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Work becomes a verb at Cisco Systems. It’s not a noun or a place.

“Cisco Systems believes that it is a convergence of five pillars of corporate communiqué: video, mobile, social, apps, and content. Each pillar in, of and by itself, have a journey or a roadmap for our company’s definition of workplace collaboration. It is more than emails and a PC workstation.”- Sheila Jordan, SVP of the Communication and Collaboration IT at Cisco Systems

We want to support employees for life events. Whether it is children or aging parents, Cisco has the flexibility and technology.
Sheila Jordan, SVP of the Communication and Collaboration IT of Cisco Systems

Sheila Jordan knows how her fellow employees “lean in” everyday anywhere, and on any device to accomplish the overall goal of a company’s success. She notes to me that Cisco Systems’ clear view and long vision towards the future of a global constituency is more than a cubicle, a PC and emails. Factoring in the square root of 10,000, the performance from a business unit, a production floor, or a C-Level executive has no time zone. The mobile increment of one hundred responses a day evokes the organizations’ structure and product offering. This senior executive knows what she is talking about.

Ms. Jordan stewards the vision, strategy, and execution of the Communication and Collaboration platform at Cisco for its employees, customers, and partners. In addition, she has direct IT responsibility for, Marketing, Finance, HR and Engineering as well as Collaboration Technologies (such as video). In the midst of the water cooler talk about the “Lean In” proposition made by a notable COO or the memo that caught everyone’s attention where a CEO lassoed the employees back to their station, she wanted to dispel some misnomers.

In her corporate world, the number of full-time remote employee total percentage is about 6 to 7 percent. The remaining 89 percent of the workforce telecommute only once a week. The final sum is a work life integration environment. Combine that with a brain trust of the best and brightest with a business unit, production floor or executive offices and an organization can capture VSEM (vision, strategy, execution, and metrics). This rigorous and methodical path produces a favorable human resource factor.

Work life is diverse with each employee having a specific life event mix determined by commuting, family needs and individual expectations. According to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau, 10.8 million people, or 8.1% of workers, commute an hour or more to work each day. 600,000 of these workers are classified as “mega-commuters,” traveling 90 minutes or more and at least 50 miles to get into the office. Hubs like San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C. feature the greatest concentration of mega-commuters.

Cisco expects its remote working mix of employees to increase over time, with the Millennial generation demanding a more flexible work environment. Offering the choice to work your way can be a big advantage in terms of recruiting and retaining talent. According to the Cisco Connected World Technology Report, 40% of Millennials would accept a lower paying job that had more flexibility with regard to device choice, social media access, and mobility than a higher-paying job with less flexibility. On the other side of the spectrum, a Cisco employee may be caring for an aging parent where the company takes accountability on priorities in check and on course with VSEM.

Cisco enjoys an internal advantage by deploying its own products across the corporate campus. Jordan points to the core human resource practice among industries, which is a hot topic today. Many vertical businesses such as energy, finance, retail, etc., are looking at these two questions: What we can do for our employees and how can our company expand the customer experience”? Shoring up the security aspect of a mobile workforce can be achieved in several ways.

Looking beyond the device and focus on the overall performance of an employee is critical to the morale and health of a company. One must look at the segmentation of workforce, gauge the unit’s core principle, and roll out a plan that meets the need of expansion and expectation. In her own findings with internal execution, her department did not find any disparity on adoption of communication tools between a young workforce and a seasoned one. Every company has a change agent: the performer who induces group performance. New features embedded in the platform can assist the business unit with the leader’s goal and objective. In a turn, leadership is more about followership if a VSEM is rooted in the formula for the person in charge.

Touting the company’s own AnyConnect and ISE [Cisco Identity Services Engine] products, her IT expertise revealed that any company can have trust that their corporate governance is protected and the data is tenable with Cisco’s product offerings. By deploying this architecture, coupled with a strong policy, you can ensure employees, peers, and business clients have a welcome experience while also ensuring their devices are secured.

Professional Snapshot:

Sheila Jordan Senior Vice President, IT - Communication & Collaboration

Sheila Jordan is responsible for delivering and integrating key IT services that touch Cisco's global workforce. Her goal is to support productivity and a superior, holistic end-user experience for all employees through an integrated architectural approach.

Sheila believes in work-life integration and lives by this philosophy. Jordan is striving to ensure Cisco is set up to address employees needs and enable them to work from anywhere in the world, using the technology that allows them to be productive. She relies on her mobile devices to meet the daily demands of her high-profile job, which also allows her to spend more quality time with her family. By using a variety of Cisco technologies, she can work remotely while cheering on her kids at their games.

Jordan is responsible for defining the vision, strategy, and execution of the Communication and Collaboration platform for Cisco employees, customers, and partners. She oversees the worldwide rollout of Cisco WebEx Social, the enterprise collaboration platform that combines social networking with communications, business information, transactional systems, and content management. She also oversees, responsible for web content management and IT architecture.Prior to joining Cisco in 2005, Jordan worked at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida as Senior Vice President of Destination Disney.

Jordan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in accounting from the University of Central Florida and a master of business administration degree from Florida Institute of Technology.

Connect with Sheila by subscribing to her blog.

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About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected.


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