More than One Million Meeting Minutes Delivered Digitally Since the Move to Remote Working

Cisco, the Official Digital Network Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai has completed its largest deployment of Webex in the UAE – connecting 2,000 active Expo users through the company’s advanced collaboration software.

The achievement comes in response to the UAE government’s mandate, requiring a transition to remote working practices with an aim to curb the spread of COVID-19. To comply with new regulations, ensure employee safety and maintain business continuity, Expo 2020 Dubai worked closely with Cisco to further streamline its business communications and maintain seamless connectivity.

Cisco’s relationship with Expo 2020 has seen the two entities collaborating since 2018, achieving a number of technological milestones, including successful wide-scale deployment of the company’s revolutionary intent-based network at the Expo 2020 site in September 2019. The network, which will enable visitors, exhibitors, and organizers to connect securely, wirelessly, and seamlessly, is already empowering employees working behind the scenes to better communicate, exchange ideas and create unforgettable memories for millions of visitors to the next World Expo.

Solutions already in place at the Expo site include a smartphone application that can help securely search, locate and reserve meeting rooms, an AI voice assistant for automated notetaking, and videoconferencing and collaboration via Cisco’s renowned Webex platform.

As the transition to remote working began, Cisco focused on advancing its technology infrastructure to help Expo 2020 Dubai employees continue working normally.

At the heart of this progression was Cisco’s record-breaking deployment of security technology, enabling remote working, while also providing assurance and greater peace of mind.

“Our collaboration with Expo 2020 Dubai has always seen a great deal of synergy, with a shared understanding of technology’s potential for positive impact. When Expo 2020 was faced with the prospect of moving to a fully digital, remote working model, it was only natural for Cisco to extend our support with customized solutions to suit a workforce of this scale. As Expo’s employees continue to work from home, advanced collaboration and security features are helping to keep teams operating business as usual,” said Adele Trombetta, Vice President Customer Experience, Cisco Middle East and Africa.

With a culture that prides itself on a security-first approach, Cisco enlisted its local Customer Experience team to commission and test a new remote-access VPN system, which was used to upscale VPN capacity from 300 to 8,000 concurrent connections. Within a week, the majority of users had already been migrated to the newly enhanced system.

Coupled with this was Cisco’s wider rollout of Webex – already providing around 1,000 connections daily at the Expo site, and now affording unlimited access to all employees from the comfort and safety of their homes. With 2,000 active Webex users in the Expo 2020 Dubai team, this achievement signifies a new milestone in digital communications and collaboration for the UAE.

“Cisco’s commitment to our partnership and the continuous support the team has extended to us is something we are truly grateful for. In forging a path together, we have been able to stay on track to achieve our shared goal of creating an event that will capture the world’s imagination. Technologies such as Webex have proved to be a vital link for our employees as we continue to work from home. They have enabled us to remain connected, adapting with speed and ease, at the same time as practicing social distancing and protecting the wellbeing of our workforce,” said Mohammed AlHashmi, Chief Technology Officer, Expo 2020 Dubai.

Cisco’s Customer Experience team provided support for Expo’s employees via tutorials and on-ground assistance, streamlining processes and ensuring each individual could maximize their potential for remote working. Since March 15, Webex has enabled over a million virtual meeting minutes between Expo 2020’s teams and their respective stakeholders. Of the 28,000 individual meetings, which have featured more than 143,000 participants, an estimated 19,000 were video-enabled and the remainder were Webex voice calls.

To further empower and uplift Expo 2020 Dubai’s employees during unprecedented times, Cisco has extended the use of Webex to all employees’ friends and families, ensuring that human connections can continue to flourish, regardless of circumstance.

Shukri Eid, Managing Director, Cisco Gulf Region added,

“At Cisco, our commitment remains focused on helping our partners, customers and local communities leverage technologies to sustain and prosper. In today’s unprecedented times, rapidly scaling Expo 2020’s IT infrastructure was made possible by not only the dedication of our own teams but also those of Expo, which illustrated a willingness and determination towards ensuring seamless operations remained. With solutions such as our remote-access VPN and Webex, Expo 2020’s employees will continue to stay connected and can focus on their mission of creating an exceptional World Expo that will bring the world together and help shape a better post-pandemic future.”