Cisco’s CEO and Chairman Chuck Robbins inaugurated a network of technological hubs across Israel on Tuesday in a festive event attended by President Reuven Rivlin. As many as 100 hubs are expected to open in all parts of Israel by year-end and connect Israel’s geographic and social periphery to central Israel and the rest of the world.
The inauguration event was held in one of Cisco’s new hubs in the Musrara neighborhood in Jerusalem, which was dubbed Q5. The launch signifies strong momentum for Cisco’s digital acceleration initiative in Israel and forms a central part of the CDA Program led by Robbins, which was announced in Israel 18 months ago. CDA is gaining new grounds across the globe with agreements on similar programs entered and 10 more countries.
In the 18 months that elapsed since the MOU signed by Cisco and Israeli government, a pilot program has been implemented, including the establishment of three technological hubs in the Negev. The hubs constitute of space that offers advanced technological infrastructure, Wi-Fi and broadband connectivity, professional training provided by Cisco and communication and remote work tools that allow small business owners, self-employed and startups to work anywhere as well as create a new ecosystem.
The future is here
The event also included key tools for remote communication. Sapir College President Omri Yadlin, talked with the event’s participants via Cisco’s Spark technology directly from the Sderot Conference for Society, describing his vision for a near-term future of technology-enabled learning. “What we do here now is the future, the next decade: working on the local level while thinking on the global level. Connecting the hubs from the periphery creates a powerful fabric.”
Activists from the tech hubs in east Jerusalem, Dimona and Khoura joined the event from afar as well. They told the participants about the activities and partnerships that have become possible with technological infrastructure and the major projects of the startups using the hubs.
Chuck Robbins, CEO and chairman of Cisco Corporation, said, “Cisco is present in Israel for 20 years already. This is one of my favorite places to visit. We built our company on technological innovation. Aside from Silicon Valley, I don’t know of any place in the world that has more innovation than Israel. We are excited to announce this initiative and believe it is the first out of many more future ones. Mr. Robbins concluded by thanking President Rivlin for the opportunity to create this partnership.
Oren Sagi, general manager of Cisco Israel, said, “Mr. President, this is a demonstration of technology and vision joining forces. These hubs allow us to connect the periphery with the center so seamlessly that entrepreneurs can become part of a larger community and work with companies in central Israel as well as with global ones. We do nothing alone but with many business partners.”
'Cisco is doing for the entire world'
Rivlin addressed Robbins at the end of the event, saying, “Between 2001 and 2003, I served as Israel’s minister of communication. It was then that I met the cisco people for the first time. However, it was in our meeting last year that I grasped the meaning of the song He’s got the whole world in his hands”, Mr. Rivlin said and started singing the familiar song with the audience. “As I told you this morning, some people talk and some do. The Israel-Palestinian collaboration is becoming possible through technology, a field both parties excel in. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. I can tell the difference between making promises and acting on them.
“As the 7th generation of a Jerusalem family, I know this city is the microcosm that represents our coexistence. With your work, you help not only Jerusalem or Khoura or Sderot, but the whole world.”
Article written in cooperation with Cisco.