By Pippa Collett, Cisco UK
“There’s the gun and they’re off!”
Cisco House officially opened its doors yesterday in a five month marathon to inspire leaders seeking new ideas around the business transformation of countries, cities and organisations.
A bit like going to the Games themselves, the first guests arrived at 6 pm having navigated their way through Europe’s largest indoor shopping centre, curious to find out what Cisco House is all about. From that moment on, the two-floor pavilion never stopped buzzing.
As some attendees engaged with the wide range of interactive showcases, downloading case studies and other materials via the Cisco House app to take home in their virtual Delegatebag, others networked with old friends and new contacts.
Phil Smith and Jim O’Donnell gave engaging speeches following a short but inspirational video illustrating the scope of Cisco House project which left the audience attentive and impressed.
Showcasing the Business Transformation Experience
The key to the evening was the opening of the Business Transformation Experience. In intimate groups, all guests were escorted through the thought-provoking experience, hosted by Stephen Fry (possibly the greatest living Englishman, according to The Guardian newspaper).
They enjoyed an amazing voyage of discovery on a London underground train ‘ride’ from the present to the future incorporating 3D, a spectacular surround theatre and a wealth of real life transformation success stories. On the way out, words like “challenging”, “stimulating” and “incredible” were on everyone’s lips.
One thing is certain though; nothing is possible without our delegates. All the best placed people to turn inspiration into transformation were in attendance and we were particularly pleased that Tim Brabants, Olympic Gold kayaker, managed to squeeze in a visit considering his current training schedule.
I think those who know Cisco well were surprised at how little Cisco technology was obviously present. Whilst I can assure them that there is plenty of that behind the scenes, the House truly does focus “not on what Cisco makes, but on what we make possible”, as Phil pointed out in his speech.
This is emphasised in both the ‘Building a Brilliant Future’ showcase and the interactive video case study library where examples of how Cisco and its partner ecosystem contribute to accelerating innovation and growth.
The whole experience reinforced Cisco as a business solutions provider, with the House itself as a critical catalyst for provoking fresh thinking around the needs of organisations today and in the future. As one delegate enthused, “Cisco House is a cerebral treat.”