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The eStore Vision Has Become a Reality! A Single Storefront for IT Services

Today’s blog post is by a guest author, Adel du Toit, who is currently spearheading the effort by Cisco’s internal IT organization to deliver IT-as-a-Service internally, dubbed the Cisco IT “eStore.” Recently, the eStore team took home multiple awards, you can read more about that here. (If you’re not familiar with the eStore, be sure to check out my other blog posts regarding the eStore here and here.)

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Over the last few months I had to take a few steps back and admire the passion and dedication of the team as our Vision is starting to become a reality.  For those less familiar with the Cisco IT eStore, have a look at the latest customer case study here. You can also check out the demo video below:

In the last few months the eStore team has delivered IT services, to any device, simply, while achieving broad adoption while showcasing Cisco as the #1 IT Company thanks to Cisco Prime Service Catalog, which is the underlying foundation for our end-user storefront interface.

Delivered IT services:

We have 2 ways of delivering IT services and apps.  In estore.cisco.com employees can find the IT services that one needs to order from a desktop or laptop computer. As for mobile devices, employees can go to eStore for Mobile to install the apps he or she needs to stay productive whilst on the go.

Today we have nearly 290 IT services and mobile apps that our users can choose from:

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To Any Device:

It is important to embrace BYOD and at Cisco we live this every day. It was important that the store we created could be used by any device.

Below is a breakdown of the device types that have accessed both eStore over the last 6 months.

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User experience is important to us and we wanted to make sure that the store provides a similar experience to what you would expect when shopping at Amazon or eBay, for example. 

In both our mobile and web interface we have the ability to surface the apps and services most needed by our end users:

desktop

The Cisco IT eStore (Desktop Version)

mobile  The Cisco IT eStore (on iOS mobile)

Adding spotlight content and recommendations is important to help with findability and user experience.  This was made possible by the latest release of Cisco Prime Service Catalog, which introduced a next-generation user interface and powers the storefront that the eStore is built on. Be sure to check out Phillipe’s post on the latest release here.

 

Achieving broad adoption…

One of the most recently added features in the internal Cisco IT eStore has been the addition of desktop software for employees to download. Going forward, we expect to see around 20k unique visitors a month ordering Desktop Software from eStore.  For the first time we will have a single, unified platform for both Mac and Windows users to install their software from.

In addition, during our Global Sales Conference (GSX) in Las Vegas in late August we had the requirements to support 18,000 Sales users downloading the recommended mobile apps during the event.  We had to be ready to surface the apps, but also support 18k users downloading the event app in a 15 minute period!

Lots of long hours and planning later, we made sure that all of this happened seamlessly, here are a few statistics from the event:

-       89% of the GSX attendees installed eStore for Mobile

-       During the event we had 5.4k average visits a day

-       81% of the attendees installed the GSX event app from the store

-       49% of the attendees also installed other apps in addition to downloading the event app

-       Very few support issues (less than 40 total!)

-       Our max CPU stayed below 12%

-       With an average load response time of 1.7 secs

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If we take a step back and also look at our overall adoption for Q4, FY14 the numbers look very healthy.  Nearly 50k requisitions in the 3 months period from May to July 2014.

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…While showcasing Cisco as the #1 IT Company

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The Cisco eStore team is no stranger to awards, and we continue to add our trophy cabinet with our latest award, the Gold Stevie Winner for Information Technology Team of the Year. For more information on the latest awards, be sure to check out this blog post detailing all of the awards we won this year at the International Business Awards.

Want to learn more? We have a webinar coming up on October 8th at 8 am PDT where we will discuss best practices for delivering Enterprise IT-as-a-Service, and delve deeper into the latest developments in both the Cisco IT eStore and Cisco Prime Service Catalog. You can register here.

Thanks for reading. For more info be sure to follow us on Twitter @CiscoIT to learn more about the Cisco IT eStore, and follow @CiscoUM for the latest info on Prime Service Catalog.

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Connect, Recognize, and Motivate: Cisco’s Global Sales Experience (GSX) 2012, Part Two

January 31, 2013 at 8:44 am PST

In my previous blog post I discussed the format of GSX (Cisco’s annual global sales meeting) and tactics deployed to listen to, engage with, and motivate the audience. In this blog post I am going to dive into new approaches we took to enable peer networking and team appreciation.

Enabling meaningful networking and recognition for attendees at any event is challenging, but in the hybrid format of GSX, this task is exponentially harder. This year, a number of new tactics were deployed to address these challenges.

Peer Networking
A new networking tool called ‘Make Connections’ was created exclusively for use at GSX. This tool was available on desktops and mobile devices. Using a variety of criteria such as market segment expertise, technology interests, job roles, and sales recognition status, attendees were able to control how they were found, as well as what they were looking for in a network connection. Once a match was made, attendees could add individuals to their personal network, chat with connections one-to-one, and make notes about the connection. After the event, attendees could download their network for reference and/or import it into a contact management tool such as Outlook. The response was very positive with a 6% increase in year over year “ease of networking” satisfaction score, and utilized by 57% of registered attendees during the event.

