobile Networks’ is a direct alternative to single-vendor RAN offerings, and does offer a bit of a slap to Ericsson. Many had speculated the partnership between the two was on shaky grounds, but with Cisco’s radio initiative it looks dead and buried. Can a co-operation continue when one half of the partnership is taking a swipe at the others core competency?
Cisco might be facing awkward questions regarding its partnership with Ericsson, but at least good news stories like this will deflect some of the attention.