Meet Wayne Homell, Whose Job Is to Keep You Safe, All Day, Every Day
With 445 secured locations scattered over 96 countries, Cisco has a lot of real estate. And it’s someone’s job to secure all of those buildings and the employees who use them. It’s a huge undertaking. It means monitoring thousands of security cameras and more than 10,000 card readers that control access to the buildings.
The security events come in many shapes and sizes—from protecting people, property and information, to monitoring alarm activations and earthquakes, to stopping peacocks from chasing employees across parking lots (yes, it really happened!).
The organization tasked with the job is Safety Security and Business Resiliency (SSBR), the eyes and ears for this organization is the Security Facilities Operations Center (SFOC), and the man who runs SFOC is Wayne Homell.
We sat down with Wayne to learn more about his role as manager of the Global Security Facilities Operation Center.
What are your responsibilities?
Think of us as an emergency dispatch center that you can call when you need help—just as you’d call the police or fire department in an emergency. We monitor things like breaking news to get up-to-the-minute intelligence on anything that might impact Cisco. For example, if a tornado is coming, we’ll work with other members in SSBR, HR and a group of core business units to make sure we are looking after employees and mitigating any disruption to Cisco business. We’re always keeping an eye on things that could potentially impact business and employees where Cisco operates. We’re also a security resource for monitoring alarms for all the Cisco buildings, and we’re a customer service resource. We’re the communications hub that interfaces with the rest of the company on security matters.
Where are you based?
I’m based at the Security Facilities Operations Center in Research Triangle Park (RTP) in North Carolina. It’s one of five global security operations centers around the world. The others are in San Jose, Bedfont Lakes, Bangalore and Shanghai. The teams in these centers receive calls every day for a range of reasons. It could be as simple as someone getting locked out of their office, needing access applied to their badge or as serious as medical emergency on a Cisco campus location or a natural disaster impacting Cisco. The centers run 24x7 year round, and if one of them has to go offline, another can take over.
Did you know your job existed?
No. As someone who grew up in Port Allegany, Pennsylvania—a small town of 3,000 people, I didn’t have much exposure to big corporations. When I first came on board as a contractor in 2000, I was a uniformed security officer walking the buildings and grounds. Sixteen years later I’m the global manager.
What was your first job ever? What did you learn from it that you still use today?
When I was a teenager I mowed yards in my neighborhood and worked in a glass factory making bottles. I learned dedication, hard work and the importance of being honest and working well with others. These were important qualities in a small town where everyone knew each other, but they’ve served me well ever since.
Who inspires you?
My mother. Growing up in a small town where everyone knew each other and was financially supported by the glass business, my mother taught my sister—who is hearing impaired—and I to respect others, work hard and never take anything for granted.
What do you love most about your job?
There’s always something exciting going on. I’ve had many different jobs in my 16 years, and the technology has evolved in leaps and bounds. Not a day goes by without me learning something new. And I work with great people.
Which company value means the most to you and why?
Win together. You’re only as good as the person next to you.
Which Cisco benefit do you most appreciate?
Cisco is very generous with their paid time off. And the yearly shutdown really gives people the chance to step away from work and take it all in. It rejuvenates you. It’s really good for Cisco and the employees.
Are you ready to explore security opportunities at Cisco?
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