Has Cisco entered the systems integration business?

It appears Cisco may have entered the systems integration business with the announcement last week that Cisco Services Malaysia Sdn Bhd entered into a strategic collaboration with YTL e-Solutions Berhad. According to Cisco, the purpose of the collaboration is to build and integrate YTLE's WiMAX core network - which includes IP CORE, Operating Support Systems, Billing Systems, Proactive Network Operating Center (PNOC) and Interoperability Testing labs.

Cisco Broadband Wireless adds Mobile WiMAX, WiFi hot spots, and WiFi mesh, creating new opportunities for service providers, customers and markets: Cisco added that upon the collaboration's nationwide commercial service launch in 2009, Malaysians in both urban and rural areas will simultaneously experience 4G converged services - mobile voice, data and video with full mobility, using personal WiMAX mobile devices over the YTLE's WiMAX network.

"We have chosen Cisco because of its proven expertise and leadership globally in IP CORE network technology and experience in setting up PNOC. We need a technology partner that can enable a fast and efficient WiMAX core network establishment. Cisco has proven it with their innovative and leading-edge IP technology solutions," said Francis Yeoh - Executive Chairman and Managing Director of YTL e-Solutions Berhad. "Together with Cisco, YTLE will create a WiMAX centre of excellence in Malaysia to become a world destination for WiMAX technology development."

Wim Elfrink - Cisco Executive Vice President for Services & Chief Globalization Officer stated:

"This collaborative model is a first for Cisco, and demonstrates how governments and technology leaders can together provide the network as a 'fourth utility' for delivering services that enhance business productivity and quality of life. By enabling the mobile Internet, YTLE and Cisco are helping to enhance the global competitiveness of Malaysia and its citizens." Elfrink added that this new type of collaborative relationship illustrates how Cisco is innovating with new business models adapted to the diverse needs of customers worldwide.

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