Team Recognition
Although we have a robust sales recognition program, every year we hear from the winners and the audience at large that they would like to find a way to recognize the contributions their teams made to their success. So this year we decided to tackle the request head on and deployed a digital engagement called ‘Team Appreciation’. Read More »

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Listen, Inspire and Celebrate: Cisco’s Global Sales Experience (GSX) 2012, Part One

November 5, 2012 at 8:49 am PST

One of the challenges of a globally distributed event such as GSX is tapping into audience emotion and engaging attendees regardless of how they are experiencing the event.

To level set, the GSX format is a unique hybrid experience.  Some of the key format challenges of the event are:

  • Distributed over four days with three waves (one wave per region)
  • In 88 locations and 400+ Cisco conference rooms
  • 75% of the audience attending via remote viewing locations (i.e. watching a projection of the live broadcast)
  • 20% of the audience attending virtually (i.e. via their desktop)
  • 5% of the audience in main broadcast locations (i.e. watching live speakers on stages in one of the four broadcast hubs)

As mentioned, every year we just scratch the surface on the possibilities of the GSX format, and each year we work to fine tune the experience. This year, a variety of tactics were deployed to tackle the opportunities our audience was looking for. They wanted peer networking, the ability to recognize team contributions, inspirational content, and insight into the larger, global audience conversation and activities.

In this post I will talk about the specific tactics deployed during GSX FY13 (calendar 2012) to listen to the audience and leverage the vast amounts of data coming in from the event to showcase real time what the audience was talking about and doing. Let’s dive into the examples… Read More »

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Events Redefined Part II: Cisco’s Global Sales Experience

October 21, 2011 at 9:13 am PST

In the last post I wrote about Cisco’s Global Sales Experience (GSX) I touched on how gamification tactics and the overhaul of the virtual recognition program were critical to the events success. As promised in that post I am going to dive deeper into these two areas to provide additional insight into why the tactics leveraged were so successful. Before I do I thought I would like to share this video featuring some industry experts on the importance of gamification tactics and why GSX is a great case study.

Several elements of GSX leveraged gamification principles to push the envelope on remote engagement. I am going to dive deeper into one of these areas the Architectures Mastery Program of the GSX virtual environment.

Before the event the team did a critical analysis of previous year’s results and engaged the sales force in surveys and focus groups to help us better understand what is working and what is not with the GSX program.

The Architectures Mastery Program was a result of this analysis. What we saw from metrics reporting was that the live architecture sessions attendance was low but the scores were high. What we learned from surveys and focus groups was that the sales force felt that previous architectures courses were too heavy on the ‘marketing’ message and didn’t provide enough insight into the competitive differentiation and the ROI for customers to adopt an architectures approach.

What was surprising was after we researched the training offerings enabled by the Cisco Learning Development and Solutions group it was clear that these types of trainings did exist but adoption had been low. So the opportunity we saw was to raise awareness of these existing training offerings and up-level the attendance of the live GSX architecture sessions. Hence the Architectures Mastery Program was born.

We created a set of criteria’s regarding the course publish date, target audience, global relevance, length and required attendees to pass an assessment for each course. The attendees had a choice of completing five courses from any of the architectures and attending one live architecture session of their choice. This enabled the audience to tailor the program to best meet their needs, i.e. specialists could focus on one architecture and generalists could pick and choose from amongst the architectures. The content was then packaged in a micro-site that clearly outlined the requirements and the attendee progress towards completion. A badge was created that had six individual components and as a requirement step was completed one of the components would change from black and white to full color. Once the entire program was completed the badge was full color and a “higher learning’ achievement was unlocked.

Post event the attendees who completed the program were placed in a drawing for a prize and an email was sent to them, with their manager copied, notifying them they had achieved architectures mastery with a downloadable version of the badge for their internal profiles and email signatures.

The metrics speak for themselves with over 3k learning modules completed and 2% of the audience achieving architectures mastery during the event.

Virtual recognition is tough , especially when being stacked up against a former in person experience were you got to walk across a BIG stage and shake John Chambers hand. However it is not impossible and can actually enable vehicles to recognize contributions at deeper levels since it is not as time and place constrained as in person recognition.

This year GSX was able to ‘crack the code’ on virtual recognition. Read More »

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Events, Redefined

September 12, 2011 at 1:45 pm PST

Cisco’s Global Sales Experience (GSX) just wrapped up and proved to be ground breaking yet again. The idea of a multi-location distributed hybrid event is daunting especially when it covers 90+ global locations in over 400+ conference rooms with 24X7 broadcasting for three days straight. When the audience represents a blend of in person attendees with virtual attendees creating a stimulating and motivating event experience is a challenge.

In the past GSX has risen to the challenge and this year was no exception. This year GSX leveraged rich content driven digital engagements including GSX TV (an on-demand cable network style of short format programming),  Cloud Story (a video rich engagement highlighting the opportunity Cloud represents), A Matter of Time (a role playing game focused on Cisco’s top priorities) and an Architectures Mastery Program (a gathering of the cream of the crop eLearning courses married with live event technical breakouts) and once again demonstrated that when you align your experience with the fundamental goals of your event and listen to your audience you can truly break new ground and disrupt the notion of what the word ‘event’ means.

Of course GSX would not be possible without the depth and breadth of Cisco solutions available to execute it. GSX deploys a vast array of Cisco solutions to create the event experience for example Cisco’s Enterprise Content Delivery System, Digital Media Signage, and TelePresence. Check out the video below to learn more.

Another new element that proved very successful was the Achievements area of the GSX virtual environment. Read More »

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