Cisco has stepped up to the plate by throwing its wallet and resources behind an effort to combat the coronavirus across the globe. On Sunday, Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins announced Cisco was committing $8 million in cash and $210 million in product as part of its global coronavirus aid.
"In addition, we are rallying our 77,000 employees and encouraging them to give what they can to help our community partners on the front lines bolster their operations in this time of need," Robbins said in a blog.
Robbins said Cisco was focusing its resources on supporting healthcare and education, government response and critical technology. Cisco will direct part of its COVID-19 effort to the United Nations Foundation’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund to help the World Health Organization’s (WHO) efforts to help prevent, detect, and manage the spread of COVID-19.
Cisco also is providing funding for heads of state, government agencies and businesses through its Country Digital Acceleration Program. As more employees work from home, Cisco is offering its video conferencing Webex service and security features for free.
"To date, we are helping to secure over 2.2 million people online, and Webex has facilitated virtual response meetings for the French, Canadian, German, Colombian, and other governments around the world," Robbins said.
Robbins said Cisco has also created several funds to support a range of non-governmental organizations across the regions of Asia-Pacific/Japan/China and Europe/Middle East/Africa/Russia, the Americas and the San Francisco area. Cisco is launching a 72-hour employee giving campaign, called "Lets give to together" this week to encourage employee donations. To help support those donations, Cisco Foundation has launched an employee matching campaign of up to $4 million in total donations, and is allocating $1 million in additional grants to aid Cisco's non-profit partners.
Closer to home, tomorrow Cisco and several other Silicon Valley companies will be announcing a multi-million-dollar financial assistance program for at-risk people.
"Together, as we chart our path forward, I am certain that our people will continue to do what’s right for the world," Robbins said. "Over the past few weeks, I have been incredibly inspired by the way I’ve seen people come together, inside and outside of Cisco, and this gives me tremendous hope. We will continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our employees, customers, partners, and communities, and evaluate other ways we can help as things evolve. While our world will be different as we move into the future, it is important that we stay focused on making a positive impact in every way possible."