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Cisco’s First Ever Global Company Meeting…Virtually

August 23, 2007
at 12:00 pm PST

Color me impressed. I’ve blogged about TelePresence before. It is cool. It is functional. It is easy to use. It is collaboration at its finest. Cisco innovated it. Today, however, we saw TelePresence on steroids or as one attendee called it “Johnapalooza.” Our CEO, John Chambers, is all about video and today’s company meeting was about as video as you can get.We had a site on our San Jose campus that set up a kind of “theater in the round” with a round, center stage on which John and other executives presented to employees. There were about 200 employees in the room and about an additional 500 or so in sites around the country and around the world. Full size. On interactive video screens enabled by our TelePresence technology. There were six large screens (16 x 9) in the room and each one represented a different site. Employees virtually attended from Amsterdam, NL; Bedfont Lakes, UK; Atlanta, GA; Irvine, CA; RTP, NC and Boxborough, MA. In a word: very cool. (Yes, that was two words, but one word won’t do it.) Side note: an additional 4000 employees attended via Cisco IPTV.We’ll put some video of the event up tomorrow (I’m new to the editing side of video so putting it in a format that is accessible, consise and relevant takes a bit more work). Attached you can see a picture from the event, but it really doesn’t do it justice. Watch this space tomorrow for the video.Cisco Virtual Company Meeting - 2007.jpgIn this picture, Chambers is interacting with Wim Elfrink (center screen) in Bangalore, India, as Cisco employees in San Jose, CA (main pic); Irvine, CA (right screen) and Boxborough, MA (left screen) look on.As it is also Chambers’ birthday today, employees around the world celebrated at each site with a birthday cake and birthday wishes. Birthday wishes for the CEO who continues to push his innovative, creative teams to push the technology envelope and make very sophisticated events such as this no more difficult than making a conference call. Congratulations to the team who pulled off this live experiment without a hitch. Makes me proud to be a part of this innovative company, where the network is the platform for all of our collaborative tools and where we practice what we preach. It was a fun day at work. And, at the end of the day, when you can say “work” and “fun” in the same sentence, you’re doing okay.

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