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Kudos for Cisco.com’s Support “Mega Menu”

June 8, 2011 at 4:55 pm PST

As you’ll remember from Bill Skeet’s post the other day, we recently rolled out a new menu for Support that focuses on the top tasks our customers do on Cisco.com.  This menu is available on virtually every page — it’s that little window that appears when you hover your cursor over the “Support” menu link.

new support MegaMenu

Well, web analysts SiteIQ have been watching, and have some very nice things to say in their new blog post about the Support Mega Menu.

My favorite quote in the article hints nicely at the balance we try to achieve on Cisco.com:

“Support is a different animal than marketing. It is truly task-based. More access is key—the quicker the better. That requires functionality, scannability, and a nod towards popularity. This is where Cisco.com gets it—and the gold.”

Congrats to the Support web team for this very nice (and on target) review.

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The Myth of Basic Warranty: Myth # 5 of the Good-Enough Network

In this week’s installation of the Myths of the Good-Enough Network series, Mike Rau explores misconceptions that surround the basic warranty.

Mike points out that all service contracts and warranties are not created equal, especially when it comes to networking. As a rule of thumb, you get what you pay for. Unfortunately, you never realize how good a service contract is until you need it.  His recommendation:  Be prepared and look at the fine print.

Here’s a quick recap of the article.

Basic Questions Only: With “good-enough” vendors such as HP, a warranty service call is limited to answering only the most basic questions. More often than not, they will ask questions along the lines of, “Have you tried rebooting your switch?” If that doesn’t work, the vendor simply ships a replacement.

No Troubleshooting: The majority of warranties do not include troubleshooting at all. Yet network and configuration issues account for 70% of support center calls where service is often provided on a first-come first-served basis, with no effort to prioritize calls.

TCO Calculations: If a company makes that narrow calculation of upfront discounts on products and maintenance, they are not looking at the total operating environment that they’re actually creating and overall TCO.

Impact of Downtime: Companies lose an average of 3.6% of revenue per year to downtime, according to an Infonetics Research report “The Costs of Enterprise Downtime.” Unplanned downtime also damages the reputation of the business, a significant cost even if it is difficult to quantify.

Smart Services to the Rescue: To provide customers proactively identify and address network problems Cisco has invested aggressively in smart services capabilities.  These software-enabled technical and professional services proactively seek out, diagnose, and remediate issues before they even become problems. This can dramatically improve the uptime of networks as well as the user experience.

Sound interesting?  Read the full article on Silicon Angle:  Myths #5 of the Good-Enough Network:  ”Basic Warranty” Myth


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Enhancements to My Cisco Workspace

March 11, 2011 at 11:31 am PST

You probably already know about My Cisco Workspace, which is an area of Cisco.com that’s full of useful support and partner tools.  The My Cisco Workspace is designed as a personalized  venue for our Partners and Customers — a single stop to access applications/modules that enables a holistic, personalized, “One Cisco” view of support applications and online resources to manage their ongoing business with Cisco. The Workspace is especially popular with Partners who can access their deals and quotes, find events and check Partner news. The button link to the My Cisco Workspace is found in the upper right links at the top of most every page.

We’re constantly looking to improve and simplify the My Cisco Workspace experience for our users, and we’ve recently released some enhancements:

More Flexibility: We’ve added new features that allow you to configure your workspace with modules in two columns.

Easier to Find Modules: Within the My Cisco Catalog, you can get a filtered view of available modules based on your role. We also alert you of new modules added within the catalog.

Help for Partners: And we’ve added a new module just for our Partners, “Help for Partners.” This module includes Online Chat and Contact Center Support. The “Help for Partners” module is also available from the Partner Central pages and the Small Medium Business pages.

We would love to hear your comments and suggestions on improvements to the capabilities available through My Cisco.

- Laura Melchionne,  Cisco.com team.

P.S. If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you also know that soon we’re removing the toolbar at the bottom of the page, and moving all functions there to the top, including the My Cisco pulldown/popup menu.  Later in April, that My Cisco popup menu will be available right next to the My Cisco Workspace button link that takes you to the workspace.

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Wiki Helps Macintosh Users with Self-Support, Reduces Costs for Cisco

Like many IT organizations, Cisco IT provides help-desk support only for Microsoft Windows-based PCs. Yet many Cisco employees choose to use a Mac, even if it means they are on their own for resolving problems, obtaining repairs, installing software upgrades, and similar support tasks. By the end of fiscal year 2009, Cisco had over 8,000 Mac users, and by fiscal 2010, over 12,000.

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Supportive Support for Small Business, too

February 17, 2011 at 6:45 am PST

Yesterday, Bill Skeet posted an update on a list of improvements we’ve made to the main support experience on Cisco.com. In a related effort, we’ve also been working on some simple but important updates specifically for small business, and have just re-launched a Small Business Support and Resources page at cisco.com/go/smallbizhelp. Some features of this new page:

  • Highlights the Small Business Online Chat Support option
  • Phone support hyperlinks direct customers and partners to appropriate Support Center based on product
  • Community support hyperlinks direct customers and partners to appropriate Support Community based on product
  • Provides customers and partners with advice to expedite their support calls
  • Calls out ‘how to purchase options’ for customers and unregistered partners
  • Provides links to Open Source information
  • Go URL shortcut (cisco.com/go/smallbizhelp) – easy for customers and partners to remember and easy to include in docs and correspondence
  • Fast search ‘recommended content’ already in place for this page

Let us know how you like these updates, and enjoy!

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