While my day-to-day job is focused on helping our customers transform their business, what I’m about to share with you has nothing to do with making the numbers. Yet, it highlights one of the great honors of being in this role and why I love being part of Cisco.

Recently, Cisco had the opportunity to see Grammy award-winning artist John Legend, sitting at a grand piano in a Los Angeles recording studio, connect with high school music students located across the country in Springfield, Ohio. Using technology, they were able to engage in conversation and share experiences including how John conceived his hit song, Ordinary People. He says he wrote the music first and then hummed along to the melody until the sound turned into words. In Springfield, John’s hometown, the students nodded in awe and one student commented that this mirrored his own song-writing process.

For John Legend, his work with these students and others all over the country through his non-profit, LRNG, is a labor of love. Through LRNG, John can help give young people, especially those from underserved communities, inspiration and guidance to prepare them for life and work in the modern economy.

The technology behind making that connection from LA to Ohio possible is our collaboration platform, Cisco Spark, which lets people share information, create together and move projects forward. People can use Cisco Spark on their smart phones, tablets, laptops or dedicated devices such as the Cisco Spark Board as John and the Springfield students did on this day. Seeing the happiness on these students’ faces when they saw their idol and were able to interact with him, receive feedback on pieces they were working on, and jointly white-board about how a piece of music should be “EQd” (that’s music lingo for equalized) was profound. It underscores the role technology can play in everyone’s lives and the experiences technology makes happen.

As John signs off, he tells the students, “You can start in Springfield and end up here.” The message is anything is possible, and I’m proud that Cisco could play a part to help make dreams come true. Please watch the video and see it all come to life.



Chris Dedicoat

Executive Vice President

Worldwide Sales & Field Operations