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EMAIL INTERVIEW Aik Peng Tan & Ken Sinclair
Aik Peng Tan is a Senior Manager within the Cisco Integrated Solutions Group, leading the Cisco Connected Real Estate practice in Asia Pacific Region. He is responsible for market, business and solutions development activities in both the Commercial and Corporate Real Estate industry and is involved in major customer engagements around the Asia Pacific region. His geographical coverage includes China, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Australia and New Zealand.
Cisco Connected Real Estate practice in Asia Pacific Region
After the success of the BuilConn events in US and Europe, Cisco was excited to learn that the event was coming to Asia.
Sinclair: This being the first time BuilConn is holding its event in Asia, what does Cisco hope to get out of the event?
Tan: After the success of the BuilConn events in US and Europe, Cisco was excited to learn that the event was coming to Asia. This event is timely as we are starting to put significant resources into how we address the needs and requirements of the real estate industry in Asia Pacific, which traditionally has not been our focus area. As such, we look to this event for more insights into the key industry trends and drivers and also to introduce Cisco to the active players in this industry. This is also an opportunity for the company to share our points of view as well as solution offerings for the real estate industry.
Sinclair: What is Cisco offering for the real estate industry in Asia Pacific?
Tan: The Cisco Connected Real Estate (CCRE) solution seeks to transform the way real estate is developed, used and managed. Cisco feels that with Internet Protocol (IP) being implemented as the fourth utility – after electricity, gas and water – real estate developers can move from a business model based solely on space to one that is based on provision of service. This is because the IP networking foundation enables a myriad of services to be delivered, in-house or as managed services. Coupled with the convergence and integration of ICT and Building Systems onto a common IP network, CCRE enables energy efficiency, reduces CapEx and OpEx while optimizing building management and operations.
Cisco has a broad-based understanding of the key value chains in the real estate industry, from a service provider providing telecommunication services to a property to a large enterprise renting the property right down to a consumer living and working in the property. To address these different needs, Cisco’s services-oriented approach defines the type of services, ranging from traditional security surveillance to Unified Communications-based voice over IP services, that can be built on an IP-based infrastructure. We call this framework the Cisco Services-Oriented Network Architecture (SONA).
Sinclair: Which are the key Asia Pacific markets that Cisco will focus for CCRE solutions? Why?
Tan: CCRE is powerful enough to apply to both the Commercial Real Estate industry as a market vertical by itself or to specific Corporate Real Estate opportunities for market segments like Manufacturing and Banking, for example a new manufacturing plant or new bank HQ. Where we see the biggest opportunities for growth in this area are the mega projects that emerging countries like China and India are embarking on in order to catch up with more developed neighboring countries. The real estate market in these two countries is booming. China’s real estate growth is estimated at 20 per cent year-on-year. We are not just talking about the number of opportunities but the sheer size of each opportunity. So while we are able to address the markets in most of the Asia Pacific countries, we do see more opportunities from emerging countries with mega projects in their pipelines.
Sinclair: How do you plan to address these markets?
Tan: The key components of Cisco’s delivery model are thought leadership, ie CCRE, and our eco-system partners. Gone are the days where organizations deploy technology for the sake of technology, this is even more so for real estate developers/owners who are focused on the bottom line. We need to connect their business drivers and needs to our technology solution through a clearly thought out business and technology architecture. Managing large complex projects require a full range of eco-system partners, ranging from Cisco-certified System Integrators, to the third party application providers building solutions on the Cisco converged network infrastructure, to the operators of IP services such as the telco players. It is a distinctive Cisco strength that we can put together a world-class array of eco-system partners to tackle any large complex project.
Sinclair: What do we expect from Cisco in the coming months?
Tan: We are at the heart of a market inflection that is changing the face of networking. The lines between enterprises, service providers, commercial and consumer are blurring as the network becomes the platform for transforming life’s experiences not only in the work place, but at home and wherever people work, live, learn and play. It is no longer about the power of the physical network alone, today it is the power of the human network and the end user is in charge. It is all about the individual experience. With a new Cisco logo and branding campaign, we are in a position to clearly explain to the world that networking is rapidly becoming a platform for innovation and collaboration that is changing the industry and the important role we play a part in leading this experience. This forms the core of our CCRE solution in helping the real estate developers/owners transform their business models and addressing the needs for the end users to have a complete work-life-learn-play experience, powered by Cisco.
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