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DesignMap worked with Cisco Emerging Technology Group (ETG), Cisco's first formal "internal venturing" operation dedicated to hatching all-new billion-dollar businesses from within the company. ETG was an unprecedented effort for Cisco, which traditionally expanded through acquisitions, partnerships, and by augmenting existing product lines.

ETG offers a hub for ideas and a systematic process for launching businesses, giving the communications giant the necessary nimbleness to respond to the mercurial nature of today's whirlwind technology development. It can do what existing Cisco business units find very difficult: create all new product categories.


Cisco's emerging technologies initiative was wide ranging and green field; it was independent of existing assumptions or process. This meant freedom and flexibility for product design, but it also meant starting from ground zero for each initiative.


We are responsible for product design across many Cisco ETG initiatives, including TelePresence, Physical Security, Network Solutions, Integrated Commerce Workspace, and Digital Media, a digital signage and video solution. Over the years, we’re the most proud of bringing a consumer-level of usability, look and feel, simplicity and intuitiveness, to enterprise level power applications.


Storyboards help the team think through the product in an easy-to-understand, detailed way. They also serve as a proof-of-concept for the project as a whole, and validated with key customers.


We helped the team understand the potential of the storyboard using visiontypes. A visiontype paints a picture of a product’s idealized future. It doesn’t get into the minutiae of functional details and consequently does not act as a design specification.

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