Celebrating 30 years of Cisco UK
Thank you to all the amazing people – employees, customers and partners – who have made it possible
Cisco UK first started in November 1990 with one product to sell – the IP Router. Thirty years on and we have over 3,000 employees located across 20 sites. Every day they help companies and organisations of all sizes and sectors across the UK, and in just about every industry and demographic, to reimagine their applications, secure their data, transform their digital infrastructure and empower their teams!
Our revolutionary router now proudly sits in the London Science Museum and we’ve gone on to achieve many firsts, thanks to the creative and innovative minds of our employees. They powered the most connected Olympic Games there had ever been at London 2012, pioneered high speed wi-fi to train passengers, empowered rural areas with 5G and delivered the first commercial deployment of OpenRoaming in Europe. And that’s just in the last decade!
Communities have also benefited from the humanity of our people. For 14 years our Connected Santa volunteers have been visiting hospitals, donating gifts and connecting children with Santa over Webex. Our employees’ also partner with The Trussell Trust to provide technical support, to optimise foodbank use and they generously volunteer their time at food banks to help make a difference. We are so appreciative of their on-going commitment.
In Cisco UK’s lifetime there’s been significant global events that were expected to, or indeed did, de-stabilise our worlds – the trepidation in 1999 leading up to Y2K with the millennium bug, the dot.com bust in 2001 and the financial markets crisis in 2008. But I always look back at these critical moments and think earnestly how we at Cisco UK came together as a team and became stronger as a result. And I hold onto this thought as we live through the world we are in today.
Never before have we been so tested as a society, wading our way through the adversity of the pandemic. Yet, the strength and resilience of our people has shone through as they’ve stepped up to support others, despite facing their own personal challenges. At Cisco, the UK team was the first to start producing and delivering face shields to the frontline. In partnership with the Ministry of Defence, NHS, Barts NHS Trust and our partners Block and BT, they built the communications centre for the Excel Nightingale hospital in London, in just seven days. Our team even facilitated Her Majesty The Queen’s first video call via Webex with carers to honour Carers’ Week.
Today, our people have a strong passion to change the equation of inequality, to ensure everyone in our organisation and society has equal access to opportunity and to learn digital skills. This year our cohort of apprentices were our most diverse to date and through our employee networks of interest, we are striving to bring diverse people and their talents together, because we know by including all ethnicities, genders, generations, cultures, orientations and abilities we will create stronger outcomes for ourselves, customers, partners and the wider community.
Personally, my time at Cisco UK began 24 years ago in 1996 as employee no.60 and a young salesperson, based in our offices overlooking Trafalgar Square, London. It’s taken me on a career from working in sales roles at all levels to being in my dream job today, leading the UK & Ireland for Cisco. In the past decade, I’ve also been fortunate enough to live and work in South Africa and Dubai and travel the Middle East and Africa region extensively, meeting and working with some amazing people along the way. My family came on the journey with me and it’s Cisco that made possible the awesome memories that we have. There is no doubting the exciting career opportunities and pathways for development that Cisco provides as they truly are boundless.
Finally, what’s my favourite Cisco UK moment? It’s everytime I have the opportunity to get together with my colleagues, formally and informally, to catch up and celebrate our successes. For me it never changes – it’s always the people who embody the spirit of Cisco. My hope for 2021 is that we get to meet more in person…
Thank you to everyone who has ever been a part of Cisco UK, in the past and present, as we celebrate 30 incredible years.