Account Manager, Cisco
Isaac Sharp believes that the democratisation of technology is an enabling force. As an Account Manager at Cisco, who first started out as a graduate two years ago, he uses technology to help his clients connect in a disconnected world. Working across a broad portfolio of clients, Isaac believes that technology plays a pivotal role in the future by being accessible and inclusive for everyone, to make his clients’ lives easier and, as Cisco likes to say, ‘build a bridge to possible’.
How long have you worked at 101 Collins?
I’ve been at 101 Collins for almost two years. I’ve always liked speaking and connecting with people, and once I completed a Bachelor of Journalism, I moved to Sydney to work in business development for Tesla, helping to grow the company – it was a wild ride. Then I moved to Melbourne to begin the Cisco grad program and I’m proudly still here today.
What is your role and what does it entail?
I’m an Account Manager at Cisco. I look after 80 clients, which involves developing relationships, helping with IT projects and ensuring they have the best possible experience with Cisco products.
My favourite clients are in health and aged care. They represent unique examples of how we can improve the human experience for people and the way they connect internally and externally to their families or the outside world.
Generally, we just want to make our clients’ lives easier. A lot of stakeholders and companies look to IT for answers and solutions in the way that they operate and practice. So, our technology becomes a connecting and enabling force in times of disconnect; at Cisco we like to say, “we build the bridge to possible.”
What is the direction for technology in the post-COVID era?
As a result of the pandemic, the world is becoming less disjointed, and technology is becoming democratised. It is evolving to become an extension of oneself, particularly at a consumer level, so there needs to be equality and inclusivity for the user – it needs to be accessible for everyone, not just professionals.
My job is about putting myself in the user’s shoes. For example, with home learning, some children can’t afford expensive noise cancelling headphones, so we can help by developing noise cancelling programs within the systems themselves. Other technology trends are macro hubs for congregating and cyber security.
How can society adapt?
Education is the key to ensuring no-one is left behind as technology evolves. It won’t simply depend on organisations to ensure this education, but also the public and private sectors. IT can expand and grow so fast it’s hard for technology professionals to keep up, let alone the average consumer. Lending a patient, empathetic and experienced hand to demonstrate how new technologies work amongst colleagues, family and friends will be key to ensuring this.
How can technology reach personal and professional potential?
Technology creates connections, helping us to foster relationships, personally and professionally. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that team collaboration and connection is more important than ever. I like to stay connected every day, via social media and messaging or by checking the news and talking to my team as much as possible.
What is the experience of working at 101 Collins like?
101 Collins is a beautiful space. When I first walked through the carousel doors, I looked around at the beautiful lights and columns and thought, “Do I belong here?” I’d never experienced a place like this before, so it was a pivotal moment. Now, walking into the lobby gives me confidence to start my day and crush my objectives. It’s not just the high ceilings and impressive architecture, it’s also the atmosphere and being surrounded by like-minded professionals. Confidence is key in my industry, feeling like you’re present and doing a good job. 101 helps me achieve that.
What trends have you seen with workplace technology?
The democratisation of technology has led to a growth in hybrid workspaces. Imagine a modern meeting scenario where two people are based in the office and seven people are working remotely. You can’t have those in the office all crowding over one laptop webcam –it’s all about creating the best experience and making sure each person has equal ability and resolution to be able to tune into meetings, engage and perform at their best.
You also want to make the most of your communal office space. How are people interacting in the room? Are they standing or are they sitting? Is there too much carbon dioxide? How do we go into a room and start a meeting without touching anything? Increasingly there will be more emphasis on facilities and HR requirements.
How does 101 Collins enhance your working life?
The building is the epicentre for me and my clients. Whether it is catching a taxi to a client’s office or heading straight to Monards on payday, it’s the central point for me to perform my business. Even having Binary so close is amazing. The amount of money I’ve spent there is quite extraordinary!
The 101 community connects me to new people and gets me out of my comfort zone. The building is the perfect start to the day and the amenities are the perfect end. There’s a beautiful Pilates studio and a space to do boxing, where I can release the stress of the day, which is something I probably wouldn’t do if I didn’t work here.