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Content: Are you Taking the Right Journey?

We all know about the importance of knowing your customer needs, and focusing on the digital journey. But all too often, we overlook the content that customer experiences — and how well it pays off the journey. A few months ago at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association  conference, I shared five steps to tune the customer  journey and the content needed to support it. Here are some lessons learned (and what you can do to get started).

1.  Build out customer personas.

The first step is to bring your customer targets to life. Who are your customers and what do they care about? What are their key go-to sources for web, mobile and social?  The key is to understand the roles these target buyers play and the interplay within the purchase process. At Cisco, we started with three target personas for our Data Center buyers and did a deep dive into careabouts for CEO, BDM and Technical Influencer roles. Read More »

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Staying Ahead of the Collaboration Requirements Curve

In my last blog I talked about how optimization is shifting from a post-deployment activity to a regularly scheduled maintenance priority. Have we seen this shift in action? Yes, and it makes a big difference in how well your IT team can stay ahead of the curve to keep up with changing business requirements.

Case in point: A financial services company had teams all over the world, and conferencing was part of the company’s culture. Because of the popularity of video conferencing, conference rooms had to be scheduled hours or even days in advance. Wait times like these were unacceptable for urgent meetings. For a sales team, meeting delays can literally be a deal breaker. That’s why this financial services company decided to add on-demand video conferencing to its collaboration tools.

Responding quickly to unanticipated needs like this requires an understanding of the performance capabilities of your collaboration infrastructure. If you’ve taken a systemic approach to your collaboration performance, you’ll not only be able to respond to new requirements but you’ll be able to anticipate them.

This customer used Cisco’s Collaboration Optimization Services to keep their collaboration solution running at Read More »

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Cisco Small Business Extending Services and Support in Latin America

Happy Wednesday!

Did you watch the Academy Awards this week? It sure would been great to get my mug in Ellen’s selfie shot. I could have been Bradley right? ..and a slice of pizza would have been great with Julia, Harrison, and “Marty”. Certainly this year’s Oscars was the best one in years.

Speaking of good shows – as Master of Ceremonies here at Cisco Small Business, I wanted to pass along some fantastic news from another brethren Product Manager, Robin Penn. Her Cisco Small Business Services and Support team has been making a good showing recently by adding 15 additional Latin American Countries where folks can purchase Cisco Small Business Service. For some time, we have received requests from partners, customers and team members to extend our Award Winning coverage to more Latin American countries. As you can imagine, many folks are quite happy about this.

But wait… what exactly did Robin do?  We already sold Small Business Support Service in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. And now…the envelope please to see the new entrants: Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. And all are winners

Customers now can purchase (through their partners) the value-priced Cisco Small Business Support Service:

  • Three Years of Award-Winning Technical Support
  • Advanced Product Replacement – either Same Day Ship or Next Business Day**
  • Unlimited telephone support with Cisco Certified engineers, 24 hours daily in English, business hours in other languages
  • Major and minor software releases


Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 2.32.58 PM

So now, in more and more countries, especially Latin America, Cisco’s Best-in-show Small Business products can be purchased with the award-winning Cisco Small Business Support Service. So as Robin would say, buy/sell the best Small Business products with the Industries’ Best Service and Support, all in the one shot.

Thanks for hanging out with the Cisco Small Business Team – make it a good rest of the week.

Small Business Support Service At-A- Glance in English

Small Business Support Service At -A- Glance in Spanish

Small Business Support Service At-A-Glance in Portuguese

For more info on Small Business Support Service features and benefits or questions…  Check out or contact

And to see where is Small Business Support Service is available: check out

**Questions about Same Day Ship or Next Business Day Logistics?  Contact your partner or

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Cisco Partners Provide Multiple Awards at XChange Solution Provider

Yesterday in Los Angeles, CA I attended XChange Solution Provider, where Cisco was honored with multiple Channel Champions awards. This conference brings together 225 solution provider decision makers from across the United States and Canada and provides a great chance to network. The 24th annual Channel Champions Awards were part of this event, and it was great to see Cisco perform so well once again.

Cisco Channel Champions Awards 2014

Channel Company CEO Bob Faletra; Cisco Senior VP Worldwide Channels, Edison Peres; Cisco VP, Global Partner Marketing Sherri Liebo; Cisco Senior Manager, Executive Communications Carol McCutcheon; Cisco Senior Director, Channel Business Development, John Growdon; and Channel Company Editor, Steve Burke.

Cisco picked up awards for:

Converged Infrastructure – overall winner and swept the category

Enterprise Networking Infrastructure – overall winner and swept the category

Network Security Appliances – technical satisfaction sub-category

Networking Hardware – overall winner with wins in the technical and support sub-categories

Unified Communications – overall winner and swept category

Video Conferencing – overall winner and swept category

This year saw us strengthen our position in Enterprise Networking Infrastructure where we swept the category, after being the overall winner with two sub-category wins last year. We made the same move in video conferencing this year as well. Also of note, this is the 14th year in a row that we’ve received  the overall award for unified communications (UC).

This is no small feat, and I am so proud of Cisco’s strong presence in these Channel Champions awards. We obviously take a lot of pride in winning these awards. Ultimately though, we don’t win these awards at Cisco without our partners’ commitment and hard work.

As always, your efforts and feedback are the reasons we continually evolve our programs and tools. We always strive to give you the best return on your investment in Cisco and I hope these types of awards give you what you need to close deals with Cisco technology. Again, thank you partners! We were awarded these honors, but we earned them together with you. Let me know your thoughts on these latest awards in the comments below.

I look forward to hearing from you at this year’s Partner Summit, which is right around the corner. For those of you not in attendance this year, remember that you can access Virtual Partner Summit (VPS). In fact, I’ll be holding a global executive chat on March 27 as we close out this year’s event. Register for VPS now so you can add my session to your calendar. Bring your questions to that session so we can interact, even if you’re not in Las Vegas at Partner Summit this year.

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CIO or IT Services Broker?

In the heart of the overall shift from cloud computing as an isolated project to a central IT strategy, a particular tenet is reigning supreme: hybrid IT strategies. As cloud computing continues to evolve, new technologies are emerging to support the dynamic creation of cloud services. CIOs are increasingly feeling the need to deal with hybrid environments.  But how? Enter the rise of hybrid IT process models and the positioning of IT as a service broker.

Gartner recently identified hybrid cloud and IT as a Service broker (ITaaSB) in its Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends; they also highlighted how to move to an ITaaSB environment in their research titled: Top 10 Technology Trends, 2013: Cloud Computing and Hybrid IT Drive Future IT Models.


But what exactly is an IT services broker? And how can we help make this shift?

Read More »

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