Cisco makes $210m product commitment to Covid-19 response efforts

25 Mar 2020

Image: © Panama/

Cisco will commit $210m in product and $8m in cash to local and global coronavirus response efforts.

On Sunday (22 March), Cisco chair and CEO Chuck Robbins announced that the Californian technology company plans to commit $225m to global Covid-19 response efforts, with $8m allocated in cash and $210m allocated in product.

The news came a week after Cisco published a commitment to customers, partners and communities in light of the Covid-19 pandemic to help businesses stay connected.

At the time, Cisco said it had donated more than $1m worth of collaboration and networking technologies around the world in response to the spread of the virus in countries such as China and Italy.

In this week’s announcement, Robbins outlined a new plan, involving a commitment of $225m to support global and local responses. The company said that it is also rallying its 77,000 employees to support customers on the front lines.

Support efforts

The company, which manufactures and sells networking hardware, software and telecommunications equipment, said that a significant portion of this commitment will come in the form of donations of its own products.

“We are allocating $8m in cash and $210m in product to the global coronavirus response,” Robbins said. “We are focusing these resources on supporting healthcare and education, government response and critical technology.

“Part of this will go to the United Nations Foundation’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund, supporting the World Health Organization’s (WHO) worldwide efforts to help, prevent, detect and manage the spread of Covid-19.”

The company said that through its Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) programme, it is providing funding for heads of state, government agencies and businesses to rapidly deploy coronavirus-related technology solutions.

Cisco noted that its Webex platform has been used by governments in France, Canada, Germany and Colombia to facilitate virtual meetings.

Company fundraising efforts

“We have seen an outpouring of employees reaching out to contribute to the non-profits helping their communities over the past few months,” Robbins added.

“To support this, Cisco Foundation has launched a campaign allocating up to $5m in grants and matching funds to make this happen. We have also established several funds to support a range of non-governmental organisations in APJC, EMEAR, the Americas and the San Francisco Bay Area.”

The company said it is also launching a 72-hour employee giving campaign to encourage further donations.

“To support this, Cisco Foundation has launched an employee matching gift campaign of up to $4m in total giving and is allocating $1m in additional grants to help non-profit partners,” Robbins said.

“Together, as we chart our path forward, I am certain that our people will continue to do what’s right for the world. 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 further 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.”

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic