I’m sure you’ve heard of Silicon Valley, California – where Cisco’s main headquarters reside. But have you ever head of Video Valley?

If you aren’t from Norway, there’s a decent chance that you haven’t. I was even one of those people at one time, as I come from a small town in New York, but I’m now lucky enough to say that I get to go to work every day in the heart of Video Valley in Oslo, Norway.

Ryan demonstrates how the new Desk Pro works by changing his virtual background to the Golden Gate bridge.

Sometimes it’s hard to grasp that, when I walk through the doors of our Cisco office here, I am in the epicenter of video conferencing technology where I get to use, experience, and play with the premier video calling and conferencing products in the market today. Occasionally when I walk through the building, I even feel like I am part of the Social Network movie.

This might be because we have every aspect of product development under one roof and I get to see products being made from A-Z – Webex Rooms are born here in Lysaker! Or maybe it’s because our office is especially unique with all the best parts of Cisco’s culture represented – from software and hardware developers walking around in shorts and band t-shirts to salespeople rockin’ their suits for client meetings, as well as product managers, marketing teams and even test labs – we really are #WeAreCisco here!

Collaboration and innovation is what this building thrives off of, and you get the feel for that as soon as you enter – that tends to happen when you are greeted by the newest, coolest, and most agile collaboration device in the market, the Desk Pro. The Desk Pro is the catalyst for desktop and huddle space solutions. What does that mean? For instance, with the Desk Pro, you can change your background mid-call to ensure you appear professional regardless of where you are sitting!

Not only do these devices get tested by the engineers and developers in their labs on site, but we as Cisco employees also serve as end user testers enabling us to have first access to these amazing products. If this wasn’t enough, I can also walk just one floor down to the developer or designer who created it to give some feedback for new devices and features.

I was welcomed in Video Valley with open minds and high expectations – of course, we expect the best at Cisco. But my boss and teammates also made being a new employee comfortable where I was able to ask any questions I needed and learned by watching their example. Given the nature of what we do at the Customer Experience Center (CXC) in Olso, interacting with customers on a regular basis comes with wanting to make every engagement unique. In my role as a Technology Presenter, I have an incredible opportunity to meet and interact with Cisco’s most important customers.

Almost every day, these customers fly in from all over the world for their chance to get a sneak peek into our office and meet the people who are directly responsible for creating our products. We provide them with a firsthand glimpse into upcoming features and capabilities that in some cases sound like they are out of a sci-fi story.

For example, imagine this: real time, in call transcription that can translate English into other languages within seconds! This is something I used to joke with friends about having access to because it seemed unfathomable. Cisco’s technology is where we separate ourselves from the rest – we are the future!

With products like the Desk Pro and the Room Panorama (where we can cut a boardroom in half and then connect it so that your colleagues in Sydney appear to be in the same room as you) and even digital whiteboards so that you can virtually show your colleagues your next great idea from miles away – it is incredible to see the technology that Cisco is working on. Being a part of it here in Oslo brings an added layer of sweetness.

The Room Panorama demonstration during the Cisco Live Barcelona keynote presentation.

We have a simple but meaningful motto and attitude in Oslo that we like to pass along to those who visit: “Get things done.”

We want to enable people to get things done as effectively and seamlessly as we can, and the technology being built here in Lysaker embodies this motto.

I could write pages and pages about our devices and the features and capabilities they have, or about the people who make them and how passionate everybody is about their jobs. It is one thing to read about it, but another to see with your own eyes.

If you’d like to experience it yourself – Cisco Norway is a great place to start. With Cisco employees from over 40 different countries and of all different kinds of backgrounds – none of that matters when you walk into the office.

We all come to work, collaborate, and get stuff done.

Ready to join our teams in Oslo or around the world? We’re hiring. Apply now.


Ryan Kaplan

Technology Presenter

CoE Demonstrations Team