What can I do to help? Such simple words have incredible power, and when our team needed a little help recently – our Cisco co-workers had our backs!
Cisco’s Digital Experience and Enablement (DXE) Team is on the front lines of helping our customers and partners have the information they need to use Cisco Collaboration tools. They were recently put to the test when the team was asked to translate thousands of pages of information on a very short deadline to help customers actively deploy Webex products.
Dave Roberts, Manager, Digital Experiences, shared, “Our team had limited web development and translation resources to reach our goal of making eight webpages available in ten languages (most with 15 or more assets per page) available to assist our customers.”
That’s when a beacon of hope appeared. The team’s director came to them and asked a simple question: What can I do to help?
After putting out a call to colleagues across the organization, more than 150 Cisconians volunteered their time to help develop content and code for the webpages this team set out to create, translating every page and every asset into ten languages to ensure that everyone had access to the information.
“When we realized that we would need to translate the material, I knew we were going to need serious help. I also knew that coworkers around the world would want to help because the content is essential. To date, this fantastic group of people has helped us translate dozens of pieces of copy and almost 60 updates across our various sites. It’s great knowing we’re making a difference with our content, and that we get to share that process with people outside of our direct team,” said Kestrel Lemen, Digital Operations Manager.
Some who were involved with the effort shared their powerful, first-hand experiences.
“One of my colleagues posted a message in our Teams space about the Collaboration team needing native speakers to help translate Webex documentation quickly. I didn’t think twice before signing up to help. If I could help, I would, and I did,” said Valerie Marliac, Marketing Manager.
Valerie, along with a group of French native speakers received their first translation project, followed quickly by another, and another. They translated between meetings and reprioritized other projects to ensure their translations were turned around in record time.
Guangcheng Zhoua, Software Engineer, met the opportunity to give back with excitement saying, “I thought, ‘Yeah! I can do more to help my company than by just working from home!’ – So, I joined the effort to help with Chinese translation.”
Guangcheng knew it would be a challenge as translating English documents into pictographic languages like Chinese, Japanese or Korean can be difficult. One example is the saying, “We’ve got you.” This sentence has many meanings in Chinese and choosing the best translation took some time. Guangcheng searched tens of translations and finally selected “我们为你准备好了” which means “We’ve prepared for you.”
Fabio Ruzzolini, Senior Manager, Demo Center of Excellence – Global Test Drives, met the chance to give back from a highly personal point of view. An Italian, living in Spain, he’s knew he could be of help, “I speak three languages and immediately knew that helping the DXE team would make me feel of some value during this time,” he said.
He, too, found the translation project to be challenging because he’s used to speaking and writing in English. “Finding the right words is not just about translating. Google can do that. Connecting with people in a language that goes beyond the technical jargon will help those users less familiar with the new technologies.”
Mario De Novi, Strategy & Planning Manager, Customer Experience Strategy & Portfolio, said, “I jumped on the opportunity. The content we quickly translated was for anyone interested in using or promoting Cisco Webex including our internal teams, teachers, doctors, parents, students, etc. Being able to help the Webex DXE team create this content so Spanish speaking countries could use our solutions and be aware of their capabilities made me proud to be part of this team.”
Allison Zeppuhar, System Engineer, lent her skills in web development and Spanish to the effort. “The big ask was to make sure each page was working well and displayed nicely. This involved making sure the page responded to different screen sizes and browsers by adjusting the layout, text sizes, etc. I also tried to make sure that grammar was correct and all the links lead to the correct places,” she said.
What did it mean to this team of helpers to support the efforts in this way?
“Webex is a great product,” said Guangcheng, “And I want to make it more familiar to Chinese people and knew I could help more people through my efforts. Cisco respects everyone, respects all your efforts. They gives you the best environment to help you succeed and won’t force you to choose between work and life. It’s a great company!”
Valerie agrees. “It was nice to see everyone coming together with the same goal: to help. That’s one of the things that I love about Cisco. We can help; we can make an impact,” she said.
“I have been with Cisco for more than 20 years and every day I am grateful and proud of that,” Fabio said.
“It was really fun to be able to give back and see everyone working together and volunteering their time. It really reiterates why I joined Cisco and am so thankful to take part in what we do. We have a culture of coming together in our teams and across orgs and sharing ideas for the benefit of all,” Allison shared.
Help is powerful. With the combined efforts of the DXE team and their friends, they were able to make critical updates to online material to help our customers – across ten languages – without breaking a sweat.
Fred Rogers once said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
We are reminded that #WeAreCisco is more than just a hashtag. It’s more than just technology and our love of tech. #WeAreCisco is a group of people trying to change the world, one team at a time.
Here, there are always helpers just waiting to lend a hand. Just ask the DXE Team.
Want to join our incredible teams? We’re hiring. Apply now.