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Empowered female leadership panel recap from Bangalore

After three exciting days in Bangalore, delegates from the San Francisco-Bangalore Sister City Initiative completed their trip on a high note. The two cities are currently working toward building improved and sustainable environments through the engagement of their respective communities. During the two-day event held on December 2 and 3, delegates from the sister cities achieved one of their many goals by signing 11 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) to continue to build and strengthen the cities’ existing relationship.

In conjunction with the initiative and the three-day event, Cisco hosted a panel of six outstanding women who are ranked in the top of their field to discuss what it takes for females to succeed in the modern business world. The panel, which was broadcast live last week via Cisco TelePresence connected the panelists from Bangalore; New York City; and San Jose, Calif.

Each gave an inside look into their rise to the top, but highlighted many of the challenges it took to get there.

The stellar lineup of panelists included:

  1. Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, Cisco
  2. Rani N. Borkar, Vice President General Manager, Intel Architecture Development Group
  3. Reshma Saujani, Founder, Girls Who Code
  4. Revathy Ashok, Former Managing Director, Tishman Speyer
  5. Anu Natarajan, Vice Mayor of Fremont, Calif.
  6. Priya Tandon, Founder & Chair of IndUS Setu Global Foundation

To kick off the panel, San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee emphasized the important of bringing gender equality to the workforce. The city of San Francisco follows this philosophy since many women hold high-level positions within its government.

Cisco’s panel moderator Karen Snell introduced each panelist and shared a quote from Cisco’s Padmasree Warrior, “I take work seriously, but not myself.”

Warrior explained that anything in business must retain a human element. When entering the workforce, she said it’s crucial to not only have a work identity, but maintain a separate personal identity.

Other topics addressed during the panel focused on how women should seek mentorship, how they should handle criticism from peers in the work place and how to maintain a proper work/life balance.

On seeking mentorship, Reshma Saujani of Girls Who Code – a program geared toward teen girls to teach them relevant skills for computing fields – said because so few women enter the STEM field, the ones who do aren’t seeing others who look like them. But women need female mentors. So if more women enter fields like computer science and engineering, they can become the mentors for the future generations of women to enter those same fields.

When asked about handling criticism from peers, Revathy Ashok suggested that women should disregard gender as an issue but to “learn to fight the battle differently.”

Ashok, who for years worked alongside men and no other women, explained that she never felt she had the “luxury” to think of gender as in issue in the workforce and learned to adapt accordingly. Despite her personal experience, Ashok said she is seeing an overall shift in how the technology industry as a whole has begun to change its attitude toward women.

But while attitudes toward women may be improving since in many cases the proverbial glass ceiling has already been shattered, underlying factors still remain for woman as they continue to climb the corporate ladder like raising a family in addition to advancing a career.

During the panel discussion, Anu Natarajan said when women hold a career and also raise a family, it’s ok to ask for help when it’s needed and should accept help from a spouse or family member. Women have a responsibility to “not act like victims,” so when maintaining both a work and family life, it’s key to define a roadmap that allows for both.

Missed the live panel? Watch it here at 

Video streaming by Ustream

Cisco Continues to Lead in Driving Business Value and Lower TCO for Aussie and Kiwi Server Customers

It’s been another big year for Cisco and its partners in accelerating growth and opportunity in the data centre and cloud.  In 2013, there was a particular focus on Cisco Powered cloud providers building the foundation necessary to deliver integrated services (collaboration, security, infrastructure as a service and video) for private, public and hybrid cloud use across Australia and New Zealand.

This past year, we have teamed up with a wide range of partners to deliver Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) to the market, which has proved to be somewhat of a ‘silver bullet’ for the widespread adoption of Unified Collaboration in Australia and New  Zealand. In addition, our Cisco Unified Computing Solution (UCS) continues to drive growth for Cisco and our partners in Australia and New Zealand with a host of customers rolling out the platform to speed up and improve the efficiency of their private data centre operations.

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Congratulations Telstra – Cisco Cloud and Managed Services Master Partner

Cisco would like to congratulate Telstra for achieving Cisco Cloud and Managed Services (CMSP) Master Partner certification globally. This is due recognition for Telstra who has built the capabilities to sell and deliver Cisco cloud technology to its customers throughout the world. The certification is designed to help partners build, market and sell cloud and managed services to customers and incorporates a thorough sales training and business acceleration program.

The accreditation coincides with the official launch of Telstra’s globally connected Cloud Infrastructure solution. The solution is built using Cisco technology and is further evidence of the strong partnership between Cisco and Telstra.

Telstra’s global Cloud Infrastructure platform combines Telstra’s global telecommunications with Cisco’s leading technology to offer customers best-of-breed, end-to-end solutions which enable global businesses to consistently deploy applications across multiple geographic locations to support business transformation, productivity and growth.

While Telstra Global was at Cisco’s Cloud Connections event in Hong Kong yesterday, earlier this year at Cisco’s Global Partner Summit, Telstra was awarded Global Cloud provider Partner of the Year at the Cisco Global Partner Summit in June 2013.

Congratulations to the team at Telstra for reaching the Master Partner certification and we look forward to continuing our strong partnership in the future.

Cisco gets behind the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games in Newcastle, Australia

From the 1st to the 7th of December 2,000 Special Olympics athletes, 600 coaches and officials, over 4,000 volunteers and an estimated 200,000 spectators from over 32 countries in the Asia Pacific region converged on the City of Newcastle to take part in the first ever Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games.

I am extremely proud to say that 130 of those volunteers were from Cisco’s Product and Service Sales, Technical Services, Advanced Services, Technical Assistant Centre (TAC), Customer Service, Marketing, HR and other functional groups. These Cisco employees made the trip up the F3 from Sydney to devote their personal time to what was a fantastic event, but one that could not have happened without the contribution of the over 4,000 volunteers.

The Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games is 2013’s biggest event in regional Australia and was opened by Quentin Bryce, Governor General of Australia, in a glittering opening ceremony. The highlight of the event was the sheer enthusiasm shown by the athletes, officials and spectators from all the countries participating. The Special Olympics are all about inclusion and making everyone feel a part of something big.  Spectators attending the opening ceremony and each event showed the same levels of enthusiasm for the small contingents of athletes from likes of Mongolia and Cambodia as they did for the mammoth 398-strong Australian Team.

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Amcom, Gen-i and Westcon honoured at Cisco ANZ Marketing Awards

As part of the annual Australian and New Zealand Cisco marketing forum, yesterday we hosted the  2013 Marketing Awards which recognise our partners who are developing and executing the most innovative and exciting marketing cross-promotions with Cisco.

This year there were three categories: Enterprise & Public Sector, Commercial and Distributor with the partners and respective campaigns being judged against the following criteria:

  • Effective utilisation of resources for initiatives
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Measurable business impact
  • Alignment of campaign to Cisco’s own marketing

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