Well that was 2018! What a year it has been – filled with world firsts, new innovations, key announcements, executive visits, volunteering, mentoring, awards and more! As we officially shutdown for the year, It’s always great to reflect on the impact and highlights throughout the year. Let’s take a look at the year that was: 2018.


A world first in Adelaide
The year kicked off with the announcement of Cisco’s investment of $1 Million in world first technology in Adelaide to help reduce traffic congestion, launched exclusively with Channel 9 News Adelaide. Featuring Kevin Bloch, CIsco ANZ’s Chief Technology Officer, a pilot of the technology took place at the Grenfell & Pulteney intersection in Adelaide on 31 January. The story focused on how the sensors work and their benefits to the City of Adelaide, showcasing Cisco’s technology. South Australian Transport Minister at the time, Stephen Mullighan, was also interviewed, speaking to the world first technology in Adelaide.

Top 10 Trends for 2018
Kevin Bloch’s highly rated Top 10 Trends for ICT in 2018 hit the social networks. His predictions covered AI, Intuitive Systems, Crypto, Blockchain, Destruction of Service, IoT,  Autonomous Vehicles, Cloud, 5G, Mobile, AR. We are certainly looking forward to what he has in store for 2019…


Intent Based NetworkingCisco is taking the next step in reinventing the network for the digital era
In June 2017 we introduced our vision for intent-based networking – a new era of networking powered by intent and informed by context. Our goal is to build a system that constantly learns, adapts and protects. In February this year, we announced powerful new software innovations for the data center and enterprise focused squarely on assurance, ones that will enable the network to quickly identify the root cause of the toughest wired and wireless networking problems – real-time or historical – with suggested remediation to drive up productivity. Read more out here.


Cisco Live Melbourne!
The largest IT industry event in Australia that keeps growing each year!  There is way too much to highlight, however if you’re interested, you can still watch the sessions on-demand. Keynote sessions, technical sessions or innovation talks are all available – some great viewing over the summer holidays perhaps?  Watch the full wrap of the event below too.

Planning for our 2019 event is well underway, and you can join us in Melbourne for action-packed days of sessions, hands-on learning experiences, expert demos, networking and fun! Register here.

Work. Intuitive.
Right after Cisco Live Melbourne; at Collaboration Summit we announced that Cisco Webex and Cisco Spark would be coming together to create a whole new set of collaboration tools and improve the way people work. We have extended the Network. Intuitive. to Work. Intuitive. for Collaboration, delivering a more intuitive way to work with one cloud platform, one core experience, and now one brand – Cisco Webex. Check out the video with Mille Bobbie Brown.


Cisco Technology Turning On the Commonwealth Games
Cisco was thrilled to be the Official Network Hardware Supporter for the XXI Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018), providing the network infrastructure to enable high-speed transmission of critical data across a highly secure, digital platform.

Connectivity and data sharing at large-scale events, such as the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, has become an expectation for spectators. Cisco provides the infrastructure that supports the network, which is integral to the role technology plays in our personal and professional lives. We were delighted to partner with Optus to deliver digital capabilities for the largest sporting event Australia will hold this decade.

It was a massive team effort, and Cisco’s contribution was acknowledged by GOLDOC CEO, Mark Peters, who presented Ken Boal with this commemorative gift which includes a section of the track!

A number of our employees also participated in the Queen’s Baton Relay, and we were fortunate to attend a number of the events with our Customers and Partners during the Games.


Breakfast for Heroes in New Zealand
The team held a successful launch event ‘Breakfast for Heroes’ in New Zealand with guest speakers including the Cisco Youthline Ambassador, Jake Bailey, who you might remember from his inspiring head-boy speech about his battle with cancer, which went viral (watch it here).

Dave Wilson, New Zealand Country Manager, called for action to support this important social issue. Cisco is also working with Youthline to introduce a technology platform which will revolutionise the way Youthline teams around the country speak to and support one another and assist more young Kiwis in need.  Cisco NZ has decided to act, working alongside Rescue Run and the inspiring Jake Bailey to spread a message of digital ‘hope’ and literacy through schools. Check out Dave’s blog here and this inspiring article, one of many which covered the event highlighting Dave’s passionate call to arms CIOMagazine.

You can still support Youthline which features in Cisco ‘Be the Bridge’ brand campaign. Go here to check it out.


A Year’s Worth of Intent-based Networking Innovation
At Cisco Live US where there are 26,000+ attendees in person, 350,000+ watching online and 300 partner sponsors – it’s a big event! It was also a year since we announced our Intent Based Networking Innovation and where we announced the next evolution – Cisco DNA Centre Platform. Read more here.

