Cisco Systems planning Las Vegas meeting for 20,000 employees

One of the world’s largest information technology companies plans to pack 20,000 of its employees into two Las Vegas resorts this month for an internal meeting to discuss the industry’s future.

Cisco Systems Inc., which designs, manufactures and sells the networking systems responsible for delivering digital information between major companies, holds a similar meeting every year.

But this meeting, dubbed the “GSX” Global Sales Experience, comes at a particularly difficult time for Cisco Systems, which announced in an earnings report this week that the company will soon cut 6,000 jobs, or 8 percent of its workforce. The news followed a revenue report of $12.36 billion, down from the $12.42 billion reported a year earlier.

“There are some big changes happening in the IT industry,” said David McCulloch, Cisco’s senior director of corporate communications. “I know there has been a lot of focus on earnings, but this is still the second-best year in Cisco System’s history. We really think it will help drive sales.”

On the meeting’s agenda? How employees can help position the company for the future of a industry ripe with rapidly evolving technology and financial challenges.

Executives have fashioned the meeting to focus on topics such as the emergence of the “cloud,” an ever-expanding Internet-based repository that allows users to store and share data with the world instead of using hard drives. Other discussions will dive into cybersecurity and new ways to drive revenue.

Open exclusively to Cisco Systems employees, the Aug. 25-28 conference offers a scheduled packed with presentations and a keynote address at both the Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand.

The Las Vegas landscape is no stranger to Cisco Systems, which has developed and deployed technology for MGM Resorts International. The casino giant is a Cisco Systems customer, using the company’s location-based Wi-Fi services to offer customers discounts and alerts via their smartphones.

Using that technology, resorts can target guests with the latest deals dotting casino floors. MGM Resorts recently built a series of mobile apps that leverage its connectivity with guests to improve the traveler’s experience.

That means a guest who enters an MGM resort while using the mobile app can choose to receive real-time notifications about discounts, coupons or other offerings throughout the property.

Executives say such applications are vital to the company’s financial future.

“People want to spend more money on IT that brings in revenue instead of IT that keeps the lights on,” McCulloch said.

Contact reporter Ed Komenda at ekomenda@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0270. Follow him on Twitter @ejkomenda.