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My tour of Cisco House

Back in early April we reported on Cisco’s plans to open a ‘show home’ close to the Olympic Park, and yesterday they invited me along to have a nosey around.

The two-storey building is situated on the roof of Westfield Stratford City (unfortunately I had to fight the crowds of shoppers to get there) – an impressive location that overlooks the Olympic Park. You may be surprised to hear that I wasn’t really interested in the Games – for me, the visit was more about how Cisco is using the building to market to other businesses.


The ground floor of Cisco House

So how is it leveraging it? Well, according to the brand the venue is a showcase business experience, not a hospitality venue. C-suite-level decision makers are invited to the Cisco House to network and interact with the technology – an environment for this group to spark ideas and an opportunity to create new business models.

The tour of the building was fascinating. The top floor was an open networking space with incredible views over the Olympic grounds, while the ground floor presented a wealth of advanced interactive technology. My favourite piece of kit was a walkthrough video timeline of how technology has changed in London. It didn’t require any buttons to be pushed or screens to be tapped, all you had to do was stand in front of the screen and the stories would begin – something I think the C-suite audience will engage with.

Please mind the gap

Also located downstairs is ‘Cisco House tube station’. We were taken inside the replica tube carriage where we enjoyed a short 3D film (starring the charismatic Steven Fry) on how businesses will be communicating in the future – apparently we’ll soon be working (across global offices) something like 96 hours a day!

The building will no longer be there after the Paralympic Games end in September, and Cisco estimates 13,000 people to walk through its doors in five months. It seems such a shame that this tech hub has to go.