Cisco DevNet Hits 500,000 Members
Back in 2014, we started DevNet, Cisco’s developer program. We knew that software, APIs, and programmability would become core to the network, and we knew that we were going to drive programmability into our products in the years ahead.  There was buzz around SDN in the research community, but we knew it would only become real when the people who were building and operating the world’s most critical networks, Cisco’s partners and customers, were ready to adopt the technology. We needed to get our community of network builders and network operators trained with the skills they would need for this transformation of the network. We created DevNet to enable networkers and application developers to use the power that would be coming with programmable networks and network APIs.

At Cisco Live US we announced that we’ve reached an important moment in Cisco’s history – DevNet reaches 500,000 registered members milestone! In Australia we have over 6100 and in New Zealand over 780 in our DevNet community, which is growing every day. Make sure you join the local DevNet Express events in our capital cities, get into the action at Cisco Live Melbourne in March, or join and be part of this community!


Smart Intersections and IoT Trials
A trial was launched on the Australian Integrated Multimodal EcoSystem (AIMES) test bed that is being run by University of Melbourne in Carlton and around the major roads in Melbourne. Cisco is a key partner in the test bed alongside Vic Roads, WSP and Cohda Wireless. Cisco provided a significant in-kind contribution of IoT equipment and resources towards the test bed.  The trial is funded through Cisco’s Strategic Industry Investment Program, while utilising the AIMES test bed. Federal Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities at the time, Paul Fletcher, joined the world-first connected transport trial who asked questions of the partners, as featured on the Herald Sun.

Downer and Cisco partnership for smart infrastructure projects
Cisco’s partnership with Downer was also an Internet of Things news feature in July, with a strong focus on bringing digital capability and advantages to the Australian transport and infrastructure industry.

The partnership will see Downer work with Cisco’s IoT network platform – Cisco Kinetic for Cities, to deliver a number of smart city applications including intelligent street lighting, traffic light management, waste management and security. Check out some of the coverage.


Cisco is committed to the Small & Medium Business
July shaped up to be a great month for the Cisco Small to Medium Business (SMB) team, and we announced a dedicated strategy for Australian SMBs and further commitment to supporting them on their digitisation journey. As part of this commitment, the Cisco team delivered a pitching competition – the Cisco Start Challenge. The brought together the SMB community, customers, partners and journalists, to uncover Cisco’s specialised portfolio of security, networking, collaboration and storage solutions, and how these support the big business ambitions of our Australian SMBs.

After much deliberation, the judging panel crowned newly founded tech start-up, JAR Aerospace as the winner; taking home a $40,000 Cisco security and networking prize. You can read more about the Cisco Start Challenge in the SMB blog, and find out more about Jar Aerospace and their digital transformation here.

Judges with winner JAR Aerospace:  Raymond Janse van Rensburg, Director of Systems Engineering at Cisco ANZ, Fred Schebesta, CEO of Finder.com.au, Nykaj Nair, Head of Small Business, Cisco, and avid small business supporters David Koch, co-host of morning show Sunrise, and Cori Drogemuller, Head of Communications at Cisco ANZ


Cisco Australia & New Zealand Sales Kick off!
The entire Australia & New Zealand business comes together twice a year, first for Cisco Live and in August for the ANZ Sales Kick Off (SKO). Over 650 employees attended the event in Sydney, which helps to keep everyone aligned on the ANZ strategy and provide an opportunity to build connections right across the team.

With a series of keynotes, panels, and award presentations, returning hosts Dave Wilson, NZ Country Manager and Tara Ridley, Director Partner Organisation, were back in their best costumes to keep the content and themes of the day interesting. A big part of the event is just enjoying time together and celebrating, wrapping up the day with a nineties themed dance party.

Cisco is named in the top three great places to work!
Receiving news we were in the top three in Great Place to Work was a key highlight for the Cisco ANZ team. Great Place to Work studies the world’s most notable workplace cultures, from small start-ups to some of the best-known multinationals, and what makes them great. The study shows what we at Cisco know, a strong team culture produces superior business performance.

Cisco’s people focused initiatives like Time to Give, Moments that Matter, a focus on health and wellness, flexible work, and employee led programs including Working@Cisco ANZ, the Cisco Disability Awareness Network and the Connected Women’s Network all contribute to the making Cisco a great place to work.
Most of all, it’s the amazing spirit and people that set Cisco’s culture apart!

The HR team accepting our award at the awards reception: Alysha Mascarenhas, Chelsea Ngo, Kylie Owen, Sarah Robinson, James Comer


Australia ranks #10 in Cisco’s first Digital Readiness Index
Cisco released the first global Digital Readiness Index which provides an overview of how digitisation and innovation can maximize inclusion in Australia. The report included insights into Australia’s State & Territories and their standing in regards to digital readiness and where they sit on a scale of Amplify high, medium or low, offering a valuable perspective across the nation.

