When a senior vice president of a company contacts you about an opportunity that could change everything for your startup venture, you listen. And that’s exactly what Kishore Kumar, founder and CEO of Nuviso, did.
“We knew about the Cisco EIR program at a high-level, but then Mala Anand, Senior Vice President of Cisco’s Services and Platforms group, called and said we had to be a part of it,” Kumar said.
However, this wasn’t Kumar’s first time working with Cisco. Nuviso was established after Kumar previously worked with Cisco on another successful venture, Pari Networks. After it was acquired by Cisco, Pari Networks began to thrive and Kumar felt the need to spread his technological wings. So, he left Pari Networks – and Cisco – to start Nuviso.
With their family of products, Nuviso enables service providers to move into the next paradigm of networking. Essentially, as more brands transition their storage from hardware to software and app-fueled systems, Nuviso’s products prevent customers from having to replace their entire network. In turn, this enables more powerful infrastructure and faster times to market.
Despite the success of Kumar’s first venture with Pari Networks, starting a new company came with it’s own set of challenges. Kumar knew securing funding was one of the greatest challenges for any startup looking to make their mark. But he and his team decided to focus on the bigger picture first. That meant validating their technology in the market with real enterprise customers.
The Cisco EIR Advantage
“Being a part of the EIR program helped us with more than just funding. They helped us partner with Cisco and get feedback to improve our technology,” Kumar said. This support made Kumar’s second time around with Cisco a new experience.
According to Kumar, Cisco EIR helped Nuviso in three very important ways:
The first was the ease of doing business with Cisco. “We were able to work with Cisco and have use cases for their customers. Once they saw our capabilities, they became customers too. We’re now helping one of the service providers with new infrastructure. We know this would have eventually happened, but it would have taken much more time.”
The second was gaining the credibility that comes with being a Cisco partner. “One of the bigger problems in the very early stages of a startup is that you don’t know what makes sense or not and you might have to do things multiple ways. The EIR program makes it easier because even if you don’t talk to customers directly, the Cisco groups become your customers and can validate who you are and what you’re capable of.”
And lastly, the networking. “If you’re a small startup coming in and you want to know a lot of people, whether it’s a venture capitalist, a partner or a customer, being in this program presents ample networking opportunities.”
What’s Ahead for Nuviso
Nuviso has enjoyed some monumental successes since participating in the Cisco EIR program last year. One of the greatest is underway in India. Cisco’s Country Digitization Acceleration initiative is spearheading the installation of fiber links in every home in Andhra Pradesh, a state in India that is half the size of California. This will provide almost 40 million households with internet access for just under $2 per home. Nuviso will be providing management, services deployment and network virtualization products to this project. Nuviso also just announced their Symphony Product line at Cisco Live 2016, focused on existing IP/MPLS networks, SDN networks and NFV.
Despite all of the success they’ve attained, Kumar and the Nuviso team are full-steam ahead, setting a high bar of excellence as they go after new goals.
“We’re helping enterprise service providers realize much bigger successes,” he said. “We’re reaching out to more groups than ever and people are seeing the value we bring to the table as a partner. And that is amazing.”
Tags: Cisco, collaboration, connectivity, corporate-startup collaboration, entrepreneurs, innovation, NFV, SDN, software, software-defined network, startups, technology