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Doing our part to stop hunger…in Silicon Valley and around the world

Earlier this week, I was privileged to join Cisco employees and executives to sort 27,100 pounds of food at the Second Harvest food bank in Silicon Valley. This food will go to help the 1 in 4 Santa Clara and San Mateo County residents at risk for hunger – roughly 625,000 individuals.

This event is just one part of Cisco’s largest annual giving campaign to help stop global hunger in Silicon Valley and around the world. We’re in the middle of our 12th annual Global Hunger Relief Campaign, involving over 160 food agencies worldwide.

Since we started this effort, we have raised $40 million dollars for hunger relief, which translates into 160 million meals for those who need it most.

And this year, the bar is set high.  We’re in the midst of a two-month effort to raise $1.8 million in employee donations for hunger relief, most of which will then be matched by the Cisco Foundation.

At Cisco, giving back is part of our DNA.  I’m proud to be a part of this effort to help stop global hunger.  And I’d encourage all of my Cisco colleagues to consider making a donation or volunteering at a local food bank during this holiday season.

Together, we can really make a difference.

Cisco execs and employees sorting food for 2nd Harvest

Cisco execs and employees sorting food for Second Harvest

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Accelerating open innovation on all fronts at Cisco

I introduced Cisco Entrepreneurs in Residence (Cisco EIR) earlier this year as a cornerstone in our strategy of embracing open innovation at Cisco. I also shared how we were extending Cisco EIR and open innovation across the US through local incubation partners, and I announced the launch of Cisco EIR in Europe. Now I would like to share updates on the great progress we are making with Cisco EIR as a catalyst of open innovation at Cisco.

Startups Selected to Join Cisco EIR in Europe

Last week we were excited to announce the six startups that will be joining our Cisco EIR program in Europe at the Pioneers Festival in Vienna. The six winners – innovating in the areas of Smart Cities, Internet of Everything (IoE)/cloud and Big Data/analytics – were chosen through a rigorous multiphase selection process conducted in collaboration with Pioneers. More than 350 applicants from 39 countries applied to join Cisco EIR Europe, with 15 finalists pitching live at the Pioneers Festival in front of Cisco experts and our European partners. Winners were selected based on the viability of their business plans, the strength of their teams and their alignment with Cisco’s IoE vision and strategy.

We were impressed beyond our expectations by the vision, passion, talent and technology of all 15 finalists. These startups made us more excited and convinced than ever that Europe was the right platform to discover and nurture the next generation of disruptive ideas for our industry and for Cisco.

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The Future of Work & Collaboration

According to Cisco’s Connected World Technology Report, the future of work will be more flexible and collaborative than ever before. In this two-part blog series, Rowan Trollope, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group, explores how the IT and business landscape is changing based on this new research and how organizations can prepare.

While no one can predict the future, it’s certain that technical innovations are certain to change just about every facet of our lives – including how we work.

In a time when connectivity and mobility are expected to have exponential growth, one must consider the future of work and how the workplace will evolve to become more flexible and collaborative thanks to these technical innovations.

Consider these findings from the latest research in Cisco’s 2014 Connected World Technology Report:

  • More than half of professionals consider themselves accessible for work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including 3 in 10 who are accessible by both email and phone.
    • Roughly one quarter of professionals are employed at an organization that allows them to work from home.
    • About half of Gen X and Gen Y professionals feel their organization’s HR department is adjusting to enable a more mobile, flexible work style for its employees; though nearly one third feel it is not doing so quickly enough.

As connectivity and collaboration become more pervasive, it’s time for organizational leaders to consider how to thrive in a changing workplace based on new expectations, behaviors, and preferences from employees and customers alike.

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Cisco IT Gives Back

Just last week Cisco IT leaders came together to discuss priorities and strengthen alignment with the goal to accelerate our success in FY15.   We also used this time to celebrate the outstanding achievements of some top performers, and most importantly, to give back to the community.

When these 500 IT leaders come together, one thing is true, we are a force!  Representing 30 countries globally, we are united and passionate when it comes to our commitment to community service.  With so many recommendations to consider, we have to take a vote to narrow down the number of charities we will focus on as a team.

Together, we wanted to underscore our commitment to educators in our community, as well as to help those who simply need a helping hand in finding permanent housing.  With those criteria, this year we selected two deserving Bay Area organizations, Resource Area For Teaching (RAFT) and Home First. Read More »

Celebrating Innovation at Cisco

If I could sum up last week in one word for Cisco it would be:  impressive!  Earlier in the week, the Boston Consulting Group released their rankings of the world’s most innovative companies for 2014 and Cisco jumped to #14, up from #46 the previous year.

Pankaj post

Source: Boston Consulting Group

In their report, The Boston Consulting Group simply states, “Innovation is hard.”  “Breakthrough innovation is harder.”  I couldn’t agree more.  We have celebrated many breakthrough innovations that have dramatically redefined the way we live, learn, work and play over the years at Cisco and this year was no exception.

We celebrated some of the year’s best innovations at the 16th annual Pioneer Awards last week. We have a long history of celebrating the prestigious finalists and winners, who are respected for their disruptive innovation, risk taking and ability to grow Cisco’s business.

I am truly in awe by the level of talent and passion I see from our employees around the world at Cisco, year after year and this year was no exception.   Our engineers are constantly redefining our extensive technology portfolio as well as driving disruptive innovation.   This year I am especially proud because we have multiple-year Pioneer Award winners and 3 of the awards are in the areas of automation, virtualization and cloud; all areas of thought leadership which are fueling Cisco’s growth and helps address and solve our customers’ complex business problems.

The four categories that the finalists are evaluated on are Core Technology, Product Innovation, Productivity Solution and Value Engineering.

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