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Cisco gives back the Manufacturing Way

September 19, 2011 at 5:41 pm PST

For those of you who may not be aware, we at Cisco take our commitment to our communities very seriously, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have fun when we volunteer!

Left to right: Andrew Lach, Peter Granger, Kevin Davenport at InnVision

On August 17th, over 20 volunteers from the Cisco Enterprise and Mid-market Marketing group gave their time to support InnVision, Silicon Valley’s leading provider of housing and services for homeless families and individuals:

InnVision is a primary gateway for homeless families and individuals seeking shelter and resources that lead to self-sufficiency. Our comprehensive system of care promotes self-worth and dignity at multiple facilities throughout Silicon Valley, including shelters, longer- term housing options and service centers, each equipped to meet emergency and transitional needs of diverse, at-risk people. InnVision is…the Way Home!

 

Volunteers spent the day sorting clothing for InnVision’s store, prepping food for daily meals, and reading stories to children.

Kevin, Peter and I were tasked with sorting clothing. Being from the Manufacturing team, we couldn’t resist applying the lessons learned from the Manufacturing industry towards our volunteer duties. Recalling Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations“, we quickly broke into teams for a proper division of labor. Safety is a top priority, so latex gloves were distributed to the sorting teams to follow OSHA guidelines. We carefully optimized our WIP to ensure that Bottlenecks --which threatened to shut down our line via the Bullwhip effect — were not created. Additionally, we applied classical queueing theory using exponential distribution to carefully model our Poisson processes. Read More »

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Introducing: “The Network: Cisco’s Technology News Site”

June 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm PST

In my mind, a piece of content that is shared with a friend, or friends, or followers, or the world is the ultimate measurement of its success.  That person is validating that the piece of content they are sharing was valuable enough, interesting enough or topical enough to share with one or with many.  They know the audience they are trying to reach and they target it to that audience with the sharing technology that is appropriate (Twitter, Facebook, Email, etc.).

This is the philosophy behind our new corporate news site, formerly known as “News@Cisco” and now being renamed  to “The Network” (voted on by our over 180,000 Facebook followers).  We are launching the new site this weekend and, hopefully, it will be live in your geography when you read this blog.

The Network is our effort to tell stories and share information on the topics that are the most important to Cisco, namely: Video, Collaboration, Core Networks, Mobility, Security, Data Center, Cisco Culture…and, more parochially to my team, Social Media.

We will create, share and curate content on these topics as a part of our overall Cisco voice.  We have commissioned world-class reporters who have worked at Fortune, Forbes, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal, AP and more to create content on our core technology news topics.  The purpose of these stories isn’t to showcase Cisco, but to create compelling content in the topical areas that we care about.  We are supporting the generation of this content in the hopes that our audience shares it and becomes more educated on the topics that are important to Cisco and to our customers.

Read More »

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5 Tips for Community Managers on Surviving the Holidays

Recently Mashable posted an article on 5 common ‘Community Killers’. Since December marks the season of giving, here are 5 Tips for Community Managers on how to survive the holiday season.

1.       Be prepared for the holidays! While this typically means running out to get extra gifts for unexpected guests, for community managers, you can prepare for the holidays by understanding there will be a drop in participation. With in-laws visiting, holiday door busters and an overwhelming rush to deck the halls, your members have their hands full. Acknowledge this busy season and don’t be disappointed if your dialogue isn’t so lively.

2.       Silent Night(s). Community members will most likely be juggling holiday parties, school plays, and vacation days during this busy time. Make sure everyone is on the same page and set some ‘quiet hours’. Alleviate some holidays stress  and let them know it’s okay to be offline.

3.       Deck the Halls. While members are preoccupied with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, use this time to review your community.  Have members been asking for new enhancements? Explore your space and, if you need an update, get it in while members are dreaming of sugar plums dancing in their heads (Hopefully you can do this during #2’s silent night).

Read More »

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Empower Your Fans

November 16, 2010 at 9:30 am PST

What everyone can learn from Coca-Cola.

A little over a year ago, I heard someone from Coca-Cola speak at an event that changed the way I thought about Fan Pages (please don’t ask me to remember an event from 14 months ago).  Facebook fan pages were very new, they were popping up all over the place, and then Facebook realized they had a problem. A few brands were threatening lawsuits against Facebook for allowing unofficial fan pages of their products. Facebook quickly initiated a process for transferring ownership to the trademark holder of many fan pages, Cisco being one of them.

This turn of events came as no surprise to anyone, but one story caught my attention. Coca-Cola. Read More »

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Cisco Launches 2010 Global Hunger Relief Campaign

Last December, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers commented that he “can think of no better way to mark Cisco’s 25th year than focusing even more of our employees’ talents and energy on community service.” To commemorate this milestone, all Cisco employees were challenged to each dedicate four hours to community service, or 200,000 total employee volunteer hours.  Nearly a year later, Cisco employees surpassed our goal by volunteering 222,000 hours with nonprofit organizations worldwide. It’s this spirit of stepping up and volunteering that often provides an even greater resource than the checks we write.

I recently learned that one in four residents in the San Francisco Bay Area is at risk for hunger, compared to one in six nationally.  And more than 1 billion people worldwide are undernourished.  Obviously, there is need and we all need to do more.

As one of the largest employers in Silicon Valley, we were proud to kick off Cisco’s Global Hunger Relief Campaign at the Second Harvest Food Bank warehouse in San Jose with an annual executive food sort event.  Second Harvest recently launched the largest food and fund drive in the nation.  Cisco’s goal is to raise a minimum of US$1 million in employee donations, which with matching funds, will provide over 8 million meals around the world.

Read More »

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