News Release

Cisco Systems Kicks Off its Annual "Growing with Technology Awards" Contest

Prizes Valued at $250,000 to be Awarded, Submissions Now Being Accepted
May 04, 2005

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 4, 2005 - Cisco Systems® today announced it is taking applications for its Growing with Technology Awards 2005 contest. The competition recognizes creative ways in which small and medium-sized businesses use networking technology to promote products and services, deliver more value to customers, improve internal business operations, conduct online transactions and provide a broader geographical reach of services.

The contest is open to companies and nonprofit organizations within the United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding the province of Quebec). To be eligible to win, organizations must employ no more than 999 employees.

"By building a quality Cisco network, Central Utah Clinic was able to roll out its electronic medical records (EMR) and practice management system in a short period of time," said Jamie Steck, Director of Information Technology, Central Utah Clinic, Cisco Growing with Technology Award 2004 Grand Prize Winner, Operational Excellence. "We are pleased with the results of our EMR system and how Cisco's technology has helped make it possible to better serve our patients. To receive an award recognizing our efforts, in addition to the other benefits, is absolutely wonderful."

Cisco Growing with Technology Award Categories and Prizes

Contestants in the Cisco Growing with Technology Awards contest compete for prizes in the following five categories: Sales and Marketing, Customer Relationship, Operational Excellence, Public Sector, and Nonprofit. Judges will select one grand-prize winner and two runner-up winners in each category.

Each grand-prize winner receives $25,000 worth of Cisco networking equipment. Each first runner-up winners receive $15,000 worth of Cisco networking equipment. Second runner-up winners receive $10,000 worth of Cisco networking equipment. The grand-prize winners and runners-up will be announced and honored at a special awards ceremony in October 2005 in San Jose, Calif.

"These awards have special meaning at Cisco, especially since we are committed to helping small and medium-sized businesses succeed by utilizing the power of technology. Last year, we received more than 700 entries from companies and organizations demonstrating technical innovation and entrepreneurship. As a result, we saw that there was a direct correlation between a company's investment in networking technology and success," said Peter Alexander, Vice President of Commercial Market Segment, Cisco Systems.

Cisco Growing with Technology Awards 2005 Panel of Judges

Cisco selected its panel of judges from a vast cross-section of industry leaders to review contest applications and then select the winners. They will be looking for organizations that have demonstrated how networking technology solutions and the Internet have effectively addressed business challenges, expanded services and driven growth and profitability.

Members of this year's panel of judges include: David Morgan, President, D.W. Morgan; Mika Krammer, Research Vice President, Gartner Group; Ray Boggs, Vice President of Small/Medium Business Research, IDC; Kneko Burney, Chief Market Strategist, InStat; Elspeth Jane Murray, Assistant Professor, Queen's University (Canada); Sam Steinhardt, Executive Director of Center for Innovations in Learning, Stanford University; Mark Quinn, District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration; and Joe Diodati, Senior Director of Commercial Marketing, Cisco Systems.

Applications Accepted Now

Entries for the Cisco Growing with Technology Awards 2005 program are now being accepted online. Deadline to submit online applications will be June 17, 2005. For more information on the awards, directions on how to apply, and to view the complete contest rules, visit