Spotlight on Cisco
Cisco Connects the Unconnected
From Cisco’s origins as a Stanford, California, start-up in 1984, the company’s brand has been about “proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the unconnected.” But even a company this steeped in the future couldn’t have envisioned the vital importance of connectedness in 2020.
In March and April, as COVID-19 spread from region to region, hospitals around the world established temporary treatment and testing facilities. Each depended on networking equipment to keep healthcare workers connected and safe, and to enable patients to communicate with caregivers and loved ones. But demand was high and supply short, making the equipment hard to come by.
In response, Cisco created two programs to help healthcare organizations rapidly obtain networking equipment at no cost.
The Cisco Pandemic Equipment Brokerage matches customers who can donate surplus wireless components with healthcare organizations who need it. “We have talked with IT teams at several companies that have new equipment still not set up, or hardware left over from previous upgrades, who would like to contribute it to the pandemic response,” notes the company’s blog. “Our Equipment Brokerage program helps them donate unneeded networking equipment to where it can do the most good.”
A related program, the Cisco Healthcare Rapid Response Network Bundle, identifies unused wireless networking equipment within the company and its supply chain that can be quickly packed and shipped to healthcare systems. The bundles are in the form of simple, self-contained kits including a router with LTE uplink. a switch with power-over-Ethernet capability, and up to five wireless access points. Cisco networking engineers are on call to provide design and configuration support for recipients.
Both programs are part of Cisco’s $225 million commitment to support a range of initiatives, NGOs and government agencies in the battle against COVID-19—to keep patients, caregivers and communities safe, informed and, as always, connected.
Update: On June 1, as protesters took to the streets in cities across the nation, Cisco postponed its Live 2020 online conference. “We don’t believe the time is right to host an event in the middle of this tragic moment in our history,” CEO Chuck Robbins said, characterizing the crimes that sparked the unrest as “another pandemic.” In line with Cisco’s new purpose “to power an inclusive future for all,” he announced a $5 million donation to organizations fighting racism and discrimination.
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About Brand Acts of Kindness®
Brand Acts of Kindness® is a series from Carpenter Group that spotlights companies across industries that are living their brand values in addressing the unprecedented challenges facing the world today.
The series initially headlined companies assisting healthcare workers and first responders, as well as communities, businesses and families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We also highlight brands taking the lead in supporting social and racial justice, LGBTQ rights, sustainability and the environment. Their stories show how innovation, resolve and action, built on a solid value proposition, can both strengthen a brand and help create a better world.
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