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Make Some New Friends: Jimi Hendrix and Customer Experience Part 2

Do the names Linda Keith and Chas Chandler ring a bell? Well, without their influence, we may have never heard of Jim Hendrix.

In May 1966, Keith ran into the then-obscure Hendrix playing at the Cheetah club in New York.  “He was astonishing – the moods he could bring to music, his charisma, his skill and stage presence,” she recalls. “Yet nobody was leaping about with excitement. I couldn’t believe it.”

HENDRIXKeith convinced Chas Chandler to come see Hendrix on August 2, 1966 in Manhattan. Chandler was the bass player for the hit group “The Animals” at that time. “He was the best guitar player I had ever heard.,”  Chandler would later comment of the performance. Chandler became intent on making Hendrix a star – but to do that, Hendrix had to go to a new place to start fresh – the U.K.

Successful customer experience for contact center directors also means going to new places – organizationally. The contact center is a critical cog in the “Big 3” of customer engagement, where the propensity of customer interactions (vs. transactions) occurs between the web, the mobile device, and the contact center.  In contrast, many businesses are not organized holistically across these three critical elements. And on occasion, each domain architects conflicting business outcomes.

Leading companies view the customer journey as a singularity from a mobile, web, and contact center perspective. Managers of these domains are beginning to exist under common organizational designs. Many are beginning to report into chief experience of digital officers.

Much like Jimi Hendrix needed to make some new friends to achieve success, so it is in business. If you’re operating in isolation, expand your organizational boundaries if you haven’t yet. Make some new friends in your mobile and web application teams. Customer experience stardom may be right around the corner for you also!

Discover more about how Cisco’s customer experience offerings can help make music for your customers here: http://www.cisco.com/assets/sol/coll/use_case_tool/outcome.htm#~customersatisfaction

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Devops Means “No, you cannot operate my cloud”

One of the things I really believe strongly is that modern SaaS software development – both the practices and code it produces – are significantly different from traditional enterprise premises-based software development. Yet, I find that for people who have never built and operated a modern SaaS platform, these differences are difficult to grasp. Let me replay for you a conversation I’ve had many times.

Jonathan: “We’ve built this awesome new Cisco Spark cloud platform, which powers the Cisco Spark app. We do continuous delivery, pushing new updates every day. Our engineers operate the platform – a.k.a. devops – and they track a bunch of metrics on quality and engagement that they use every day to make improvements in the code.”

Customer/Partner: “That sounds great! I’ve got a question though – do you have a packaged version that I can operate on premises?”

The answer is – of course not.

When I tell customers/partners this, they are surprised. The reason for this is NOT that we don’t want their money (trust me that’s not it), or that we have some kind of policy or strategic reason that we don’t want to do it. The reason is that it’s technically infeasible. And doing so would mean we’d have to destroy many of the benefits that we’ve built for our customers in the first place.

The reason ultimately comes down to Read More »

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Succeeding in the Age of Digital Disruption & Complexity

This year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC), 3rd Platform technologies (i.e. cloud, analytics, mobility, social) have been responsible for one-third of all IT spending and account for virtually 100% of all IT spending growth.

As more enterprises engage in digitally collaborative partnerships, we’ll see more dollars being allocated to ensure companies can keep up with the diverse and ever-changing technology of the day. With greater collaboration comes greater complexity.

Think about it. Every time an enterprise adds a new service provider or the service provider adds new partners the dynamics of the support ecosystem changes. The ability to actively track provider performance for service level agreement (SLA) adherence and vendor management becomes more and more difficult. But, enterprises can’t be expected to manage this multiparty dance alone.

December 2015_photo

Service Providers Are Part of the Equation

That’s why today enterprises are looking at IT differently and rightfully so. In this age of 3rd Platform technologies, enterprises want and need their IT departments and service partners to operate seamlessly while supporting overall business goals. This requires an effective service integration and management (SIAM) system that, at a minimum does three things:

  • Remove silos. The infrastructures of today and tomorrow are interconnected. Therefore, it is vital for support processes to be holistic to achieve end-to-end visibility.
  • Automate. Given the speed (e.g., cloud provisioning, deprovisioning of compute power) and scale (212 billion devices connected by 2020, according to IDC’s latest Internet of Things research) of change, the SP has no choice but to automate processes to ensure service-level agreement (SLA) consistency at scale.
  • Facilitate decision making. Next-generation IT infrastructure should make it simpler for managers to make informed business decisions in real time.

