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2017 - What a Year for Cisco ANZ!

2017 - What a Year for Cisco ANZ!
With the end of the year fast approaching, we've had a look back at some highlights from 2017, which point to an action-packed super 2018!
2017 - What a Year for Cisco ANZ! READ FULL ARTICLE

2017 - What a Year for Cisco ANZ!

December 20, 2017
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We’re constantly hearing about what’s to come or what the world will be like in 2020, which is inspiring and exciting! It’s also important though to stop and reflect on what we’ve experienced, with 2018 almost here, we thought we’d share some of 2017’s highlights from an action-packed and successful year for Cisco across Australia & New Zealand – all of which point to a super 2018!


January – New Office Digs & Spark Board Launch 

January kick-started a bumper year for Cisco’s Australia and New Zealand business, with the opening of our new Headquarters in Sydney, at 177 Pacific Highway and the launch of the new Cisco Spark Board. Both of these crucial milestones for the Cisco ANZ business resulted in the holding of a large media event, with some 15 journalists in attendance, two exclusive articles published in The Australian about both the Cisco Spark Board and new office’s future workplace design.

Our new office at 177 Pacific Highway is a massive shift for Sydney-based employees, outside of our Engineering, IT & TAC teams (who are based in our St Leonards office), with complete hot-desking, sweeping landscape views of Sydney from our three floors, an open office design with views internally from any corner to approximately 70% of the whole floor, quiet collaboration areas, team collaboration areas, a stylish scandi open-plan kitchen and booth style café seating. Not to mention our customer floor (level 24), which provides the ultimate showcase of Cisco tech, our event meeting space connected with high definition video wall and amazing training spaces. They say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, so here's a few:

The Cisco Spark Board announcement saw the launch of a next generation endpoint, the collaboration standard setter, a device that's already won a Red-dot award for design, which connects to the Cisco Spark cloud platform for its interactive operating system. Maximising Cisco Spark’s best attributes and combining them with a 4K quality video conferencing, real-time interactive digital canvas, with the ease of ‘plug and play’ (the Board’s setup is usually less than 10minutes), the Cisco Spark Board is a true leader in collaboration hardware.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Cisco Spark, it’s a cloud-based, end-to-end encrypted and open-API platform that offers a revolutionary collaboration experience by providing a space for people to create, share and complete projects together. This supports and fosters an environment of creativity, innovation and decision-making. The solution allows teams and users to interact simultaneously in real-time through connecting to device, which people already have today, to offer individual and group meetings, messaging, calling, file sharing and white boarding. Cisco Spark also incorporates Bots, which become your own personal digital assistance and VR (Virtual reality) rooms are coming that will allow you to join next generation meetings from anywhere.


February – Security & The Defender of the Internet

Cisco is the largest IT Security company in the world by portfolio, investment and people. However, we also focus on utilising the insights we gain through our Security and Trust Organisation, including our Talos team, in our Cybersecurity thought-leadership to ensure the wider community benefits, whether it be through government, education, private-sector or mainstream interactions. Cisco’s strong proficiency in Security has been supported by the acquisition of other Cybersecurity solution providers in recent years, including OpenDNS.

OpenDNS is now incorporated within the Cisco Umbrella offering, although the solution, an affordable cloud-based proactive DNS shield to your network, keeps its original name for consumers. Whilst Cisco is primarily a business-to-business technology company, OpenDNS is available in several iterations for consumers that are free, with the top package costing approximately $30 per year. With the aim of generating greater awareness of Cisco’s Cybersecurity leadership in Australia, we leveraged OpenDNS to have wider conversations about security in the public domain. This was well received by mainstream media, with Anthony Stitt, General Manager for Security, Cisco Australia and New Zealand – and ‘defender of the internet,’ being interviewed extensively on radio and online news sites. To hear his advice on protecting your family and your home with an enterprise grade solution, in addition to other crucial Cybersecurity tips, check out: (2UE) Talking Technology - Cybercrime, (2UE) Talking Technology – OpenDNS, Yahoo! 7 Finance, Kidspot and Gadget Guy.


