How Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), Cisco (CSCO) Are Approaching Innovation


Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)’s research and innovation center in Silicon Valley is mainly geared towards developing technologies that can give Ford vehicles competitive advantage. Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) on its part recently opened a new innovation center in Toronto, Canada, and as it seems, the strategy is to create solutions for outsiders like Ford. The format of innovation approach at Ford and Cisco seems to inspire faster and availability of new technologies to a wider population.

The different approaches taken by Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and Cisco in their innovation efforts also highlight a trend that could possibly upend technology innovation in many areas.

Smart cars

Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) talked at length about its smart vehicles plans during the CES 2016. Among other things, the company wants to expand the availability of its Sync platform. The company also talked about integrating Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto interfaces into its modern production cars.

It is not difficult to see that Ford is busy looking for solutions that will make its vehicles outstanding and more relevant in today’s evolving auto market. That explains why the location of the Ford research and innovation center in Silicon Valley is also strategic. In Silicon Valley, Ford is close to technology talents that can help it innovate and deploy innovation faster.

Looking at Cisco’s research station in Toronto, you see a company putting its best foot forward to find solutions that can help clients solve some complex problems. For example, the kind of technologies that Cisco is developing at its Toronto innovation center could enable the likes of Ford to bring innovative features in their cars from at an early stage.

Healthy innovation approach

Although different, the innovation approaches being taken by Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and Cisco complement and are healthy for driving innovation in the auto space. Among other things, there is the opportunity to trim costs, thus allowing for wider availability of an innovation. Such innovation approaches as exhibited by Ford and Cisco also limits risks in the planning process, thus allowing companies to experiment with newer technologies with a greater degree of confidence.