Cisco boosts local headcount with provincial cash

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Courtney Symons
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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.

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.

Organizations: Cisco

Geographic location: Ottawa, Kanata, Ontario Toronto China

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  • Watchdog
    September 27, 2012 - 09:41

    Could someone please explain to me why a multi-billion dollar company like CISCO is getting my tax dollars to fund hiring people for their business? No matter how you slice or dice this, it makes no economical sense. If I were other networking companies, I would cry foul. Using my tax dollars to do this only serves to make my taxes go up; not down. Let's see, Ontario is in a shortfall on revenues and are looking to freeze wages for Provincial employees. Whereas I see this as a good thing given that there is a wage disparity between government workers and the private sector, would it not have been better for the province to say, we are not going to fund this and take the $25 million dollars and eliminate the shortfall. Just another dumb idea from the McGuinty Governement. Anyone hazard a guess as to where his next job comes from?

    • Artardicus Maximus
      September 27, 2012 - 21:05

      Dear Watchdog, There are so many things wrong with you statement...where to begin... 1. Freezing wages for provincial employees is the least that should be done, regardless of the budget. Most people in the government seem to think they are entitled to jobs for life at pay competitive with private industry. That would make sense if they were as efficient or worked as hard. 2. Riffing on 1. - If you're upset about your tax dollars supporting private industry, you would probably choke on your geritol if you saw how inefficient government spending is. 2. 25M dollars employs 300 people for lets say 5 years. Each person makes 70K. The govt makes roughly 30k back in income taxes. 300*30k*5 years = 45M. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Einstein.