Cisco made recommendations for Australia’s states and territories, in order to maintain its global ranking, including investing in vocational education focusing on digital, increasing ties between industry and academia, and developing the digital skills of government workers. Ken noted that despite a strong overall score, the benefits of digitisation need to be better shared amongst all Australians to build a more digitally inclusive society.

Ken Boal, Vice President of Cisco ANZ, Tim Fawcett, Director of Corporate and Government Affairs of Cisco ANZ, and Amanda Cumberland, Head of Strategic Insights at Cisco US, delivered the findings in a media briefing held at Sydney HQ. The study supports Cisco’s National Engagement Strategy as well as providing recommendations to key policymakers. The media roundtable was well covered in top Australian mainstream and trade media Australian Financial ReviewAustralian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)CIO Australia, and ITWire.

Cisco Connect New Zealand
Cisco Connect New Zealand took place in Auckland and Wellington, delivering expert insights and recommendations on driving digital transformation to the next level. A report was launched by Cisco revealing that New Zealand faces cybersecurity skills shortage and micro-credentials are upskilling the workforce to relieve demand for such skills sets. This report received strong interest from industry press and has led to positive reports crediting Cisco for putting a fresh focus on cybersecurity skills shortage, featured in  Reseller News, Security Brief NZ, IT Brief NZ, Scoop and OpenGov.

Michelle Dennedy, Cisco’s Chief Privacy Officer, appeared on the Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury on Radio Live earlier this morning sharing the importance of data privacy for listeners. Glenn Maiden, National Security Officer, was on The Leighton Smith Show, one of the most popular shows on Newstalk ZB to help take the fear out of cybersecurity. The segment was so popular it was featured in the show’s weekend highlights.

Students, aspiring professionals, senior executives (both women and men) joined the first Women of Influence Speaker Series in New Zealand to let go of self-doubt and fuel courage and creativity for girls and women across the nation. Speakers included Cisco’s Michelle Dennedy, Vice President and Chief Privacy Officer, Sue Kedgley, Wellington Regional Councillor, Dellwyn Stuart, CEO Auckland Foundation and Founder of New Zealand’s first Women’s Fund, and our very own Julie Canepa, Chief Information Officer for Cisco Australia and New Zealand.

Over 230 people attended to hear inspiring first-hand experiences of challenges in diverse industries and key actions to empower and remove hurdles for the next generation of leaders.

ARN Awards – Ken Boal inducted into the Hall of Fame
At the 2018 ARN Innovation Awards in September, the industry’s finest were called to recognise the achievements of market leading partners, start-ups, distributors and individuals. A highly competitive night, the award winners were celebrated among 680 of the country’s leading industry figures.  The 2018 ARN Hall of Fame inductees included Ken Boal, Vice President of Australia and New Zealand, with Cisco also taking out the Networking Award. Industry recognition such as this supports Cisco’s thought leadership position as a market leader, and an innovator.

As put by Ken in his acceptance speech, “We are at the heart of a national digitisation program, the heart of a big transformation, if we all in this industry don’t get it right, then Australia will be left behind.”


Cisco CEO, Chuck Robbins visits Australia
Chuck Robbins, CEO, visited Australia with Miyuki Suzuki, President of Asia Pacific Japan & China, and Mark Patterson, Chief of Staff in September. In between meeting with employees and meetings, Chuck held an exclusive interview with The Australian Financial Review.

The first interview featured the partnership with Australian start-up, Local Measure, which provides business owners and managers real-time information on what their customers are saying on social media, highlighting the collaboration between the two organizations and how Cisco has been working with them to digitally overhaul the iconic Sydney Opera House. The article made the elusive front page of the newspaper!

The second piece in the AFR featured a few weeks later, in which Chuck discusses important broader topics and political issues he is dealing with in his role as CEO – such US & China trade or immigration and the separation of children from their parents.

The highlight of the visit for our team was the meet and greet with employees in front of the Sydney Opera House, with the employees selected by ballot. We think this picture reflects the excitement of the day!

Cybersecurity Awareness Month
The Cisco 2018 Asia-Pacific Security Capabilities Benchmark Study reported that Australia had more cyber attacks than its APJ neighbours, and with greater impact. Breaches in Australia were stated to have the highest cost in the Asia Pacific region – with 52 percent of attacks reported to cost between $1 to $5 million AUD. The results of the study highlight the scale of the challenge faced by companies, the complexity and how the landscape continues to change.

The study was launched to coincide with the AISA Conference in Melbourne and landed exclusive coverage with tier one print publication, The Australian, and a number of tech and security publications.

MentorMe – another year closer to our AUSTEM2020 mentoring target
Our 2018 cohort of over 100 Cisco MentorMe university students graduated! We had record Cisco mentee engagement from across all our sites this year, which included 12 universities in Australia, New Zealand & Singapore. Check out the 5 things our mentees learned, summarised by our program lead, Holly O’Toole.

