Like many IT organizations, Cisco’s internal IT department is deploying Big Data solutions to mine the ever-increasing data in-flow from a wide range of sources – and thus gain competitive advantage and insights.
The typical environment includes an ecosystem of different tools and data sources that looks something like this (image courtesy of @TorstenVolk):
Source: EMA Research
Cisco IT realized that as the demand for analysis of this data increased, the demands on their infrastructure and Day 2 operations management would likely grow exponentially. So they knew that they needed an enterprise-grade workload automation solution that could manage processes involving Hadoop, MapR, Cloudera, Informatica, Teradata, SAP HANA, BusinessObjects, Tableau as well as other analytics applications, data feeds and repositories.
The Cisco IT University Program recruits college students from all over the world into Cisco IT for internship and full time opportunities. With a myriad of employers for college students to choose from, Cisco IT identified the need to innovate and explore new ways to become the employer of choice for the best and brightest of the millennial generation. This generation is leading the social media explosion today and is always connected. According to the Society of New Communications Research, 93% of people active online fully expect companies to be present in social media spaces and be willing to have a conversation with them. Therefore, the IT University Program decided to adapt to the communication preferences of this generation and enter the world of social media with full force delivering the Cisco IT experience right to their smart phones.
What does the millennial generation seek in a potential employer?
The ability to work on innovative projects that make an impact
A start up environment that is fast paced, fun and exciting
The opportunity to change the world
This is exactly what Cisco IT has to offer! However, college students today maintain the outdated brand perception of Cisco being the godfather of routing and switching. They are oblivious to the cutting-edge initiatives going on within Cisco IT that are changing the way we work, live, play and learn more than ever before. The natural expertise of millennials must be leveraged for Cisco IT’s game changing initiatives such as the Internet of Everything, BYOD,user experience, collaboration and mobility.
So, what does the IT University Program want to accomplish through the use of social media?
Create increased brand awareness among college students of the endless opportunities available in Cisco IT
Generate online buzz and excitement by showcasing the fun company culture
How does the IT University Program’s social media strategy meet and exceed these goals?
According to Ypulse, 62% of Millennials use Facebook and 22% use Twitter to keep up with a brand or company they like. Based on this research, the IT University Program built a robust online presence using their existing Facebook page with Twitter as a secondary communication platform. When the social media strategy was kicked off, the Cisco IT University Program Facebook page had only 200 likes with a sense of hesitance and uncertainty around the possibility of its success. Within a few short months, the Facebook page has over 1000 likes and the IT University Program has created an incredible amount of excitement internally and externally. The IT University Program’s online audience includes the company’s CIO, IT Executives, Managers, New Graduates and Interns, and even the parents of New Graduates and Interns.
Information distributed through the IT University Program’s social media channels is catered towards each one of these audiences. The IT University Program has engaged its audience and met its intended goals in the following ways:
Held live Q&A sessions prior to onboarding week for incoming new hires and new graduates to ask questions through Facebook and Twitter
Real time coverage of onboarding week in all four locations: RTP, SJ, UK, and India.
Videos of IT Leadership focusing on why new graduates & interns should choose to work for Cisco
Overall, implementing an extensive social media strategy to reach the millennial generation has been a big win for the IT University Program. Not only did it create buzz and excitement around Cisco IT externally but also earned the support and encouragement of executives within the organization. This is how the IT University Program is striving towards Cisco’s vision of becoming the #1 IT Company by innovating and finding new ways to recruit top talent into Cisco IT.
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