HomeNews & EventsNEWS ARCHIVECISCO Connects Kids!

CISCO Connects Kids!

CISCO Systems To Connect Kids From Coast to Coast

Officially launched today by Cisco's Chairman of the Board John Morgridge, the Cisco Canadian Children's Alliance is designed to be an integral supporting relationship that will help Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada realize the benefits of a state-of-the-art Internet Protocol (IP) Communications network, including online collaboration and e-learning capabilities for staff and children from coast to coast.

"By bringing together two of Canada's oldest, largest and most respected youth organizations, Cisco and its employees will be able to touch the lives of 170,000 children in 800 communities across Canada," said Terry Walsh, President of Cisco Systems Canada. "By harnessing the human and technological resources of Cisco, we hope to make a meaningful contribution to the well being of Canadian children, youth and families."

"Just as our clubs encourage collaboration and teamwork among the children in our programs, we also aspire to achieve this with our peers and business partners," said Pam Jolliffe, Executive Director of Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. "We're proud to be working together with Cisco Systems Canada and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada towards a common goal, to equip our Clubs to help young Canadians reach their full potential."

"We are excited about the potential of the Cisco Canadian Children's Alliance to strengthen the ability of our staff and volunteers to help children in need," stated Trish Barbato, Chair of the Board for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada. "E-learning is just one example of how state-of-the-art communications technology can empower and strengthen our organization. With a national network that supports e-learning we could quickly and effectively train thousands of staff and volunteers in our 170 local agencies across Canada."
In addition to donating networking equipment and technological expertise, Cisco and its employees will assist the charities through leadership involvement, fundraising and volunteer assistance. Cisco employees will provide ongoing support for programs, events and activities in local communities across Canada.

Building a Network of the Future
As part of the Alliance, Cisco will develop and deploy a highly secure, integrated IP communications network that will support the charities' ability to grow, while extending their collective reach and communications capabilities. The Cisco-based network infrastructure is designed to eventually support video-on-demand (IP/TV) and IP Video Conferencing capabilities over a highly secure virtual private network to facilitate e-learning, online collaboration, peer-to-peer communications, as well as enhanced knowledge management and best practice sharing.

"E-learning and videoconferencing will transform the way our staff and children can communicate," said Pam Jolliffe. "Imagine a 12 year old in Whitehorse having a face-to-face conversation with a peer in Toronto; or our members from coast-to-coast accessing e-learning on a breaking issue. In a country as vast as Canada the possibilities are virtually limitless."

With networks totaling 2,700 workstations across 700 locations, full implementation is expected to take up to three years. Cisco will work with existing IT partners when possible. The project has been divided into three distinct phases:

" Installation of Cisco Secure Agent (CSA) by Cisco engineers to help protect against online attacks and viruses;

" Establishing a network architecture and pilot testing to ensure the charities' wide-area networks (WAN) are ready to support video conferencing;

" Launching video conferencing and e-learning on-demand; implementation of IP/TV and IP Video Conferencing will enable secure e-learning and collaboration between and within organizations.

About Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada
Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada is Canada's leading provider of after-school programs to over 150,000 children and youth. Please visit www.bgccan.com.

About Cisco Systems Canada
Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet, this year celebrates 20 years of commitment to technology innovation, industry leadership and corporate social responsibility. Cisco Systems Canada Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco Systems, Inc., has offices across Canada dedicated to customer support, sales and service. In addition, Cisco has a significant research and development centre in Ottawa, Ontario. Information on Cisco can be found at www.cisco.com/ca. For ongoing news, please go to newsroom.cisco.com/canada/.

Media and Analyst Relations:

Cisco Systems Canada
Willa Black

Gareth Pettigrew

Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada
Carol Davies

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada
Harry McAvoy
905-639-0461 x14

Impact of Mentoring