March – Cisco Live! Melbourne

Cisco Live Melbourne in 2017 over-delivered on being the best-in-class event for ICT professionals, whilst further cemented its place as the perennial epicenter for engaging with the best of Cisco’s technology, solutions, executives, engineers and IT experts (also many of the best in the industry). With another record attendance of over 6,200 attendees and approximately 4,100 delegates, the theme of ‘Your Time is Now’ was embraced wholeheartedly by those in attendance across the various keynotes, panel sessions, live webcasts, on-demand sessions, social events and receptions. ‘Your Time is Now’ was focused on applying the lens of an urgency to digitise to the demonstrations of technologies and solutions, thought leadership and networking sessions throughout the event; with the need to digitise at speed an imperative most not only understand, but are grappling with daily. This was the theme of the Opening Keynote delivered by Chris Dedicoat, Executive Vice-President of Worldwide Sales & Field Operations and supported in the Technology Keynote from Jeff Reed, Senior Vice President of Product, Cisco Security Business.

Cisco Live 2018 – just a few months away – will be even better, with the 25th Anniversary of Cisco Live/’Networkers’ in Australia. With a theme of ‘You’re iT’ - featuring a special bunch of super heroes: IgnITor, Code Crusader, The Wall, MegaFix and Major Shift – focusing on the IT professional’s abilities and challenges, the 2018 edition of Cisco Live will engage and excite. In 2018, the Opening Keynote will be delivered by Rowan Trollope, Senior Vice-President & General Manager, Applications, and the Technology Keynote by Liz Centoni, Senior Vice-President & General Manager, Computing Systems Product Group – the guest keynote is yet to be revealed so keep in touch! Keen to attend the 2018 event?


April – Innovation Central

In February 2016, we launched Innovation Central at the Australian Technology Park in Sydney – one of two of Cisco’s Global Innovation Centres that are based in Australia (the other, Innovation Central Perth, based at Curtin University). Innovation Centres are a ‘base’ for intelligent and collaborative communities, which develop solutions for cloud, analytics and Internet of Things (IoT) network platforms. They foster and create an environment that is centered around collaboration between small-to-medium enterprises, industry experts and researchers, where they can develop and invent solutions through rapid prototyping and proof-of-concept practices. Approximately a year on from the opening, with the support and involvement of key partners – the NSW Department of Primary Industries and the CSIRO’s Data61 – we were able to launch and release two sensational videos that showcase some of the innovation taking place at Innovation Central:

This video provides insights into agriculture focused prototyping and making “farm tough” a range of hardware and software that improves the collection and transfer of on farm data. In the case of a livestock farm, this includes display of information for climate, soil water, pasture, and animal performance. The system could also be adapted for irrigation, broad-acre cropping and horticulture. A particular area of focus has been the use of LoRaWAN - an exciting emerging wireless technology that transports data with low power over large distances. This technology will helps solve the data drought in rural Australia and enable cost effective and reliable delivery of accurate information, when and where you need it.

Cisco & CSIRO’s Data61 have collaborated to understand how technology and data can be used to monitor, and help provide early warning signs if maintenance is required on the iconic, Sydney Harbour Bridge. This brings together 3200 distributed sensors, communication networking technology, smart algorithms and data visualisation, to understand the performance of the bridge – giving the bridge a voice.


May – KPMG & Cisco Smart City Alliance

The month of May was highlighted by the announcement of an alliance between Cisco and KPMG in Australia, which is focused on delivering and driving world-leading Smart City initiatives. Primarily focused around accelerating the adoption and implementation of IoT, the alliance brings together KPMG’s IoT capabilities and consulting proficiency with Cisco’s global technology capabilities. The alliance ensures city leaders throughout Australia have an offering that features end-to-end advisory, technology and associated services that are backed by platform, support and operational capabilities; all within an open ecosystem. Ultimately, the aim is to elevate Australian Smart Cities as some of the most livable, workable and sustainable cities across the globe, and drive the Smart City sector in Australia. It’s certainly one to watch in 2018, as we get closer to 2020 where Cisco predicts over 50 billion devices will be connected and with Cisco Kinetic announced in June (more on that below).


June – Cisco Live US! & The Network Intuitive

At Cisco, there’s rarely a ‘quiet time’. However, halfway through the final quarter of our Financial year, and end of the financial year in Australia, you’d be fair in thinking the business would be solely focused on selling to Customers. While that was certainly the case, Cisco announced and ushered in a new era of Networking, perhaps the biggest announcement in the Networking industry in over 10 years’, with the launch of the Network Intuitive. The Network Intuitive incorporates several intent-based technologies that constantly learn, adapt and protect, which are built around the Cisco DNA architecture.