Fighting for Encryption & Security Around the World
Cisco responded and participated in a hearing before the Australian Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security – to review the Assistance and Access Bill. You can read more about Cisco’s response here.


Partner Summit 2018
Partner Summit kicked off in Vegas with the largest number of Australian & New Zealand partners attending in man years! It was a massive few days, with the opportunity to hear from Cisco’s new leadership team, including Oliver Tuszik, our new Global Partner Organisation leader.  There were also a number of key announcements including –


Women in IT
The Cisco team was proud to join the ARN Women in IT awards, in support of our two finalists, Tara Ridley, Director Partner Organisation, and Nesrene O’Connell, Head of Event Marketing and APJ Event Strategy. Tara was nominated in the Achievement category, and Nesrene was selected to be in the running for the Innovation category.

Tara Ridley won the Achievement award, recognising outstanding commitment to the ICT industry through continuous career development and professional achievements. The award acknowledges those who have risen to a senior ICT role, earned a reputation as an esteemed thought-leader and recognised as a leader in the industry, and may also act as a role model/mentor to other aspiring female managers.

Tara spoke of supporting diversity in her speech, including ‘The message I take from my career is we all need those mentors and sponsors to support us, and if you can see it, you can be it!’ Congratulations Tara, we are so proud of you!

Throughout the year the Cisco Connected Women had a number of outstanding events – including the Connected Women of Influence Speaker Series which features women in leadership who have made a significant contribution in creating a diverse future for Asia Pacific.  The series has been a roaring success, attended by hundreds of employees, partners & customers who have attended live or virtually, to hear from outstanding speakers such as – Suzanne Young, Executive General Manager, Operational Partnering at IAG and Hera Siu, Cisco’s Chief Executive Officer of Cisco Greater China, Jan OwenCEO, Foundation of Young Australians, Miyuki Suzuki, Cisco’s President of Asia Pacific Japan & China.

Our final session was held in December with Dr Jemma Green who works in the fields of block chain, artificial intelligence and energy and who co-founded Power Ledger which empowers individuals and communities all over the world with access to electricity that is low-cost, reliable, and renewable. We also meet Karrie Llagan, Country Manager for Cisco in the Philippines. Karrie is responsible for supporting customers in the domestic market, with a particular focus on enabling digital transformation and propelling cybersecurity capabilities, via an ecosystem of Cisco Channel Partners. Watch the recording below.


It’s the season for Giving Back!
We’ve included a snapshot of the amazing work the Australia and New Zealand team has done to support our local communities over the year. This is a key element of our culture, where we’re allocated 5 days each year to take time out of work (paid!) to give back or volunteer to an organisation of our choice.

It’s part of our focused efforts to harness the power of technology and our people, to enable everyone to participate and benefit from the digital economy, to ensure Aussie & Kiwi citizens are healthy and educated.

The Brisbane team at the World’s Biggest Garage Sale

New Zealand Rescue Run

Team in Perth helping out at the Salvation Army

Senior Leadership Team at St Kilda Mums in Melbourne


St Leonards helping out the book fair at Lifeline


North Sydney, Brisbane, St Leonards hosts RUOK? Day


Adelaide raising funds for Mighty River Run

Team Cisco at Mother’s Day Classic Run

Meraki team using their Time2Give at the Dandelion Group.

The Bridge to Possible
Cisco was founded on the possibilities of a single connection between two people. Over thirty years later, that one connection has multiplied to billions, two founders have grown to 75,000 employees, and the world is filled with an unprecedented complexity and opportunity. What remains unchanged is our belief in the power of connections to achieve what’s possible – for our customers, partners, employees, and the world.

With a single connection Cisco changed the world – and we continue to do so today. Our new Cisco campaign, The Bridge to Possible has launched across the globe and we have two amazing stories in ANZ which feature in this campaign – Orange Sky and Youthline. You can donate to these charities too.

Between experiences of homelessness & human connection, there’s a bridge.
Cisco and Orange Sky are building the bridge to human connection, together. Through IoT, networking and collaboration, Orange Sky continue to increase the speed and productivity of their operation and their ability to pioneer their world-changing vans, positively connecting communities all over.

Between needing support and finding it, there’s a bridge.
These holidays, we are supporting the volunteers that work tirelessly 24/7 to ensure young people across New Zealand have access to support when they need it. Through technology, Cisco and Youthline New Zealand work together to improve and revolutionise how the Youthline team work with each other across the country and how they assist our youth in need digitally

What a year! There is so much that takes place throughout one year, and we’ve not been able to cover it all! We hope you’ve enjoyed a snapshot of some of our most memorable moments.

The Cisco Australia & New Zealand team wishes our customers, partners and all of the people in our communities in which we work and live, a wonderful holiday season.  We’ll see you back in 2019 for another cracking year!

Originally Posted at: https://apjc.thecisconetwork.com/site/content/lang/en/id/9968