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Sold to the Person in the Red Nose on Cisco TelePresence


Cisco Holds First ’Virtual Auction’ for Comic Relief with Christie’s leading proceedings


* Cisco staff across the UK and Ireland are donning Red Noses and preparing for their first ’virtual auction’ on Red Nose Day. The auction, to be held in conjunction with Christie’s, the world’s leading art business, will take place at 4 p.m. on 13 March 2009.

* At that time, the seven Cisco UK and Ireland offices in London, Feltham, Reading, Manchester, Edinburgh, Motherwell and Dublin will link via Cisco TelePresenceTM, an innovative technology for virtual “in person” meetings, for the event. Christie’s international auctioneer, Hugh Edmeades, will lead the proceedings from Cisco’s Feltham office. Using Cisco TelePresence as the platform will create a ’never before seen’ auction experience for the Cisco staff and channel partners.

* Auction items up for grabs include O2 box tickets to see Beyoncé or Britney Spears, an F1 race helmet, a signed and framed England shirt, a signed Chelsea football, chauffeur services, a tour of the Houses of Parliament, and many more.

* Cisco fundraising for Comic Relief started in January with events such as the Cisco talent competition and a Red Nose raffle. The company matches employee funding to maximise the staff’s achievements.

* Cisco UK and Ireland hopes to raise a total of £100,000 for the charity this year. In addition, the company is providing technology to support Comic Relief’s online fundraising activities.


* David Meads, director, Cisco UK and Ireland

“Cisco has supported Comic Relief since 2000. It is a charity we strongly believe in. We continue to encourage all our staff to ’do something funny for money’, and they always enthusiastically accept the challenge.”

“By utilising Cisco TelePresence, we are able to collaborate with each of our offices through one real-time event, bringing a new dimension to the excitement of the auction experience. We’ve had phone bidding for some time; now it’s time to accept video bids.”

* Hugh Edmeades, chairman, Christie’s South Kensington

“Christie’s is only too happy to support this innovative charity event. I have had experience of taking numerous bids in auctions via our online bidding service, Christie’s LIVE, but this is the first time that I have taken an auction that embraces this ground-breaking video technology. As a result, everyone will be able to participate and experience the tension and excitement of the event.”

* Paul D’Cruz, systems engineering manager at Cisco, explains what equipment Cisco is providing to Comic Relief

“We are working with Comic Relief and business IT services group Carrenza to create a virtualised data centre platform with our key partners, including Oracle, VMWare and 3PAR. This platform will be used to support and manage the online fundraising activities during Comic Relief 2009.”


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