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Working from Everest

Life is truly an adventure, especially if you plan it out that way.  Over the past five years I’ve been on a quest to climb the 7 summits (the highest peak on the 7 continents).  A week ago I topped out on number 6, where I ended up soloing Aconcagua down in Argentina.

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In 2011 I soloed Mount Everest with a dramatic descent, I went completely snow-blind on the summit and had to descend alone and visionless. Along my journey I’ve discovered a lot about myself and my purpose in life.  Now when I travel to each region of the world, travel I visit orphanages to deliver toys and gifts.  It may seem small but we have so much to give to those in need if we step outside of our comfort zone to help make a difference.

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I’ve worked at Cisco for over 6 years and have witnessed a lot of changes throughout that time. Cisco has truly transformed the way I work, live, play and learn.  In a past life, I worked in an office for 8 straight hours occasionally leaving for a meeting or for travel.  For the most part I was efficient with in time management but overall unproductive as I tried to look busy to fill the whitespace in my calendar.  Random drive-bys and travel not only wasted valuable time, but kept me further from my customer and deflated my morale.  Cisco’s innovative teleworking solutions have completely evolved my experience allowing me to continue my passions for travel and philanthropy.

I’ve often found myself trying to be in multiple places at once while balancing several tasks across the massive gamut of Cisco’s portfolio.  Navigating resources is half the battle to ensure the appropriate data is delivered in a timely fashion.  My flexible work schedule and productivity tools have increased my ability to deliver beyond what was possible less than a decade ago.  Teleworking allows me to multitask across work disciplines, deliver results and increase customer satisfaction while maintaining a well rounded work life balance and debatable level of sanity.

Climbing the highest mountains on the continents adds another level of complexity.  However I’m able to manage my training schedule of early morning climbs by utilizing Cisco collaboration solutions such as Webex to take voice and video calls from my smartphone or home office.  A typical day starts hours before ‘normal’ people wake up. I’ll carry 50lbs in a pack up a local 4000′ peak, check email as I grab a Starbucks and take a few video calls from home before heading out to visit my customer.

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During my Mount Everest climb in 2011, I first visited the Early Childhood Development Center in Kathmandu.  I brought along Cisco equipment to orchestrate HD video via 3G connection to multiple cities around the world and let the children interact with one another.  This is the first time these underserved children saw this type of technology and I continued to collaborate with similar children halfway around the world.  This is the type of powerful, life altering solutions technology brings to the table.  Additionally, I was able to hold regular Webex sessions with Cisco, partners, my church and my family.  Being away from my wife and children is the hardest part of the climb.  Cisco kept us connected during my two month expedition as I scaled the highest mountain in the world.  Teleworking is reshaping my expectations of communication and creating the new baseline of excellence.

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You can follow my adventures at http://briandickinson.net.

Tomorrow starts MEAR

The land of opportunity

The land of opportunity

Without Cisco, the internet would be very different.

It’s unlikely that billions of people would be online; myself included. The web would be less robust, not as social and we probably wouldn’t be on the verge of The Internet of Everything – and the endless possibilities it will create.

We haven’t spent the last 27 years only building technology. By enabling businesses with the right tools and helping to connect 1.2 billion workers, we’ve stayed at the forefront of building entrepreneurial capacity worldwide. Our networks enable people to work better, and keep in touch anywhere and at any time. And now we’re playing our part in connecting an estimated 50 billion machines and devices by 2020*.

Against a backdrop of global recession, we’re supporting emerging economies and the next generation of entrepreneurs. In fact, across the Middle-East, Africa and Russia (MEAR) a staggering 37% of the population is under 15 years old – the consumers, business people and leaders of the near future – and 47% are living in urban environments. These are all statistics that I’m personally very excited about, as they provide massive opportunities.

As well as the sheer scale, the diversity, infrastructure challenges and newness of these markets mean that mobility and collaboration are absolutely key to business growth. So with that in mind our partner-led activity in MEAR is vital to our overall success – MEAR is simply an unmissable and untapped channel. And our network of 2,100 partners and 10,000 partner account managers across 84 countries are vital to catching this wave.

