During this time of incredible uncertainty, when problem solvers are needed more than ever, Cisco is committed to helping our customers, partners, communities as well as governments across Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and around the world, take advantage of technology to reduce the impact of COVID-19.
Our CEO Chuck Robbins has personally offered support to world leaders across the region, and our team is working around the clock with governments to bring digital solutions to the economic, educational and healthcare challenges created by COVID-19.
How We Can Help
As citizens adjust to remote working, learning and healthcare, our communication and security tools are allowing citizens to work, learn and receive healthcare treatment in new, secure ways. To support these efforts, we have provided our technical expertise along with free video conferencing solutions (Webex), free security offerings and advice on how we can stay connected to each other during this period of physical distancing.
Helping Governments Stay Connected
Government leaders are using our collaboration technologies, like Webex video conferencing, to make real-time decisions and communicate with citizens, healthcare providers and other officials. We are proud to see President Macron and Prime Minister Philippe in France, Italian Prime Minister Conte, His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan, Prime Minister Barzani of the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Egyptian Minister of Education Tarek Shawky and Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Saudi Arabian Minister of Finance Mohamed Al-Jaddan, South African Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Ndabeni-Abrahams, and many others in the region sharing how they use Cisco technology to assist their efforts in combatting the coronavirus and protecting our shared communities. Like our CEO Chuck Robbins recently said, “This crisis requires a global response, and we are incredibly fortunate that technology is connecting our efforts during this challenging time.”
Accelerating Virtual Learning
With many school classes canceled to minimize community spread of COVID-19, students, teachers and parents are all adjusting to virtual learning. Through our partnership with IBM and others, Cisco has provided Webex to 5,500 Italian schools—an effort made possible by the incredible work of more than 100 Cisco employees volunteering their time. Luiss Guido Carli University in Italy, for example, implemented distance learning for 7,000 students in 48 hours, instantly offering 500 classes to keep students learning. In Germany, we’re leveraging Cisco Networking Academies to roll out Webex. And in Spain, more than 100,000 teachers now have a Webex account to start virtual classes in the Madrid region. Meanwhile regional governments of Valencia, Canary Islands, Castilla La Mancha, and Galicia are offering our Webex free video conferencing solution to their teachers and students as their standard platform for education.
Supporting Those on the Frontlines in Healthcare
With help from our partners, we have brought video conferencing and networking solutions to medical facilities and doctors in France and Italy just like we did in China and South Korea. Collaboration was key for organizations as they shared best practices and coordinated responses. It was vital that these organizations had the appropriate infrastructure to enable rich collaboration experiences through applications like Webex. These Meraki solutions are enabling medical facilities and doctors on the front lines to conduct emergency video communication and remote diagnosis with hundreds of collaboration devices.
Helping Businesses Adjust to a Digital Environment
Governments across the world are working to mitigate the cascading economic effects brought on by this pandemic. At Cisco, we’ve been using remote working tools for years and are sharing what we’ve learned with businesses, large and small, so they can understand all of their options to keep working and stay productive. We are also working with governments encouraging them to provide funding to businesses, healthcare institutions and schools so they have the resources to build out their remote capabilities for the future.
Since the start of the pandemic, we have shared our advice and best practices on business continuity and remote working on our Supporting Business Continuity site.
In Italy, more than 200,000 new users have downloaded Webex in the last three weeks. Across the region (EMEA), we’ve had 711,000 new users! We have also answered the calls for ‘digital solidarity’ in Italy, Spain and France and are advertising our offers on the government-run platforms.
Helping Those Most Vulnerable
Many people in our communities were struggling before this tragic pandemic. Those who are most vulnerable are facing even greater risks to their health, stability, housing and well-being. And we’ve seen heroic nonprofits struggling to serve their populations as the number of volunteers declines due to social distancing practices and reduced donations due to the people’s financial concerns. That’s why this past weekend Cisco committed $225 million in cash, in-kind, and planned-giving to support both the global and local response to COVID-19 worldwide. We are rallying our 77,000 employees and encouraging them to give what they can to help our community partners on the front lines and bolster their operations in this time of need.
Cisco will be providing funding that will go to the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) worldwide efforts to help prevent, detect and manage the spread of COVID-19 among other institutions. And our Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program, will be providing funding for heads of state, government agencies and businesses to rapidly deploy COVID-19-related technology solutions.
As many shelter in place, we are proud to help those disconnected from their families. In Italy, we are using Cisco collaboration tools to connect the elderly to their loved ones when they can’t be together in person.
Cisco has taken on complex challenges from the very beginning. It’s at the core of who we are. Across the region and across our company, we believe in using our technology to help others. In this challenging time, we have joined forces with federal and municipal governments across Europe to address the coronavirus emergency. We pledge to continuing helping those in government lead their citizens through this unprecedented time.
Author: Pastora Valero