Ninety-six new employees – most of them new graduates – have filled the labs at Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO)'s research and development facility in Kanata within the last year.
© Mark Holleron
Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson tours Cisco's Kanata facilities.
The hires are a result of a $25 million funding commitment from the province in August 2011 to create a total of 300 jobs in Ontario over the next few years. The initiative also includes an investment target of $455 million over five years from Cisco.
“Here in Ottawa, we produce essential components that touch virtually every service provider and enterprise customer network in the world,” said Ron McDougall, vice-president of business markets for Cisco Canada. He addressed a room full of new employees and community members at an event hosted at Cisco’s Kanata facility on Tuesday.
Mr. McDougall could not give an exact timeline for the rest of the 300 hires, but said Cisco hopes to reach that number and exceed it within the five-year deadline set by the province.
There is room to accommodate all new hires at the office on Innovation Drive, he added.
Of the 61 recent graduates hired this year, 13 are from the Ottawa region.
“We often talk in big numbers, but what it boils down to is the people in this room who have gotten jobs,” said Ottawa mayor Jim Watson at the event.
An additional 38 people were hired at Cisco’s two facilities in Toronto, bringing the total up to 134 since the agreement with the province.
The current 400 local employees have filed 100 patents based on technology created in Kanata. That technology includes multiprotocol label switching (MPLS), next generation core routing, mobility and Wi-Fi.
A locally developed router called the CRS-3 offers 12 times the traffic capacity of the nearest competing system, according to the company, with up to 322 terabits per second. That means one router could stream every motion picture ever created in less than four minutes, or allow every person in China to make a video call simultaneously.
Four labs on site in Kanata include an electronic device validation lab that simulates extreme conditions to ensure the durability of the technology.
Cisco says it invests 12 per cent of its annual revenues in global R&D efforts, which equates to $5.3 billion on average.