Cisco Systems is continuing its investments in overseas markets by promising to spend $1 billion over the next three to five years in the United Kingdom.
The money will go into a wide variety of areas, from startups in the Internet of everything to IoE technologies in such areas as financial, retail and health care industries. There also will be investments in smart cities technologies and cyber-security solutions, according to the company officials. The money will contribute to a larger digitization effort throughout the company.
"We believe the UK is well on its way to becoming one of the top digitized countries in the world," outgoing CEO John Chambers said in a statement. "Since 2011 we have delivered over and above on every objective we set with government in our prior commitments—encouraging technology, innovation and entrepreneurship. Through the British Innovation Gateway initiative, we have supported the government's ambition to create world class technology hubs across the country, generate jobs, diversify the economy and support sustainable growth."
The announcement came July 9, after Chambers and incoming CEO Chuck Robbins met with U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and other executives.
It also came several days after Cisco officials said the company will spend $100 million on IoE startups in France after the company signed a deal with the country in February. In addition, Cisco in June announced it is investing $10 billion over several years in China. Cisco in 2011 also invested $500 million in the U.K.'s digitization efforts.
Chambers and other Cisco executives have said the IoE—which they said includes the Internet of things (IoT)—represents the most significant transition in the tech industry since the Internet. They expect the number of connected devices worldwide to grow from 25 billion last year to more than 50 billion by 2020, and could be a $19 trillion boon to businesses globally by that year.
Among the $1 billion that Cisco is spending in the United Kingdom is $150 million for IoE startups and venture capital investments. Cisco officials said they will make further acquisitions in the U.K., adding to previous ones in the areas of wireless software, cloud-based security and next-generation video delivery. The company also will bolster its Cisco Networking Academy in the United Kingdom and will create more centers of expertise and collaboration with universities, and will expand its apprenticeship programs, according to officials.
The U.K, is Cisco's second largest market, with up to 7,000 employees.