News Release

Cisco Works with Islensk Midlun to Establish Regional Contact Centres in Iceland

Establishing nine remote contact centres to help improve rural economies Employment for 300 in rural regions by end of 2001
Apr 03, 2000

LONDON, UK, April 3, 2000 - Cisco Systems, Inc., today announces that it has been appointed to partner Mslensk miplun, one of Iceland's leading teleprocessing companies, to create up to nine teleprocessing contact centres in regional parts of Iceland.

The contact centres will use Cisco Wide Area Network and teleconferencing solutions, with a Cisco Intelligent Contact Manager (ICM). This means Mslensk miplun, headquartered in Reykjavmk, can seamlessly connect all its sites by transferring data, graphics and sound between them as if there was just one workplace. Tfknival, the systems integrator company and the only Cisco Silver Partner in Iceland, will develop the required technical solutions for the contact centres.

Paul di Leo, Director of Enterprise Solutions for EMEA of Cisco Systems, added: "The wide-area network and teleconferencing solutions will make it possible for Mslensk miplun to handle projects in many places simultaneously, securely and without delay. This initiative shows the role this technology can play in creating flexible employment solutions that are no longer dependent on location."

The contact centres are expected to create up to 300 new jobs by the end of 2001 in regional and remote areas of Iceland, including 150 positions by the end of 2000.

Svavar Kristinsson, head of the board of Mslensk miplun, said: "Over the last decade, the decline of Iceland's traditional primary industries of fishing and agriculture has forced many people to migrate to the capital area of Reykjavmk and its neighbouring communities. Our work with Cisco and Tfknival will go some way to reversing this trend by creating new opportunities within these areas."

A fishing village in the north-eastern part of the country, Raufarhvfn, with barely 400 inhabitants and 634km from Reykjavmk, is the first village selected to take part in the project. Other locations for contact centres include Stvpvarfjvrpur, West Fiords, Hrmsey, and Slafsfjvrpur.

Having observed Mslensk miplun4s build-up of contact centres, the Icelandic Government is now putting together a plan to transfer jobs from the capital area to remote communities and create new jobs within information and marketing. This effort to reverse the on-going migration to the capital area has aroused great interest and expectations in communities around the country.

The president of Iceland, Slafur Ragnar Grmmsson, said at the opening of the centre at ^ingeyri, a town in northwest Iceland: "The opening of this virtual contact centre is an event of extraordinary importance, marking a turning point in regional affairs in Iceland. I have always thought that the future of rural areas was tightly bound to computer technology and it is encouraging to see that this is now happening."

When up and running, the centres are expected to offer contact management services to Icelandic organisations including banks, government institutions, insurance companies and travel agencies.