The year has whizzed past, and at Cisco Australia and New Zealand it has been jam-packed with world firsts, innovation, announcements, executive visits, volunteering, mentoring, a plethora of awards and more! As we officially shutdown for the year at the end of the week, It’s always great to reflect on the impact and highlights throughout the year. Let’s take a look at the year that was!

January – Kicking off the year with the Top 10 Trends by Kevin Bloch

Kevin Bloch, Cisco Australia and New Zealand’s Chief Technology Officer, shared his popular Top Ten Trends for 2019 with predictions that included your app as your brand, the importance of AI-first rather than mobile-first, and expanding to the cloud.

You can read the blog here, or watch a video with the highlights here.

We looking forward to what Kevin has in store for 2020!


Cisco announces – Data Centre is anywhere!

Cisco has been making headlines with the unveiling of a new architecture, transforming the traditional data centre model to accommodate a new ‘data centre anywhere’ approach. Read how Cisco Data Center Goes Anywhere Your Data Is.


March – Australia signs up to Country Digital Acceleration: Announces $61 Million investment

Digital transformation and strong infrastructure are important to ensure Australia is future ready in a digital world. We are investing $61 million over the next three years with Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) strategy – a long-term partnership with national leadership, industry and academia. By fast tracking Australia’s digital agenda with integrated technologies and automation, the country will grow GDP, create new jobs and provide innovation and education across public and private sectors.

Cisco is investing in projects and programs that will accelerate Australia’s digitisation and help build a modern economy that is skilled, innovative, creative, inclusive and capable of adapting quickly as new opportunities emerge. Find out more here.


Cisco Live Melbourne: A Year of Firsts

Melbourne was bustling with technology enthusiasts for the renowned annual Cisco Live conference during the first week of March – opening the doors of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre to welcome Cisco’s customers, partners and collaborators. Cisco Live provides the foundation for a digital future by providing attendees with education, connections and inspiration.

This year, the program expanded its reach to include the broader Asia Pacific, Japan and China (APJC) region, providing customers and partners with access to Cisco executives and insights. With program highlights across the architectures, and broadcasting Cisco Live to the world, the first ever Women in IT Awards and a huge CSR focus!! You can read more here.


April – Cisco’s Connected Conservation – Save This Rhino

Cisco’s technology is driving connected conservation to protect the rhino from extinction in Africa. Save This Rhino, a documentary on National Geographic, shows how Cisco and Dimension Data are using technology to tackle wildlife trafficking and poaching.


May – Making a Difference Down Under with Chuck’s Challenge

Chuck’s Challenge offered employees a chance to vote for a cause they’re passionate about. Starting with 16 incredible organizations, the Challenge consisted of four rounds of voting — similar to the annual basketball competition, March Madness — and the winning non-profit receives $25,000.

Melbourne’s own Make a Difference Foundation (MAD) was close to home for Cisco Australia and New Zealand. The ANZ team and peers across the world rallied behind them. It’s easy see why. The MAD Foundation works to help the lives of disabled and disadvantaged children and young people by funding life-changing support equipment and services. You can find out more here.


Helping kids to ‘Feel Brave’ in New Zealand

In New Zealand, Cisco helped to connect 8,000 children connected from schools across the country as Cisco hosted a live ‘virtual’ creative writing workshop on its Webex technology. Technology can offer a platform to enable human connection that can impact people’s lives in a real way, as Cisco aims to positively impact one billion lives by 2025, and make a difference.

The broadcast officially launched the emotional well-being video recently produced in Christchurch with best-selling author and founder of ‘Feel Brave’, Avril McDonald, and the New Zealand Life Education Trust, which Cisco sponsored. You can find out more here.


Cisco Launch: Wi-Fi 6

Wi-Fi 6 is the new standard for Wi-Fi networks, redefining what’s possible for businesses and powering a new era of immersive wireless experiences and the connecting of billions of things.

