KEYNOTE: Cisco -- How Do You Solve a Problem Users Don’t Know Is There?

Sanjeev Mervana
Cisco Systems, Vice President Products, Emerging Technologies & Incubation

As Vice President, Product Management, Emerging Technologies & Incubation (ET&I), Sanjeev leads the team in sourcing, generating, screening, and managing new innovation and incubation ideas that ultimately fuel growth for Cisco. 

The ET&I team establishes and advances new technologies and business models, or “the Bold Bets” that can create new markets, disrupt existing markets, or can solve problems our customers face. 

Sanjeev has as long history of accomplishments, specifically around product management, competitive differentiation, and building successful global teams. Sanjeev is recognized as a proven business leader with a strategic, innovative, and collaborative lens in approaching business needs and requirements.

Sanjeev has been with Cisco for two decades and has authored a Cisco Press Book “Design Principles of DSL Based Access Solutions.” With over 20 years of experience in Cloud, Software & Networking, Sanjeev has held various prominent leadership roles within Cisco.

When he is not incubating new technologies and discovering new tech trends, Sanjeev enjoys supporting causes in India such as education for women, supporting the visually impaired, and spreading mental health awareness. Finally, Sanjeev is keen on helping solve some of the world’s most challenging problems and building diverse teams that can help solve them. 

 Sanjeev holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics from Vishwakarma Institute of Technology, University of Pune, and currently resides in San Jose, California.


Necessity is the mother of invention. It’s a well-known proverb and means that the primary driving force for most new inventions is a need. When it comes to product innovation, those needs or ‘pain points’ are most easily identified when people in different roles tell you about them. You then follow a well-defined product innovation and development roadmap to create a solution to the problem.

But how do you solve a problem users don’t know is there? Steve Jobs famously said “people don’t know what they want until you show it to them”. With the ever-increasing pace of tech innovation and its ability to continually disrupt established ways of working, his statement has never been more true. So what is the trigger? How can you identify a ‘problem’ by convincing users that there’s a better way to do something when the current way of doing it works just fine.

Join Sanjeev Mervana, Vice President of Product Management for Cisco’s Emerging Technologies & Incubation team, as he details how to identify, generate, screen, and manage new innovation and incubation ideas that ultimately fuel growth.