Helping our customers, partners, communities and people take advantage of technology in times of massive transformation is core to who we are.
Yet today we find ourselves dealing with an unprecedented situation. The COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic has been dynamic and intense for all of us in the past weeks. We have been asking questions which would have seemed unthinkable just a few weeks ago. How will our kids stay connected to teachers? How can I best protect my teams? How do I keep my business running and productive?
Every customer and government official I’ve spoken with is looking for answers to these questions, as well as support on how to proceed. With so much confusion out there, I wanted to share with all of you the real-time actions we are taking at Cisco and how we are supporting others.
Our first priority has been to help our customers and partners around the world to keep their teams safe. One way to do this, according to medical professionals, has been to encourage social distancing. Like many of our customers, we have implemented work from home policies to limit our employees’ exposure, but it’s been crucial to do this without compromising the ability to remain connected, productive and work securely. To get customers up and running quickly, we have been providing free offerings and cloud-based services across Webex, security solutions and more that have kept newly remote workforces running productively.
Regardless of how complex the situation is, you have my full support to do the same for you. The situation we’re all dealing with will likely have a lasting effect on the way we connect with each other and get things done going forward, and we have great teams to help you rapidly scale that effort.
Billions of people rely on Cisco, our technology, our partners and our people every day, so we have given business continuity a lot of consideration over the years. Since the start of the pandemic, we have made our advice on remote business continuity more widely available on our Supporting Business Continuity site, which gives you access to a number of best practices we employ ourselves and with customers. I hope you find this resource useful.
What’s more, over the last few months, our partner, supply chain, customer support, and IT teams have been preparing for this pandemic. The dynamic situation has certainly caused unpredictability, as I think we all have experienced, but our manufacturing, component suppliers and logistics operations teams have been focused on rerouting orders, expediting alternate supplies, and adding manufacturing capabilities around the world. Our teams are managing contingencies on a daily and even hourly basis, and I am confident that you will have access to the equipment and connectivity you need to combat and contain the coronavirus and stay productive.
Most importantly, we will do whatever it takes to support those whose lives have been impacted by this pandemic and those on the frontlines. This is especially true for those in our communities who are more at-risk than others. In Santa Clara County, the home of our headquarters, we are supporting Destination: Home’s rapid response fund providing financial assistance and resources to individuals and households who would be at risk of homelessness due to coronavirus-related illness. So many are being affected in our shared communities, and our thoughts are with those whose lives are being impacted.
We’ve also been closely engaging with heads of state and government agencies to support policies that keep their economies, medical professionals, and schools productive while ensuring public safety. With help from our partners, we have brought video conferencing and networking solutions to medical facilities and doctors as well as schools in China, Italy, and South Korea. In total, we have donated over $1M worth of collaboration and networking technologies globally, with more to come.
Just like you, we are deeply focused on our employees and their safety. As we navigate this new reality, we stand behind all of our people and their families with the best available medical support, emergency time off, and a commitment to paying our hourly workers full pay. As I noted, our entire employee base and contingent workforce are encouraged to work remotely, and we have put in place mandatory work from home policies in locations where it makes more sense. We have also limited, postponed and suspended our travel, gatherings and global events.
If you, like many of our customers, are looking to ensure your employees stay connected to their teams while working remotely from home, you can learn more about our free video conferencing solutions here as well as our top tips on maximizing remote working. Likewise, to keep remote business operations secure, you can learn more about our range of free security offerings here. Also, please do reach out to your regular Cisco contact for assistance and advice or simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For 35 years and counting, Cisco has taken on complex challenges, and used our technology to help others. As we continue to navigate this new normal, my commitment to you is that we will do whatever we can to support your organizations, share our learnings and help those who need it most.
Kindness, patience and partnership will get us through this and we are here for you.