Cisco and Cisco.com feature prominently in a new FastCompany article about how companies are preparing for the economic upturn.The article talks about the “Virtual Account Manager” model for Cisco.com, which is our way of describing a mix of smart personalization, helpful product and program content, and click-to-chat capabilities that allow us to orient customers and connect them to the right partner or Cisco representative. “There aren’t enough salespeople in the world for what we need to do,” explains my boss Mike Metz. The picture below is not of Mike, by the way, but of Sue Bostrom, our Chief Marketing Officer, who is a big fan of Cisco.com:P.S. I think of these capabilities more as “Virtual Customer Connections” since they are about suggesting the right things to customers and connecting them to the right events, partners or other Cisco representatives. Customers need connections and interactions with our partners and real “account managers” today more than ever. The name “Virtual Account Manager” has stuck, though, and I have to admit it rolls off the tongue better!Enjoy!
If you didn’t see the recent announcements from Cisco Security on how Cisco is enabling you to collaborate with confidence, read the details now.This TechChat featured Danelle Au, Senior Product Manager, Security Technology Business Unit, and Rush Carskadden, Product Manager, IPS Technology Group, both from Cisco. During this TechChat our speakers discussed the newest capabilities of the Cisco Security portfolio announced at RSA, including IPS updates (global correlation for IPS) and an ASA feature (Botnet Traffic Filter). These will help simplify operations while providing even better threat mitigation for your organization.
View this archived discussion to hear how these new capabilities help to:- Keep intellectual property protected with improved attack detection- Reduce total cost of ownership using more robust network intelligence for reduced network downtime- Protect your organization’s reputation with intelligent troubleshooting for threats Read More »
I told you earlier in the year that we were going to get even more immersive with Cisco Live Virtual this year and now I can share a deeper level of detail with you!This year Cisco Live Virtual is going live along side our Cisco Live San Francisco 2009 conference. We know nothing can replace the on site experience but also realize that economics and travel restrictions may make that tough for folks this year so we are pleased to be offer a virtual alternative!So drum roll please…if you can not attend in San Francisco join us virtually on June 30 and July 1 from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm PDT and engage in:
- Live keynotes featuring John Chambers and Padmasree Warrior
- Live executive chats
- 20+ live technical sessions (for paid subscribers only)
- Live virtual world panel discussions
- Live conversations using text or voice/video over IP with Cisco and Partner experts in the virtual World of Solutions
- Scavenger hunts and prizes through-out the day
- Peer networking in the discussion groups, lounge and blog center
Just like Cisco Live San Francisco 2009 there are guest and paid subscriber options to attend Cisco Live Virtual, register now. If you are visual like me sometimes seeing an overview is more helpful than reading about it. A quick flash movie was created to recap quickly the highlights of participating in Cisco Live Virtual, watch the demo.Now let’s get a little deeper into the details regarding the virtual event agenda, peer networking tools and recap on the benefits of downloading the PDF attendee guide. Read More »
How to get MORE (and faster and cheaper) USABILITY TESTINGAs I have mentioned before, there are a few good options for remote usability testing, and all of them are more affordable than xxOf course, we do regular usability testing at Cisco. But one of the challenges we have is that it takes time to recruit users and set up tests, so we can only test functions in big “batches” a couple of times per quarter. Other companies are in the same boat: They continue to do usability testing (well, except for Apple), and remote usability testing via tools like WebEx is definitely a trend. The challenge is this: As the demand for more scientific designs increases, companies need to turn around tests faster and do more of them. Fortunately, newly emergent on the scene are extremely inexpensive services that allow you to test multiple users quickly with a video as an output. “UserTesting.com” offers this service for 15 minute tests at $19/person (see caveats below). Colin Hynes from Staples, which has a research and testing staff, has started using these quick inexpensive tests to answer quick questions and settle debates. He told a story of how Staples hosted some new designs to test on UserTesting.com at 5 PM and videotaped tests from 25 users by 8 PM that same day. Someone on the Staples.com user experience staff had to analyze the videos, but it still cut about 2 weeks out of the typical recruiting and testing cycle. You can also use this as an easy way to test other sites (e.g. Cisco could test users reactions and impressions on HPs networking and data center areas, for instance). Here are some slides that Colin Hynes provided to us about this and other alternative testing possibilities: http://ework.cisco.com/Livelink/livelink.exe?func=ll&objId=36984308&objAction=Open Cisco take and next steps: Janet Wallin is going to experiment with a couple of fast-turn remote tests like this. These by no means replace our traditional lab-based and WebEx-based testing, but might provide faster results to simple questions and may save money on facilitation time. http://www.usertesting.com/index.aspx?Price=19Caveats for UserTesting.com:· You still need to hire an expert to analyze the tests. For instance, since we don’t have a dedicated user web usability research staff we would rely on Abbot Usability or a similar firm. But it would still save many days . · Users still need to be recruited, so there can be recruiting costs. Generic recruiting is available from an existing large pool of users at the site. If you want special users types (e.g. Cisco Partners) you have to recruit these yourself. For the Mac: Silverback for the Mac… http://silverbackapp.com/
One of the fun, but hidden, aspects of The Realm animated adventure is the chat capability we build into our Cisco.com security pages.For instance, when you visit then latest episode (“Virus”)…And you click through to the pages for one of the listed security products…You may get a character-based invite after looking at the various products…Just a small “Easter egg” we built into the experience, if you’ve vectored in via The Realm. Enjoy!