Cisco intends to bolster its UK-based cloud arm by recruiting 200 cloud professionals and an investment in a UK-based bootcamp accelerator for startup businesses . The announcement by was made by the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, and Cisco UK and Ireland Chief Executive Phil Smith at a meeting today at Cisco’s brand-new Finsbury Square office in Central London.
In July this year Cisco announced it would invest $1 billion (£670 million) in the UK over the next three to five years; since then, Cisco has already made substantial UK foreign direct investments (FDI) by way of the intent to acquire Acano and Portcullis and will now add to these investments with the creation of 200 new jobs at Cisco Meraki in the UK for cloud professionals, allowing its London-based operations to expand three-fold by early 2017.
Cisco also announced a $2.5 million (£1.68 million) investment in Startupbootcamp, a startup accelerator with eight sites in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Copenhagen, Eindhoven, Israel, Istanbul and London. Cisco already successfully runs its own innovation incubator and accelerator, IDEALondon, in association with University College London (UCL) and DC Thomson. Last week IDEALondon celebrated its second anniversary with the news that startups residing in the TechCity-based facility have secured more than £10 million in external funding, as well as building over £2 million in revenue, with 100 jobs created as a result. Additionally, Cisco customers now have more than 50 pilots underway utilising technologies of the IDEALondon inhabitants, helping mature their solutions, but enabling existing Cisco customers to unleash innovation within their businesses that they wouldn’t normally have access to.
Phil Smith, CEO, Cisco UK & Ireland, said: “We see the move to digitise every business as a strong trend in the UK, and yet there are still huge opportunities to improve productivity by further use of digital technology. That is why we are so excited about the investment and growth we are making in the UK and the kinds of skills, jobs and technologies it represents with this investment today.”
In 2011 the then Cisco CEO, John Chambers, met with Prime Minister David Cameron and pledged a $500 million investment into the UK economy, primarily through its British Innovation Gateway (BIG) initiative. This commitment supported the government’s ambition to create a world leading technology centre in East London that would generate jobs, diversify the economy and support sustainable growth. It was also designed to ensure an enduring legacy from the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The initial pledge was based on Cisco’s belief that the UK held the potential to become one of the powerhouses of the global technology landscape. This view has subsequently proven itself true over the last 4-5 years.
Today’s investment news follows a recent announcement that Cisco is a member of a 20-strong public-private consortium bid that won the right to deliver the UK’s first Internet of Things (IoT) City Demonstrator. This will be located at Manchester Science Partnerships’ city centre campus, and will provide start-ups and SMEs from Greater Manchester and across the UK with access to a world-leading open innovation programme, working alongside leading global companies such as Cisco to develop and test new smart city solutions.