The global news was shared with ANZ technology journalists were offered a preview of the news under embargo. Hosted by Robert De Nicolo, Director of Enterprise Networking, the briefing provided an overview of the technology evolution that has led to Wi-Fi 6, and the impact of the product announcements for customers.

You can find out more here: CRNCommsDayLifehacker, iT WireSecurity Brief Au and NZIT Brief AU and NZ, Channel Life AU and NZBiz Edge NZData Centre News EU and Asia.


July – Cisco Webex reunite Australia’s Apollo 11 trackers with their peers

Collaboration can make the impossible, possible.

Australia’s Apollo 11 “trackers” have reunited with their American colleagues to celebrate the anniversary of the Moon mission take-off. Mike Dinn and John Saxon were working at the NASA facility at Honeysuckle Creek, outside of Canberra, in 1969. Honeysuckle was one of three major tracking stations following the Apollo as the Earth turned and the spacecraft sped towards the July 20 lunar landing. The actual footage of astronaut Neil Armstrong setting foot on the Moon came from the Australian facility, and Cisco helped to connect the colleagues once again. You can find out more about the collaboration here.


August – 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, Allyson Corcoran, Director of Services Sales was the host this year, keeping it real and all on time for the day. Following the business part of the day, the Cisco offices bring their best to the ‘battle of the branches,’ with videos reflecting why they’re the best branch in town! Melbourne won it out this year, with a live performance and video!  A big part of the event is just enjoying time together and celebrating, wrapping up the day with an awards show recognising great wins in the company, and ending with a dance off!


Cisco #2 Best Place to Work in Australia

The Cisco team waited with bated breath to find out who they ranked after achieving #3 Best Place to Work in Australia in 2018. They were thrilled to move up to #2 Best Place to Work in Australia!

This recognition reinforces the value and work we’ve been doing to listen and create the workplace culture where our employees can thrive. Whether this is through the meaningful work they do each day, offering flexible work using Cisco’s Webex technology, our giving back and caring culture where our employees have Time2Give days to volunteer with organisations that matter to them.

This in the context of the increasing pace and constantly changing tech landscape – no day is the same and our employees love it!  As a global company, Cisco is disrupting and transforming and it is an exciting place and movement to be part of. You can find out more about why Cisco is a Great Place to Work, here.


Cisco partners with Victoria University to open Cybersecurity Training Centre

The jointly funded Centre will tackle the gap in Australia’s cybersecurity workforce which requires thousands of employees, with more than 18,000 additional workers required by 2026, according to the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network’s sector competitiveness plan.

The Cybersecurity Training Centre, located at Victoria University’s (VU) St Albans Campus, offers a partnership between industry and education has created a Centre that offers up to date training and skills development for students to join a profession that is increasingly critical to a range of industries including finance, healthcare, law, retail, education, defence and government.

The Centre boasts a Cyber Security Operations Centre with a simulated working environment with red ‘attack’ and blue ‘defend’ rooms so students can take on real-time toles as data hackers or cyber-savvy protectors to acquire genuine workplace skills in this sector. Find out more here. The Centre contributes to Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration commitment.


The CX team gives back            

The Customer Experience (CX) team in Australia & New Zealand wanted to make a collective impact, looking outside of their everyday work to volunteer with their Cisco ‘Time2Give’ hours, and give back to causes to make a meaningful difference in the community. Our employees are able to take to five days per year as their ‘Time2Give’ leave, and the teams chose local charities to make a real impact! Find out more here.


September – Gerri Elliott visits Cisco ANZ

Cisco’s first ever EVP and Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Gerri Elliott, visited our shores in September to meet with the team and key customers.

While here, Gerri launched the rebranded ‘Women of Cisco,’ which aims to attract, develop, retain and celebrate women at Cisco. Previously known as ‘Connected Women,’ and the ‘Cisco Empowered Women’s Network,’ it’s now all under one name. Find out more here. 

Here’s a snap of Gerri with our team in North Sydney.

