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Case Study: Cisco

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Case Study: Cisco
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Case Study: Cisco


Cisco Systems - the worldwide leader and $ 39.5B network company - is concerned about privacy. Their sales offices utilize a mixture of open plan design and “quiet” rooms for confidential conversations. Specifying high-end, quality materials, Cisco’s highly engineered spaces became uncomfortable for employees because they were too quiet-almost museum like in effect. This “too quiet” environment did not enable Cisco to provide the level of privacy, confidentiality or comfort that they desired for their sales office spaces. The challenge was to maintain confidentiality, improve comfort and by doing so, improve the productivity of their employees. Having specified and installed Lencore Sound Masking products successfully since 1997, Cisco turned to Lencore again to meet this challenge.


Lencore’s approach started with the simple question: “What do you want the space and the sound masking to achieve?” With up to 90 sales offices across the US and Canada, the Standards Manager for Cisco Systems wanted an acoustical design which “sounded” the same no matter which location. The design needed to provide “Normal Speech Privacy” in the open office space and “Confidential Speech Privacy” in and outside of the quiet rooms.

Through facility testing, (which included the study of speaker distance variability) the Standards Manager selected the Lencore Spectra® System. The introduction of sound masking to the space improved employee comfort while also contributing to speech confidentiality. The Spectra® System was chosen because of its ease of use, uniformity of sound and consistent quality performance in multiple locations.


A new sales office standard is now utilized by all of Cisco’s architectural firms across the US and Canada. Cisco Systems achieved their primary and secondary goals of privacy and comfort, respectfully. The sound masking solution provides a superior customer experience while allowing employees to better focus on their functions while reducing their distractions. In this scenario, Cisco Systems was not concerned about measuring a return on their investment as much as meeting privacy and comfort goals set for their customers and employees. They achieved this and more with the Lencore solutions.