How One Global Team Works Together!
It is not a surprise to anyone when you hear that Cisco is a global company. From our headquarters in San Jose to where I am in Bangalore, India – in almost every major city across our globe you can find someone living the Cisco Life.
In 2008, my journey of digital transformation started. This isn’t something that happened overnight, of course, but through the process of interviewing via telepresence to now – as I am a Network Consulting Engineer in Advanced Services team – I have come to realize that Cisco is the place for me.
Spread across Asia, Europe & Africa, my current role requires me to work closely with delivery teams in these locations. Through three different time zones, and with five different nationalities – our team always gets the job done. It is our cast of interesting personalities and diverse backgrounds that allows me to feel confident in our work, and really love what we do together for Cisco.
Matteo Cardelli is our Delivery Manager, based in London. 13,260km away in Johannesburg, South Africa is where the Delivery Team is located – comprised of a very diversified group with a young and vibrant Project Manager, Kamva Makabane; a Nigerian engineer, Eustace Orukpe; a 5th generation South African of Indian origin, Rodney Moodley; and a Portuguese national, Mauro Nave. Another 6,920km to the East is where I am at in India.
3 different time zones, 5 different nationalities – all to support Vodafone across Africa. So what makes us so successful here at Cisco?
There are several important aspects of being successful at Cisco, especially when your team is spread out. Here is how it works for us:
1.Inclusion & Diversity – Just as we are a diversified group, so too are our roles within the team. While Kamva is responsible for project discipline, and Matteo provides thought leadership to help steer the team in the right direction – everyone on our team is equally empowered and responsible to do the right thing for themselves, the customer, and Cisco.
The fact that our leadership and Cisco entrusts us to do the right thing is very powerful and motivating. It encourages us to do our best work.
2.Innovation – Rodney & I are responsible for driving customer innovation and seeking new opportunities. Vodafone has been the leading technology provider in Africa and we have supported them in launching new services like 4G, Connected Stadium Experience, and Wifi-3G offload. The affordable solutions and products that we develop for Vodafone are usually seen as industry benchmark.
In our role as technology leaders for Vodafone accounts, we are responsible for engaging the planning & design teams for developing new solutions. Technology can be an enabler for development across multiple aspects of life and nowhere is this more evident than in emerging market like Africa. This has resulted in increased revenue and market share year-over-year!
3.Customer Experience – Eustace is closely aligned with the customer on premise – often answering questions and troubleshooting technical problems. As a support engineer for Vodacom, he advises on how a Cisco product might fit in to a Vodacom products needs to achieve the desired business outcomes. Eustace says of his role, “Everything that I do while interacting with a customer helps strengthen Cisco’s relationship with Vodacom, and every interaction counts.”
4.Collaboration – Regularly, we make use of Cisco collaboration tools – both internally and with our customers. It was extremely challenging at the beginning to tear down the virtual walls but over period of time, we learned to understand each other & support one another. Being able to collaborate in these ways, and find new ways for us to communicate is a key to our success.
Beyond our day to day activities, we also had our first offsite to a National Park where we had a ‘Master Chef’ barbecue contest! Mauro was born with a physical disability and he is an Inclusion & Diversity champion for South Africa. He has currently working on a charity initiative: ‘Hike for Charity’ for the next team-building event that we are all excited to participate in and support. The funds generated from the event will be donated to a charity organization recognized by Cisco.
As a team, we are intensely focused on our customers on daily basis. The team rarely gets time to know each other at a personal level so the offsite was a great opportunity for each of us to discuss the importance of caring, understanding each other’s needs, embracing differences and helping my colleagues experience their significance. This exercise of gathering emotional intelligence means learning what defines the strengths and capabilities of your team – the real assets that each member brings to the table, an opportunity to introspect, and skills that yet to be developed.
I believe that this team is truly changing the way we live, work, play & learn. Such diversity in the team has contributed to the team’s success, and has only helped to make us stronger and more effective. This is reflected in our customer engagements and feedback, and we are very proud to be employees of this great company.
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