Networking giant Cisco Systems has a secret gem hidden within its global operations – a $120 million technical assistance centre (TAC) in the northern Sydney suburb of Chatswood. One of only four such centres in the world, the Sydney TAC handles Cisco’s customer support load for six hours of each day. Support calls are answered by the multi-lingual team and can be escalated to the company’s tier-1 engineering operations if required. Cisco has invested some $270 million on TAC labs in the Asia-Pacific (including Japan) region. Globally, the Sydney TAC joins North Carolina and San Jose in the US and Brussels in Europe for 'follow the sun' support. The Sydney location also has a data centre which is used for development, problem solving and interoperability testing. The data centre is the first in Australia to demonstrate Cisco’s entrance into the server space – the Unified Computing System. Computerworld went on a tour of the TAC and data centre and spoke with Cisco engineers about the role of the centre and the new technology it houses.