October – #1 place to work in the world

The Australia and New Zealand team celebrated the news that Cisco was named the best place to work in the world! Our local ranking of #2 contributed to the win, and we were super proud of it! Find out more about why Cisco is a great place to work here.

Here’s some of our team celebrating the win!


Mentor Me wraps up with its biggest class so far

Mentoring is part of the Cisco team’s DNA, and they’re always looking to offer support and guidance. This year, the Mentor Me program was the most popular its ever been!

Over 170 female university students graduated from Cisco’s Mentor Me program, which provides 1:1 mentoring with a tertiary student and Cisco employee. The office sites across Australia and New Zealand where abuzz to celebrate the end of the program!

Students across 18 universities participated in MentorMe from a range of academic backgrounds, not limited to those in technology.

The dedicated 12 week program for students offered workshops to help develop skillsets, hear from leaders in the industry, tailored sessions (such as personal branding), as well as a chance to meet their peers and work collaboratively, using our technology to connect.

You can find out more here.


November – Cisco supports AgTech

Digitisation and access to connectivity is key in rural and regional areas. Contributing as part of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration commitment, Cisco is working with partners to bridge the digital connectivity gap, enabling better connectivity and efficiencies for farmers by connecting them to technology and developers. Cisco has invested significantly in the development of an agritech platform solution. The software decision platform solution “xDP” developed with Titan Class, solves on-farm connectivity with LoRA WAN and uses unlicensed spectrum to deliver a flexible, future-proof platform

Working with global tech leader Cisco, Titan Class is bringing agritech solutions to ignite the Australian market.  Developed over the past 21 months in collaboration with Cisco’s Internet of Things (IoT) development expertise and its Co-Innovation centre, Titan Class is now in a position to bring its software decision platform, known as “xDP”, to market. You can find out more in the article here.


Technology and the Future of Australian Jobs: Oxford Economics

A new report commissioned by Cisco and conducted by Oxford Economics, the leader in global forecasting and quantitative analysis, reveals the impact of technology on Australian jobs and sheds light on how technology is propelling Australia into the Human Era.

Technology and the Future of Australian Jobs shares forecasts for the next decade and the impact that advancing technology will have on Australian workers and their future skill sets across the entire labour market. Deeper insights are provided for eight key sectors: Education, Wholesale & Retail, Mining, Transport, Healthcare, Finance, Agriculture and Utilities.

This era has the potential to deliver great rewards to the Australian economy through productivity growth. But as increasingly powerful AI-led technologies are applied across industries, there are also understandable fears about the impact this will have on jobs. Significant parts of the workforce are at risk of being left behind if they are not prepared with the guidance and skills demanded by an evolving economy.

Read the Country Digital Acceleration report for Australia.

See the interactive infographic detailing the skills for the workforce of the future: Work like it’s 2028.

Cisco kids also told us how they were going to use technology for the jobs of the future. You can watch a video featuring kids on what they think in the Cisco & Oxford Economics Future of Work Report


December – Yearly wrap up: celebration and CSR efforts

Cisco celebrated lots of awards this year, and we’re super proud of the accolades we’ve received. Cisco won the Networking Vendor Award and the Channel Choice, Software Vendor for Cisco Meraki at the ARN Innovation Awards.

Leanne Buer won the Hall of Fame Award at the Reseller News Innovation Awards in New Zealand. Natasha Mahony also won Channel Enabler, Channel Choice. At the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards, Leanne Buer also won the Achievement Award. Congratulations!

Finally, at the ARN Women in IT Awards, Marleese Attilakos won the Shining Star Award, and Emma Reid won the Community Award!


Thank you to our team for all your CSR efforts this year!

Major thanks to our employees who make Cisco a great place to work and who give back to our local  communities all throughout the year.

This is a key element of our culture, where we’re allocated fivw days each year to take time out of work, while 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.


We’re looking forward to giving back again in 2020!