The launch of the Network Intuitive laid the foundation for arguably the biggest iteration of Cisco Live US yet! More than 28,000 in-person attendees participated in over 107,300 sessions (in total), walking 2million steps (which through a charity activation raised funds to support 30,000 students), 350,000 online views of content totaling 6 million minutes, 917M social media impressions and trended nationally for 4.5+ hours once the keynote started. The Opening Keynote was delivered by Chuck Robbins, our CEO, who happened to be joined live on stage by Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, with the Technology Keynote hosted by Chris Dedicoat, EVP of Worldwide Sales & Field Operations and featuring Rowan Trollope, SVP & GM of Applications, and David Goeckeler, EVP and General Manager, Networking and Security Business. There was even a ‘customer appreciation’ concert at T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, headlined by Bruno Mars himself! The event also included the announcements of:


July – Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

In July, Cisco announced our support for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, will less than 100 days to Game time, by ‘turning the Games on’ through an intelligent network, to connect over 1900kms from Cairns to Coolangatta. The sponsorship also marked Cisco’s global sponsorship of sporting games over the past two decades. Cisco will be the official Network Hardware Sponsor for the XXI Commonwealth Games and will provide solutions to enable the connectivity from the GOLDOC Technology Operation Centre* to 18 competition venues, 18 media centres and 24 volunteer venues. We will be providing network infrastructure with scalable capability that allows high-speed transmission of critical data across a highly secure and digital platform.

GC2018 will be the biggest multisport event in Australia this decade and the first held outside a capital City. The Cisco network is set to connect 25,000+ devices, operational Wi-Fi for 6,600 athletes and officials, 3,500+ media, enable video sharing, data and information to run over dedicated apps. Peter Beattie AC, GOLDOC Chairman, welcomed Cisco’s sponsorship at an official announcement on the Gold Coast:

“We need partners who have the experience and capability to help us deliver a really great event for athletes and spectators. Cisco’s extensive experience in delivering a reliable, highly secure and quality network on international sporting events is invaluable. Cisco’s world-class hardware solutions ensure the collaboration with our technology partners will facilitate the successful delivery and experience, for what we hope will make GC2018 the best Commonwealth Games yet.”

**Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (GOLDOC) Technology Operation Centre.


August – Cisco ANZ Sales Kick-Off

Outside of Cisco Live Melbourne, rarely does the entire Australian & New Zealand Business get to sync up and launch a new financial year, which is pivotal in aligning on our strategy and also getting to meet and build connections right across our employees. On August 3, at the Hilton Hotel Sydney, Cisco Australia and New Zealand congregated for the 2017 Sales Kick-Off, which involved the majority of employees in our local sales operation, to rally around the key focuses; priorities and strategies for the business in the new fiscal year -FY18. With a series of keynotes, panels, award presentations, delivered through a ‘Press Play’ theme – where our ‘hosts’ Dave Wilson, NZ Country Manager and Tara Ridley, Director – Partner Business Group, donned a series of costumes that creatively conveyed the next piece of content – ensured each member of the team was ready to hit play from the next day; if they weren’t already!

We’ve let you in on ‘the act’ with a few pics below:


September – Spark Launches in NZ

In September, Cisco Spark was made available in New Zealand, after a lengthy 18-month process and final signed agreement with Spark New Zealand (a leading telecommunications provider in New Zealand). As part of the agreement, Telegistics (a subsidiary of Spark NZ) are our exclusive distributor of Cisco Spark and its associated products, like the Cisco Spark Board, in New Zealand. Spark offers more than just being the ultimate collaboration platform and endpoints (Cisco Spark Board & Cisco Spark Room Kits), with the capability for integration with applications developers or partners, enabled by being open-API, that offer businesses the opportunity to evolve their work flows. More information about the significance of this development is available here, with the media also covering the news including: ZDNet, ChannelLifeNZ and New Zealand Reseller News.


October – Educating and Inspiring the Future

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and our giving back initiatives are vitally important to Cisco and so too is our contribution to Education sector. Cisco has an extensive number of customers in the Education sphere, with technology particularly adopted in tertiary institutions (including the VET sector) and secondary schools. However, Cisco also contributes to the educating of future STEM professionals through our AUSTEM 2020 initiative; CSIRO’s SMiS mentoring program, Cisco’s MentorMe program and the global Cisco Networking Academy (more on that for November), whilst many Cisco employees are involved in supporting the development of current and future IT professionals.

