For companies around the world, we are all learning so much about what we thought we couldn’t do as a result of this new and unexpected normal. Suddenly we find ourselves social distancing to flatten the COVID-19 curve, staying inside and working from home every day.
To accommodate this, organizations are faced with how to get up and running with remote workforces for the first time, how to expand their capacity quickly, how to best protect their teams and keep their data secure, and ultimately how to keep their businesses productive. All of that is compounded by additional concerns over the pandemic itself, lack of childcare, virtual education, vulnerable family members, and so much more.
Whether you are one of the world’s largest enterprises, a small business, national or local government, a hospital or a school, you can trust Cisco is committed to supporting you with what we learn. We are working around the clock to keep you productive and secure and here to help with requirements for remote working, contact center, and security by providing free offers. We are also here to support you with IT and end-user advice, top tips and best practices.
We’ve seen the need for collaboration technology skyrocket and the demand for our secure Webex capabilities has increased dramatically. Last week, we saw close to 240,000 online sign-ups in a 24-hour period. In one day alone, Webex handled 4.2 million meetings – more than twice the average on a peak day before the pandemic. We have also hosted 14 billion meeting minutes in March, more than double the number in February.
To support and secure this massive growth, we are taking an aggressive proactive posture to get well ahead of the highest demands on record. We are continuously taking preventive actions like load balancing, phased scaling, continual capacity management, segmenting user types such as mission-critical groups (healthcare, government, and critical infrastructure), and running a global backbone that is massively connected with redundancies, failovers, and capability sets. Also, and just as important, we are maximizing our long-standing carrier relationships to the fullest extent possible.
Most importantly, as the world goes completely online, we will to do everything we can to keep people and organizations secure and protect their privacy. At Cisco, we believe data privacy is a fundamental human right. In times like these, bad actors could see this as a greater opportunity to identify those who are most vulnerable. In these uncertain times, we cannot afford to have unsuspecting victims have their personal data stolen or shared – especially when it comes to health and financial data, or that of our children.
As the largest enterprise security company in the world, we are uniquely positioned to protect our customers as their workforces go remote. Cisco has added more than 9 million security users since the roll-out of our offerings. Duo Security, our multi-factor authentication solution, saw more than 3,300 new organizations signing up globally in the last week alone. Cisco Umbrella, our DNS-layer security offering, as well as Cisco AnyConnect, our VPN solution, have both seen triple-digit percentage increases in signups.
The scale we are facing is extraordinary, and we are taking actions to keep up with demand and our teams are working constantly to ensure that businesses and organizations who are keeping the world moving during this time have what they need to stay connected, productive and secure. For users at home, we’ve also created this list of best practices for great online meetings, many of which our own Cisco teams are also adopting.
What is transpiring today will not only change the way people communicate, it will also impact and enable business continuity in the future. This is an environment that every company is learning to navigate, and I believe there is no company – or team – in the world more committed than Cisco to making sure that organizations around the world have the technology and support they need to stay connected. The world is going through this together and will get through this together. Thank you for your patience, understanding and support. We are deeply committed to meeting your needs – now more than ever.
- Chuck Robbins is Chairman and CEO at Cisco