Cisco, a global information and communications technology company with offices in Manchester, was an Official Provider at MIF15. Vice President Ian Kennedy (pictured above, with Ed Atkins) and Communications Consultant Helen Douglas explain why they got involved.

Cisco was fortunate enough to be invited to a number of events and performances at MIF13. We saw at first hand some incredibly powerful work and witnessed how much the city comes alive during the Festival – and we realised the potential for employee, customer and business partner engagement. As a result, we began talking to the Festival about getting involved in MIF15.

Cisco is committed to building the nation’s most capable and configurable networks with the flexibility to support the needs of every modern business, both today and in the future. The technology thread running through MIF15 meant there was a natural fit for Cisco, and it made sense for us to become an Official Provider.

After we identified an opportunity to support Performance Capture, Ed Atkins’ digital commission, we worked on the project with Studio Distract, the Manchester-based 3D animation company. By using Cisco technology, the team was able to simplify the process and achieve higher performance. Andy Clarke, Cisco Systems Consulting Engineer, told us that his time spent with the artists and animators was a really valuable learning experience, especially for someone more used to dealing with technology in massive global data centres.

It was fantastic to see the evolution of the piece, and being part of the creative process was very rewarding. We invited Cisco’s UK board members to Manchester during MIF15, taking advantage of sponsorship access to Festival Square as well as talking them to a performance of The Skriker.

At Cisco, we’re aware that as a company focused on business-to-business activities rather than making consumer products, our brand isn’t as widely known as some tech companies. However, being involved in MIF enabled us to build our brand at a regional level in a unique way.

We were genuinely sorry to see the end of MIF15. Our employees saw Cisco engaging in MIF, and they benefited in so many ways – from learning experiences in the workplace to taking their families to performances. It also showcased our technology to an art-loving audience.

Sponsorship often takes the form of investment in sporting events, but supporting MIF connects to a different part of our community. It pushed individuals in directions they’d never thought they’d go, which is just one of the reasons we’d always encourage companies thinking about supporting MIF to go for it.

For us, it just felt like the right thing to do. And once you’ve been involved, of course, you want to do it all over again.

Official partners

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