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#CMAD: How Cisco is Defining the Role of a Community Manager

Thanks to Altimeter Group analyst Jeremiah Owyang, today marks the third anniversary of Community Manager Appreciation Day.  While there is not a lot of available data on the job outlook for a community manager, you only need to look at the job growth for a social media manager to know the trend is still on the incline. Community managers are the connectors between the community they cultivate and the brands they represent. They are creative individuals who push the envelope in how content and information is shared with their communities. They are analytical – sifting through a multitude of data and using a plethora of social tools to assess on an almost daily basis, how people are engaging with the brand.  They are strategic thinkers who translate often complex business and technology concepts into rich and engaging content that creates meaningful dialogue. At Cisco, they are all of these things and much, much more.

A HUGE thanks to our Community Managers at Cisco globally (approximately 150 total), for continuing to move the needle and advancing the role of community management.  I’ve talked to several of them recently to get their thoughts on what it means to be a community manager at Cisco and of course, their celebratory plans for Community Manager Appreciation Day.

What does it mean to be a community manager at Cisco?

  • Thinking strategically about how and where to effectively communicate our messages, collaborating with other community managers to combine brainpower and synchronize efforts, planning a cadence of social activities for the year, and responding appropriately to open questions and comments on our social channels.
  • Listening to customers to help inform our social media strategy and how we engage with them.
  • Developing, engaging and nurturing a community of people of all different backgrounds and demographics that share one common interest: Cisco.
  • Being extremely alert, organized, creative and engaged to meet the needs of a growing community of partners and customers opting into social networks to learn more about Cisco.
  • Connecting with Cisco fans and employees globally in real-time and 24/7.

How are you celebrating Community Manager Appreciation Day?

  • Go through some social metrics reports and analyzing the effectiveness of social media tactics and performance of the social channels. Hopefully, I’ll be sipping on a cup of Chai Latte while doing that to celebrate!
  • Thanking our community on Twitter and Facebook for giving me the best job ever!
  • Thanking our Cisco Corporate social communities for allowing me to have a role at Cisco that is ever-changing, exciting and challenging all at once.
  • Thanking our Cisco fans for their continual support positive engagement!

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How to get the most out of CiscoLive! London

Just a few more hours until CiscoLive! London kicks off! We’ve got some great talks, challenges (competition where you can win a variety of prizes), and new solutions being launched.  In Lauren’s Borderless blog, she highlights a few of the activities and events that will be the most fun/cool/educational/tasty.

<SIDENOTE:> If you’re skipping CiscoLive then you’ll want to head right over to register for our live webcast, “Get Your Network Ready for BYOD with Cisco Unified Access” on January 29.  You’ll also want to start hanging out at the Cisco Borderless Networks community where we’ll have a Q&A and we have a bunch of upcoming events and fun. </SIDENOTE>

Here’re a few of the main bullets from the Borderless Blog that you don’t want to miss:

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Happy Community Manager Appreciation Day: Recognizing the Dedication of Our Community Managers

It’s that time of year again when we recognize and celebrate the work of so many unsung heroes, the Community Managers. Community Manager Appreciation Day is celebrated globally on the 4th Monday of January and was started back in 2010 by Jeremiah Owyang.

I joined the Cisco Global Social Media team in March of last year and have had the pleasure to work with many of our community managers. A common strength that shines through with all our community managers without a doubt is their dedication.

It’s dedication from Anna Sui, Partner Community Manager that allows 81,000 partners to tap into the Partner Community every month. Anna manages over 100 thriving topic areas and has built an extensive community and subject matter expert network where partners can receive and share latest news, product and program updates.

The Cisco Collaboration Community team, made up of Laura Douglas, Denise Brittin, Lisa Marcyes and Kelli Glass, empowers technical IT audiences in the Collaboration Community to learn about collaboration technologies for businesses through peer and Cisco interactions. Direct daily contact with Cisco Collaboration leaders, product managers, services consultants, technical marketing and Cisco engineers through the forums provides visitors with expert information and trusted relationships. The community also offers Cisco customers the opportunity to become more hands-on in shaping the direction of Cisco Collaboration solutions by joining the Cisco Collaboration User Group (CUG). Over 8000 (and growing) CUG members participate in betas, 1-on-1 feedback sessions with product managers, and “sneak peak” pre-announce product briefings.

The Collaboration and Partner communities above are just two examples, yet I know there are many more fantastic examples at Cisco. I’d like to ask all our community managers to take a couple of moments on Monday and reflect back on the dedication they have shown during the previous year and for them to recognize the amazing job they have done. And feel free to share successes by commenting on this blog post.

For our newer community managers and community managers to-be, I’d like to highlight our recently published Cisco Communities Playbook. Although the process of building an online community can be daunting, the Playbook provides guidance around defining, developing and driving engagement within communities. The Playbook still makes a great read for our veteran Community Managers providing ideas that may not have been considered previously.

As I wrap up, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank ALL of our Community Managers for the amazing dedication they have shown and wish them every success as they continue to drive their communities forward. Happy Community Manager Appreciation Day and please do share how you’ll be celebrating.


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Optimize Your Video Adoption with Cisco TelePresence

Today I am pleased to announce Cisco TelePresence Optimized Conferencing, a new cost-effective solution for video conferencing and achieving high quality, standards-based video across the whole organization.  With this, we are addressing the business challenges customers have around managing multiple conferencing options and reducing the TCO for their internal and external communications.

How does it work? Cisco TelePresence Optimized Conferencing:

  • Economically scales-up video adoption by optimizing resource allocation—dynamically orchestrates the use of bridge resources, pools multiparty units, and provides the right level of service for every endpoint
  • Connects natively with Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM)
  • Supports everything from mobile clients to fully-immersive telepresence systems, ensuring a consistent video experience across endpoints

The result is an over 70 percent more efficient use of bridge resources in mixed mode (full HD, HD, SD) conferences. Delivered through software-only upgrades, it is available with the latest releases of Cisco TelePresence Conductor, Cisco TelePresence Server and Cisco TelePresence Management Suite (TMS).

As video adoption becomes more pervasive in enterprise organizations, telepresence solutions like this will be increasingly important for a successful video strategy, especially one that addresses the mobile and BYOD trends. We look forward to partnering with our customers to utilize Cisco TelePresence Optimized Conferencing for simple, cost-effective any to any video collaboration for the entire enterprise.

To learn more, visit the Optimized Conferencing webpage on

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From Cisco Live London: Architecture updates posted here all week…

I am sitting and reflecting here at the start of Cisco Live London. As I walk the halls, I continue to be amazed by the size, depth, and breadth of this event. Networking continues to grow, and thousands of people are eager to come together to see the latest. Read More »

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