I want 2013 to be a fresh start for supporting our partner-led activities. We’ve proved we can transcend national, geographical and cultural boundaries to build strong relationships. That’s exactly what we need to do with our partners, starting now.

So please feel free to share your thoughts and comments on how we can work more productively together with our partners.

 

*The Internet of Things: How the Next Evolution of the Internet Is Changing Everything, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG), 2011

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Shaping the Next Cisco in India

Jeff White, president of India & SAARC and leader of India Board, Cisco

Jeff White, president of India & SAARC and leader of India Board, Cisco

Cisco marked a new milestone in India with the appointment of a new leader last week. Jeff White, previously vice president for the company’s Service Provider business in the APJC (Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China) region, has taken on the role of president for Cisco India & SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation), with responsibility for Cisco’s sales and operations in the area.

White will also take on the role of leader of a new India Board, which comprises senior executives from Cisco’s headquarters as well as India and will chart Cisco’s continued engagement with one of the largest emerging economies in the world.

Reporting to Jaime Valles, president of Cisco in APJC, White will partner with Faiyaz Shahpurwala, senior vice president, Industry Solutions and India Site leader, to drive innovation and talent in alignment with the national agenda to transform the economy through technology.

White will also be working closely with Wim Elfrink, executive vice president, Industry Solutions and Chief Globalisation Officer, who is also Cisco’s Executive Sponsor for India. Elfrink was one of the primary drivers for Cisco’s investment in the Globalisation Centre East in 2007 and was based out of Bangalore until 2011.

“Cisco is in a unique position to help the government, our customers and partners in India on their journey of transformation. With the combined resources of our many functions here, including sales, technical, engineering, services and many others, we can drive even greater local innovation with products, services, solutions and new service delivery models that are relevant for India. This is the vision for the next Cisco in India,” said White.

“I’m optimistic about the growth potential in India due to several trends, such as the massive urbanization, the young and vibrant population, a fast-growing middle-class and a government committed to investing in IT.”

Read More »

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Cisco APJC Partner Led Network 2012 – Emphasis on “Partner”

Cisco’s commitment to its channel partners takes another step forward at the Cisco Asia Pacific, Japan and Greater China (APJC) Partner Led Network 2012 event in Bangkok, Thailand, this week. With over 300 channel partners who focus on the mid-market and small business segments gathering from all around the region, Cisco has made each and everyone of them the focus of attention.

Andrew Sage, vice president for Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Led and Bastiaan Toeset, director of Partner Led for the APJC Partner Business Group, took some time off their preparations for the event to give you a preview of what’s to come.

Look out for more updates on this event on this blog and on twitter at the hash tag #ciscopln2012

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Impact X: Where People, Tech, and Social Impact Converge

Having just gotten home from an exhilerating few days at the Clinton Global Initiative, an annual event that draws hundreds of the world’s leading business, social and government leaders, I have the theme of “Designing for Impact” on the mind.  From examples of how to promote human rights in Uganda to talking about the fine arts as a means for economic development in Haiti, it was apparent that we can do more together to address the world’s challenges than we can apart. 

The idea of multiplying impact has led Cisco to join with The Huffington Post on a unique new partnership:  IMPACT X will be a new type of channel through which individuals and organizations can collectively share and amplify the positive impact that technology has on the world today… and how we can achieve more and accomplish more if we work in collaboration with one another.

IMPACT X  - where people, technology and social impact converge -- today features stories of remarkable achievement through technology and collaboration in helping improve opportunity for youth in Africa.  It also looks at how small-scale irrigation projects can overcome drought conditions and includes insights on how technology is transforming women’s lives in Honduras.  

A  weekly series called “5 X 5 X 5,” which stands for “5 Leaders, 5 Sectors, 5 Questions” will answer questions on how technology and innovation can be used to tackle social issues. The first features actress and activist Maria Bello talking about her new network for women, We Advance University, an online interactive education and information site that will allow local women’s groups from all over a country to connect and access services and tools that will empower them to move forward.

The ideas run the gamut; the possibilities are endless.

What will IMPACT X feature tomorrow?  What are your examples of multiplying impact?  We hope you’ll share them today!