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Entering a New Dimension of Partnership


Marie (front left kneeling) at the start of the trail with the Dimension Data and Cisco Swiss team
Marie (front left kneeling) at the start of the trail with the Dimension Data and Cisco Swiss team.

I have been working as a Partner Account Manager in the Swiss Partner team for the last four years. I am always looking for opportunities to bring together our Partners and our Sales teams and to enable us to work more closely together, especially while doing something meaningful at the same time.

Getting to know each other in a different environment builds trust and enables us to do better business together: Who plays together, stay together!

After some discussions with the GM of Dimension Data Switzerland, we had a common idea to create a "Trail for Charity"—an event crossing the Cisco and Dimension Data offices in Switzerland, running, biking and walking—where we could bring our teams together and at the same time raise money for Save the Children charity.

We began by organizing a steering committee to plan each aspect of the trail —security, race coordination, and celebration to guarantee the safety of all those taking part and ensuring that no one got lost along the way. We used Cisco Spark to communicate the trail plan and to keep our runners, hikers, bikers, supporting team and supporters updated. Cisco Spark was the only means of communication between Cisco and Dimension Data.

Tracking our runners, bikers and walkers during the trail using Cisco Spark
The team biking together on one leg of the journey

In May this year, the event finally happened: During 3 days, 112 participants from Cisco and Dimension Data hiked, biked and ran their way through 315km of Switzerland, from early morning to almost midnight. Switzerland is not a flat country so it was challenging, but at least the weather was on our side. During the trail, all the participants and supporting cars were kept connected so that they could be displayed on an online map. This enabled the teams to follow their colleagues virtually—after all we are a tech company so you would expect nothing less!

There was a great team spirit. On each leg of the journey we celebrated the success of reaching our destination and again on the departure of the next leg. This kept everyone motivated and ensured the trail was a success.

New friendships were forged by everyone that took part and four months on, we can still witness the positive impact of these relationships on our day-to-day business.

Being able to create something meaningful and for a good cause, while bringing our two companies together was a significant experience for me personally. I learned that you can achieve new things when you get support from other inspired and motivated people.

The Dimension Data team with General Manager Serge Adam together with the Cisco team and Switzerland General Manager Christian Martin
The Dimension Data team with General Manager Serge Adam together with the Cisco team and Switzerland General Manager Christian Martin.

For this event, team spirit was the key factor for success, and bringing Dimension Data and Cisco together was a huge win for everyone. However, for me personally, the most significant thing about the whole experience, was being able to create something meaningful for a good cause. I learned that you can achieve new things with the help of motivated and inspired people.

I will never forget this fundraising experience in terms of camaraderie, organization, pace and emotion. I have only experienced this by Cisco. Our culture makes people smart and open for such Time2Give activities.

Giving back is an integral part of Our People Deal and Cisco's culture. Many of the employees that took part, used their Time2Give hours to take part in the trail.

I am proud that our culture encourages a passion for community service, and Time2Give inspires employees to support activities that are close to their heart and help change the world.

Don't hesitate to innovate or do something new, take a risk, have fun and just do it!

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