Cisco’s MentorMe program is one this we’re extremely proud of. This year it grew to mentor 60 young women, from 8 universities across 4 capital cities in Australia. We have well over 100 Cisco volunteers participating (with more and more wanting to get involved!) in this rewarding mentoring initiative. 

Cisco also contributed to the Australian Government’s review of regional, rural and remote education, in a joint submission with Optus. The review stems from the current global volatility and accelerating change, with the Australian economy and education system requiring a strong response to ensure we have the future skills and education capabilities for our digital world. It’s well covered that students, on average, in regional, rural or remote areas underperform against most education measures. As a result, it’s imperative we ensure regional students have access to more opportunity and more immersive technology than their metro counterparts, to ensure they can collaborate, work in teams, develop accountability and critical thinking. Technology, Cisco technology in particular, offers a range of tools, and supports solutions to allow students and teachers to better engage – real-time and holistically. With over 47% of today’s jobs set to be automated over the next decade or so, what we don’t know is what the newly created or altered jobs will require. 75% of the fastest-growing occupations require STEM-related skills and 90% require digital skills, so there has never been a more crucial time to increase STEM competency amongst our community and specifically students. To find out more review a blog from Cisco’s General Manager of Education, Reg Johnson, or read the executive summary of our joint submission with Optus.


November – Networking Academy 20th Anniversary

Continuing the focus on Cisco’s contribution to Education, November marked the 20th Anniversary of Cisco’s Networking Academy globally, which through 22,000 educators has trained over 7.8million students – with an impressive 70% of graduates becoming leaders. This initiative and institution is also crucial in supporting Cisco’s commitment to positively impact over one billion people, through digitisation, by 2025. Cisco’s ‘Net Acad’, as it’s affectionately known locally, has trained over 54,200 students in Australia since 1998, across 143 educational institutions and 423 instructors; with the business investing over $78 million into the local Networking Academy.

Here’s a snapshot of our Networking Academy’s achievements in Australia:

  • 4,582 girls have been supported in STEM pursuits.
  • 92% of students obtained a job and/or education opportunity
  • 13% are female students
  • 17,365 are active students

Networking Academy’s achievements in New Zealand

  • 26,000 students since the program started in NZ in 1999.
  • Currently 2,000 active students
  • Pacific Islands:  $1.6m in-kind contribution


December – Our People & Giving Back

The end of the year is often described as ‘the Season of Giving’, with CSR and giving back a key priority for Cisco globally, this December was no different. Over the course of December, many of our employees have or will engage in charitable activities organized through the business and through their own personal endeavours.

A real highlight was when the Cisco ANZ CDAN (Connected Disability Awareness Network) Team put on an incredible event to promote awareness and recognise the invaluable contribution made by people with disability; with the UN International Day of People with a Disability occurring last week.  Members of the Cisco ANZ leadership team participated in a “Dining in the Dark” culinary experience that demonstrated what it was like to be disable and it was a chance to promote Project LifeChanger - an initiative that we are undertaking to hire people with disability at Cisco.

The event included a guest speech by Donna Purcell from the Commonwealth Bank (CBA), who shared experiences and progress that CBA are making around diversity and inclusion.

Locally, Cisco is also conducting fundraising with Vision Australia, over the holiday period, to help support independence and freedom amongst the blind or visually impaired. For more information or to donate please visit: https://visionaustralia.gofundraise.com.au/page/HollyOToole.

We also held our annual Connected Santa program in Brisbane, and for the first time, expanded the visit to Canberra.  The ‘virtual Santa visit’ allows sick kids and their families, many of whom will be spending the break in hospital, to talk to Santa using Cisco’s Video Telehealth technology and a special North Pole Video Connection.

The event is proudly supported by Cisco, the Starlight Children's Foundation Australia, DXC and eHealth Queensland who have made this special event possible for our patients and their families.


What a year - and these were just some of the highlights! We’re looking forward to taking some time to relax and rejuvenate over the holidays, to prepare for an even bigger 2018!  So from all of us, here at Cisco, we wish and your families a fantastic holiday season!

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