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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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Technology: The Heartbeat of Generation Z

I was thrilled and honoured to have Jessica spend this week with me learning about the world of PR as part of her Work Experience Program.  I didn’t have this type of program when I was in high school in the US and wish I had.  It is an excellent way to provide Australian students with insights into careers they are considering pursuing in the future. 

While we discussed the role of a PR professional, the media landscape, pitching journalists and developing story ideas, we also talked about Cisco and our vision to “Change the way we work, live, play and learn.”  It is on the topic of “how the Internet has changed the way we learn”, that Jessica has elected to write the following blog. 

Technology: The Heartbeat of Generation Z

Your heart thudding inside your chest is as fundamental to human life as technology is to Generation Z (those born since the late 1990s). Their smartphones, tablets and computers are an extension of themselves. This is evident in their compulsion to constantly check devices as they seek new information, connection and independence. Perhaps what they do not realize is that their lives and learning are dependent on this technology, without which, they could risk losing marks and even a heartbeat.

Still in school, Australia’s Generation Z is immersed in the rapid influx of knowledge and resources that the Internet supplies. They are accustomed to advancements in technologies and the presence of the Internet, which is now supplied in a seamless manner, wirelessly. This gives students the ability to move effortlessly without being hindered by a cable. Other developments in technology have increased the flexible approach to learning; appropriate study techniques; multitasking and optimal usage of time studying.

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Cisco Australia employees dig deep for hunger in Australia

Last month, over 100 Cisco Australia employees from Technical Services, Advanced Services, Service Sales as well as TAC, HR, IT & other functions took part in the Carnival of Change – a fun carnival themed event to launch the Cisco Global Hunger Relief Campaign (GHRC). The Cisco GHRC campaign is a food drive that runs until December 31st, 2013 with the aim of feeding the needy with proceeds in the New South Wales (NSW) region to go to the NSW Foodbank – a charity which aims to end hunger in Australia.

Giving back is something that is ingrained in Cisco’s culture and it was such a delight to see so many employees brave the rain at Gore Hill on the North Shore of Sydney on Nov. 12, 2013 to take part in the fundraising efforts on this day. Here are some of the great outcomes:

  • Raised close to $3,600 in direct donations
  • $1,500 in online donations, to be triple matched by Cisco
  • Over 100 tinned meals to be donated to NSW Foodbank
  • Logged almost 150 Australian volunteer hours towards the Cisco Global Hunger Relief Campaign

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San Francisco-Bangalore Sister City Initiative Promotes Women in the Workforce


This week, San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee is leading a business delegation to Bangalore, India, for a three-day event focused on the San Francisco-Bangalore Sister City Initiative. The initiative, a nonprofit created by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, seeks to engage individuals and institutions from both cities in building sustainable 21st century environmental, technological, and cultural ideas, techniques and resources.

As a proud sponsor of the sister city committee, Cisco will host a panel discussion on empowering women in business via Cisco TelePresence in San Jose, California, and in Bangalore. The panel will comprise a group of women from both the U.S. and India who hold executive positions in their respective industry and geography, providing viewers with the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of their successes.

Since women in the U.S. only hold 4% and women in India only hold 11 percent of CEO positions in business, these select women will provide insight into what it takes to succeed in a career. Each panelist will share personal experiences about their journey to success and the challenges they faced along the way.

Cisco’s Chief Technology and Strategy Officer Padmasree Warrior will join the panel to share an account of her success as a Cisco executive. As a prominent advocate for women equality on the workforce, Warrior envisions a world where women can not only rise, but thrive in their career.

“Women bring a great deal of talent and leadership to business and leadership overall. All of us need to build a community of support encouraging women to seize opportunities as they arise,”  Padmasree Warrior, chief technology and strategy officer at Cisco.

Tune into the panel live on Monday, December 2, at 7:00 p.m at