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How Telework Helps Cisco Recruit and Retain Employees

Why does top talent choose to join a company? Then, once they are employees, why do they stay?

At Cisco, one factor is consistent among our diverse, global workforce: the flexibility of our telework program and the Cisco technologies that enable it.

Recruiting the Best Workforce

As a global company, we know that talent lives everywhere in the world, but not always near a Cisco office. Our telework program helps us recruit the right employees because they won’t need to make a hard, long commute or face the life and family disruption of a relocation.

One employee wanted to raise his family in Illinois where he could be close to his extended family. Cisco supported his choice by allowing him to telework – one of the first employees to do so at Cisco – and was able to keep this valued technical employee with the company.

Other employees tell me that working from home enables them to work much more flexibly, and this motivates them to work even harder for their team, manager, and Cisco. The motivation produced by flexible working appears to play a role in our employees’ performance, with a higher percentage of mobile and remote employees receiving the top two performance evaluation rankings compared to traditional office workers.

Flexible work arrangements are also very important to the millennial generation that is now entering the workforce. Data in our 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report indicates that a majority of today’s university students value unconventional work schedules and believe they can work more productively away from the office.

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What Makes a Telework Program Successful?

The Cisco telework program has evolved over the years from a convergence of top-down company practices with bottom-up changes in employee expectations. From our experience we have learned how several factors can make flexible work a success for everyone.

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Clear policies and company culture. Cisco has adopted a flexible policy that enables many employees to telework, based on their job requirements and their manager’s approval. Where necessary, this policy is customized to reflect country-specific laws and employee entitlements. Also important is creating a company culture of trusting employees to work responsibly, strong performance management practices and finding the right balance of autonomous and collaborative action.

But a successful teleworking program requires more.

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What Does a Successful Private Cloud Look Like 18 months After Turn On?

In this great article on Cisco’s Private Cloud: Pain and Profit we learn some of the real life lessons of one of the most successful private cloud deployments in the industry.  The detail of how Cisco IT increased agility, lowered costs, and enhanced security with the use of Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud for this deployment is located here.  I like using Cisco IT’s experience in their journey to cloud to give us insight into what a private cloud looks like 18 months after first deployment.  Morphing as planned from the first use case of Infrastructure as a Service to being an “Enterprise Store” across multiple service delivery towers is a key theme I predicted and continue to see,  across many customer deployments.  In the image below, we see a typical Service Taxonomy, where Cloud is just one of the icons in the total service catalog.

Cisco eStoreV3

IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) with underlying automation is bubbling up as critical for corporate IT strategies.  As IT shops increase their level of comfort with  a service catalog, self service and orchestration for compute, virtualization, network, and storage; the attention shifts to other areas such as applications, virtual desktops, and other technology domains such as collaboration technologies.  Let’s take a detailed look at where the Cisco IT eStore and Intelligent Automation for Cloud have gone in those 18 plus months since ignition.  The home page of the eStore shows the current catalog of some key services being offered and other services being migrated over as we speak.  We immediately see Virtual Desktops, and Home & Remote Access in addition the beachhead of IT Infrastructure and Platform Services

estore home page

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Living with the Programmable Cloud

December 3, 2012 at 3:54 pm PST

Private cloud is surrounded by its own mythos--some folks believe it doesn’t exist and some folks believe its something that will only be enjoyed by future generations.  So, Cisco IT is living proof that private cloud is something that is very real.  This week, tomorrow in fact, John Manville SVP for Cisco IT, will be presenting a session at Gartner Data Center on Cisco’s private cloud environment, Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services or CITEIS.  John will explain how Cisco has woven together all the elements (compute, network, storage, automation, orchestration, provisioning, etc) into a cohesive offering that serves our production workloads.  John will also share the TCO savings captured to date and how he sees CITIES evolving over the next few years.

Diagram  from the white paper “How Cisco IT Automated End-to-End Infrastructure  Provisioning In an Internal Private Cloud”

If you are at Gartner DC in Las Vegas this week, be sure to check out his session, The Programmable Cloud, tomorrow (Dec 4) at 1:45pm in Titian Ballroom SPS 28--he’ll also be at the Cisco booth (#432) after the session to answer questions.

If you are not at Gartner DC, stay tuned for a coming interview with John Manville, and meanwhile you  may want also to take advantage of our coming webcast o see how industry peers are doing to solve the very challenges Cloud adopters face. Tune in to the webcast UCS : Foundation for Cloud on December 6 at 9:00 am PST  to hear from Cisco UCS customers Xerox and FICO Corporation, about how and why they used it in their Cloud environments.

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Meet Brett Belding: IT Twitter Superstar

November 1, 2012 at 6:54 pm PST

Did you know that at least a quarter of the entire Cisco IT group’s engagement metrics on Twitter come from our SME Champion Brett? An IT Mobility Services Senior Manager at Cisco, he is constantly creating worthwhile, interesting buzz about Cisco IT for company fans and followers.

Brett’s Twitter Engagement

Brett is an excellent external social media proponent for the entire IT team. Particularly notable is his engagement on Twitter as he fills up his personal Twitter feed with fresh new content and always keeps the conversations with his fans going. Just by browsing through his Twitter feed, you will realize that this SME really knows how to use the platform properly and what to write in order to get people engaged. Moreover, Brett exercises many Twitter best practices besides publishing compelling contents and interesting tidbits such as including hash tags and RT-ing his fan’s tweets. Brett’s involvement on Twitter has effectively increased his personal as well as his team’s brand on the web by way of his social media communications.

Leveraging Social to Develop Meaningful Relationships with Customers

Because Brett is in charge of the Cisco IT group’s BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiative, he often conducts Executive and customer briefings focused on this expertise topic. What happens after the customers leave the briefing? Brett ensures that the relationships he has initiated with those individuals live on by utilizing various social sites including LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Recently, Brett hosted a Twitter Chat session on BYOD on the social platform Storify. In these ways and more, he has established himself as a trust advisor role representing Cisco with whom customers and partners desire to socially connect with.

What business value do you see that results from participating on Twitter and other social media sites?

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