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Cisco Systems - Tech Innovator of the Year

 

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Company: Cisco Systems, San Jose, CA
Company Description: Cisco Systems, Inc. designs, manufactures, and sells Internet Protocol (IP) based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology industry worldwide. It provides switching products, including fixed-configuration and modular switches, and storage products that provide connectivity to end users, workstations, IP phones, wireless access points, and servers
Nomination Category: Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Tech Innovator of the Year - Other

Nomination Title: Piyush Bhargava - Tech Innovator of the Year

Tell the story about what this nominated person has achieved since January 1, 2016 (up to 650 words). Describe the impact he or she has had on your organization. Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

Piyush is the Chief architect for data and analytics in Cisco IT. He is responsible for the technology strategy and architecture on how Cisco leverages data. When Piyush took over this role, our challenges are like most enterprises grapple around their data:

- Lack of cohesion in IT and business strategy on data
- Perception of IT being too expensive and too slow to meet agile business needs
- Legacy technologies, old school of thoughts and dearth of innovation

Piyush has re-imagined the strategy with a different lens. He crafted a vision to leverage data and analytics to aid Cisco’s digital transformation. Key pillars of this digitization journey and his significant contributions are described below.

1. Culture: Data is the new oil. A change in mindset in understanding the value of data and harnessing it effectively was the need of the hour. Piyush has led an IT wide Data Innovation program to raise awareness of new data technologies, analytics use cases, the new skills and mindset change required for the digital transformation. Under his leadership, IT organized many “Data Innovation Fairs” around the globe. These events with external speakers and Cisco Execs built momentum towards a new “data centric” culture.

2. Business Leadership: A key tenet of the transformation was for IT to speak in the language of business. The conversation shouldn’t be about having the best IT infrastructure but helping business with initiatives such as monetizing install base, recurring revenue, and real time insights for Cisco Exec, etc. Piyush epitomized this change and led by example.

3. Technology Strategy: Piyush’s vision has helped transform the technology landscape with a mix of open source and best of breed solutions to serve any kind of business need on data. With his guidance, we implemented the open source Hadoop, in-memory HANA analytics platforms. Reference blue print architecture designed and developed by him has been referred in every data use case implementation.
• Modern Data Strategy: Very recently, Piyush defined modern data strategy for agile analytic needs. A brain child of Piyush, “DataIQ” a data maturity framework, is being leveraged by many Cisco functions to measure and improve the effectiveness of data. He is instrumental behind, enterprise Data and Analytics (eDnA) with data catalog and self-service tools for analytics and platform needs. Currently, he is providing thought leadership on measuring the data trust and data policies.

4. Operational Excellence: Piyush believed in, “architect to operate” and provided innovative solutions to improve the availability of systems with reduced cost. He devised an anomaly detection system to intercept any data errors before Cisco’s business is impacted. His vision to replace a legacy architecture for a highly critical application having many operational issues with a highly scalable distributed architecture has been applauded by many business leaders.

5. Industry & External Influence: Sharing is caring. He shared his thoughts through conferences like Strata Hadoop, Cisco Live, and Big Data anywhere. He has been part of the customer advisory boards for SAP and MAPR. Piyush is an adjunct professor of data engineering at University of Pacific, Masters of Data Science program.

6. Organization Evolution: Piyush loves to coach and works diligently to attract and retain the right talent in Cisco. He is fun loving and participates in many team building activities.

Few Business Outcomes:

• He created a “movement” in using data and analytics
• Platforms consolidation resulted in $12M saving
• Distributed architecture led to zero downtime and has become the de facto architecture for many applications
• 80% improvement in Cisco install base data with DataIQ concept
• Presented in 18 Executive briefings, 3 external conferences and 10 customer meetings
• eDnA portal. Discussion is in progress to productize

Piyush has been a visionary leader. Piyush is inspirational to many in Cisco. Cisco IT’s highly available and cost effective data and analytics solutions are the result of his innovative ideas. In today’s digital era, his contribution is immense in this transformation.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this nominated person since the beginning of 2016.

- Piyush has led an IT wide Data Innovation program to raise awareness for the digital transformation.
- Piyush emphasized “Data is the new oil” to highlight importance of data in Cisco.
- Piyush changed the conversation between IT and Business on helping business with initiatives and not on discussing the best infrastructure.
- His vision has helped transform the technology landscape with a mix of open source and best of breed solutions.
- BI & Analytics blue print architecture created by Piyush has been referred in every data use case implementation.
- Enterprise Data and Analytics (eDnA) - data catalog and self-service tools for analytics and platform needs was Piyush’s brain child.
- Piyush believed in, “architect to operate” and provided innovative solutions for business problems.
- Piyush shared his thoughts in industry conferences like Cisco Live and Big Data anywhere.
- Piyush loves to coach and works diligently to attract and retain the right talent in Cisco.