Women in business have transcended the need for patronising political correctness. It is no longer just about diversity in the workplace; it is about inclusion and profitability. SMB Advisor Middle East features highly inspirational achievers this month – who just happen to be women. And Cisco’s Clare Jones is among those inspirational women.
Claire Jones is the UAE Regional Sales Manager for small and medium business for Cisco. She has been working at Cisco for the past 5 years. She is a British national who moved to Dubai in 1994.
Do you feel empowerment starts with the self? Absolutely! I believe that every woman has as much of a chance as any man to be successful in business. It is not gender specific. It starts with you. Loving what you do is self-empowerment in itself. It gives you confidence to become the best you can.
Have you worked in other countries besides the UAE? How different have the experiences been? Although I was not based outside the UAE, I have worked across the entire Gulf, North Africa and Pakistan. My experience has been rewarding in each country. My customers and colleagues have always been respectful of me and what I do.
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We’ve just updated our the Newsroom for our Emerging Markets theater with the content from this blog so we now have one page that contains both our press releases and an RSS feed from the emerging countries blog itself in one handy page… There you’ll find a wealth of content from our emerging markets team that you may want to bookmark for the future: http://newsroom.cisco.com/emerging
Just as reminder, Cisco recognised the opportunity for emerging markets early and evolved, from the traditional EMEA model that most technology companies still use, to a dedicated model that puts focus on emerging markets specifically. At the same time we created a dedicated European Markets organisation. We created our Emerging Markets sales theatre back in June 2005 under SVP Paul Mountford to cover territory from Russia / CIS through Europe East, the Middle East and Africa and our Latin American markets given the synergies we recognised in the development of these markets.
This is the RSS if you want to subscribe to our official press releases from our Emerging Markets sales theatre:
and this is the RSS feed if you just want to subscribe to the Emerging Countries blog posts:
We’re looking into a combined news and blog feed for the future so please stay tuned.
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One of the questions Cisco sales teams ask themselves is how can we continually improve our business with our customers. Often the answer lies in the relationship between Cisco and our customers.
Customers want to do business with companies that understand their culture (both the company culture and the local, national culture), and they want to do business with organizations that have shared values.
Nikos Gerogiannis, Cisco Service & Support Manager in Emerging Markets, is talking to his customers about inclusion and diversity during quarterly business reviews. Instead of focusing solely on facts and figures, Gerogiannis and his team include non-direct business elements including Inclusion—how we leverage diversity by bringing together a mix of unique individual backgrounds to collectively and more effectively meet our business objectives and Diversity—the Collective mixture of differences and similarities including but not limited to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, physical abilities, culture, occupation, position, education, work, and behavioral styles and the perspectives of each individual shaped by his/her nation and experiences.
This move has created an open conversation between Cisco and our customers, as they share both the concept and experience of team spirit. For example, one customer wants to leverage Cisco’s inclusion and diversity practices in their own business. Another customer wants to start to change the perception that their customers have of them and are looking to Cisco to find out how we are doing this so they can model this same perspective for their own customers.
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When the new SEACOM submarine fiberoptic cable reached Mombasa, Kenya (from Mumbai, India via Durban) in July and began to deliver reliable, less expensive Internet access to East Africa, improved access to healthcare information might not have been the first thing on everyone’s mind. But that 1.28 Terabytes-per-second cable is providing rural Kenyans with healthcare information – and much more.
The new connectivity has jump-started a series of six new community centers across the country. And through these “pilot pasha centers” (pasha means “to inform” in Swahili), rural Kenyans are beginning to take advantage of many new opportunities – including access to important healthcare information as well as education, new markets and business opportunities, financial and government services, and more from around Kenya and the world – all at a much more affordable price.
I recently interviewed Dr. Peter Drury, lead for healthcare in emerging markets for Cisco’s Internet Business Solutions Group, about health information systems in developing nations. Dr. Drury is particularly interested in the opportunities the pasha centers offer from a public health perspective.
”We want to get a starter pack of health content deployed in these connected community centers in a way that is both easily accessible and relevant to the local people,” he told me. “Better still, we hope to find ways in which they can, locally and/or in collaboration with other people, begin to develop locally applicable health content to supplement whatever they will get from external sources.”
The collaborators behind the pilot pasha centers (the Kenya ICT Board and Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group, Cisco’s global strategic consulting arm) believe that the ICT platform and an entrepreneurial model will enable resource-poor communities to enjoy affordable access to a very wide range of information, due to economies of scale and the aggregation of demand reducing the unit price.
By Jenny Carless, News@Cisco Feature Writer
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In a modest building of less than 400 square feet known as the Blossom World cybercafé in Kangundo, a small town of 10,000 in Kenya, a non commercial, public-private collaboration between the Kenya ICT Board and Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) launched the Pasha centres. The center is designed to model a community-focused format that will be self-sufficient by using technology in the form of a Web 2.0 collaborative online platform for the Digital Village Pasha Program led by the board.
This initiative falls under the Kenya ICT Board’s Digital Villages Project (DVP) also known as “Pasha Centres.” The overall goal is to enhance the livelihoods of local citizens and encourage new micro-enterprises by providing access to information, education and new markets.
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