According to an IDC technology spotlight report, Automated Service Management: Accelerating Enterprise Insight, Efficiency, and Action for Service Providers, there is opportunity for service providers to become strategic partners and trusted advisors to enterprises by leveraging these three pillars. Furthermore, research has found that service providers who are integrated with their customers enjoy loyalty ratings 25% higher than those that are not.1

Case in Point: ServiceGrid in Action

December 2015_photo3Swissgrid, a service provider of Switzerland’s energy company, was in search of a solution that would allow automated and accelerated service management processes. They wanted to integrate their internal service management, CRM systems, and service partners on one central platform to ensure efficient collaboration across the service chain.

The use of Cisco ServiceGrid enabled Swissgrid to automate processing of service requests, which improved the service quality and the efficiency of troubleshooting. But the benefits didn’t stop there. They were also able to:

  • Automate complex and manual provider relationships
  • Enable end- to-end SLA governance and automated reporting across the ecosystem
  • Drive faster incident resolution

“We recovered our investment within the first year and we will continue to benefit from Cisco ServiceGrid capabilities in our current ecosystem and will look to ways to expand,” said Hans Roth, Head of Service Management, Swissgrid.

Where could you see improved results in the integration of your support services? Let’s talk about it. You can reach out and learn more about ServiceGrid via email or by visiting our ServiceGrid website.

1Source: The Outsourcing Institute

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Cisco Collaboration Summit: Notes from Day 2

#csummit screenIt was a busy day in San Francisco. OK, it’s probably always a busy day in San Francisco. But the second day of Cisco Collaboration Summit was definitely a busy one. Consultants and analysts toured centers of innovation, partners dug deeper into the announcements from Tuesday, and customers grilled executives. All in all, there was plenty of activity.

Sessions started as early as 8 a.m. and carried through the day. The day’s events closed out for the evening with a reception in the Collaboration Experience Showcase, where attendees could get their hands on the products from Cisco and some of our collaboration partners. (Oh, and there was food. There’s always plenty of food at these things.)

Customer Forum
Where yesterday’s discussions in Customer Forum focused on some of the more lofty concepts around leadership and employee engagement, today’s topics got more into the technology. Discussions dug into the business challenges they’re hoping to solve and how they’re using collaboration technology now. There were sessions on connecting with remote employees, developing strategy with end customers, and securing the collaboration environment. Read More »

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SX10 and Spark: A Connection in the Cloud

Just a few weeks ago, I wrote about a Wainhouse review that evaluated the ease of use and deployment, and cost efficiency of the Cisco SX10 Quick Set for small group video meetings. I wouldn’t have thought when we introduced the SX10 a few years back that we would be able to do even more to reduce cost and simplify deployment, but we have. And we’ve done it with a connection in the cloud.

At our annual Collaboration Summit this week, we announced the new Cisco Spark Service, which will deliver messaging, meetings and call capabilities hosted in the Cisco Collaboration Cloud. As part of this development, the SX10 will be the first endpoint to be cloud-registered. It will also debut new intelligent software – the Spark Room OS software platform – to make the SX10 and other video endpoints even easier to install, use and maintain. Spark Room OS will be the operating system software for all video endpoints that connect to the Cisco Spark service in the cloud.

The SX10, together with Spark Service, will allow us to make another leap in bringing business class video to growing businesses by significantly lowering the threshold and cost of video adoption as well as improving the user experience. If you didn’t get a chance to see Rowan’s keynote at Collaboration Summit, I invite you to view it for an impressive demo of the SX10 registered to Spark.

Lowering threshold and cost of video adoption. Today, less than 7% of conference rooms are video enabled. This is because Read More »

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