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Some Nice Improvements to Cisco.com Search

July 18, 2013 at 10:26 am PST

We’ve made some important updates to the search experience on Cisco.com:

  • For some top product searches, we delivering a “product information box” of the most important information in one place.
  • We’ve done some significant redesign of the user front-end to improve the user experience
  • Searches using Product IDs
  • Significant work to greatly reduce the number of zero search instances you might encounter
  • Better search results on country sites, with inclusion of supplemental US results where appropriate
  • Faster: Improved performance

Try these searches to see examples:

ASA5510-K8 or 5510  (for Cisco ASA 5510 Next Generation Firewalls)
TelePresence  (for Cisco TelePresence)

See if you can identify some of the new features.

New version:

After_HW-Model_2911-ISR-cropped

Previous version:

Before_HW-Model_2911-ISR-cropped

Enjoy!

 

 

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Introducing the Cisco IT eStore and a Service Catalog for BYOD

June 25, 2013 at 8:30 am PST

Cisco IT has always encouraged employees to use the tools that help them work most efficiently from anywhere on any device.

As the range of IT services we offered has increased, we noticed that the process of acquiring the various tools became complex and confusing. We had a number of different internal sites (aka “stores”) within Cisco, each offering different systems for employees to request services.  This complexity impacted the user experience and productivity of these employees.

In order to simplify the employee experience with Cisco IT, we made the decision to consolidate all these different systems into a single online service catalog – effectively a unified e-commerce storefront for our IT services – where our employees could find services they needed to do their jobs.

We thus created Cisco IT’s “eStore”.

Our goal was to improve employee satisfaction, decrease support costs, and increase employee productivity. We had to find a way to increase adoption and transparency of our existing IT services.

Cisco IT knew that a platform to consolidate these services into one unified service request system could be built on top of Cisco Prime Service Catalog, our own end-user portal and service catalog solution. This solution provides enterprise IT management capabilities that enable entitlement, approvals, service taxonomy control, and even chargeback.

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Introducing Cisco Prime Service Catalog – Focusing on User Experience

When was the last time you turned on your new gadget, opened an app, or logged onto a website and found that you needed to attend a training course before you could use it effectively?

At times, we in the IT industry fall into the trap that we need the most advanced technical capabilities.  After all, this is the great force that has produced numerous inventions and has made our lives better.  However, when we focus too much on technical details rather than meeting our users’ needs, we fail to deliver not only for our customers but also for our business.

The IT team at a major global manufacturer recently told me about their company’s major investment in user experience design, because it is important for their brand image and business success.  They are applying user-centered design not only to the products they make, but also to the IT systems they implement in-house.  Even the U.S. government has a usability and user-centered design practice under http://www.usability.gov/basics/ucd/.

This year, our software development team embarked on a user experience update for our IT service catalog software by applying the user-centered design principle.  We are showcasing this new user interface and introducing a new product name for the software – Cisco Prime Service Catalog – at Cisco Live Orlando this week.

Here is a preview of the next-generation user interface for Cisco Prime Service Catalog:

Cisco Prime Service Catalog

This new user experience highlights the services that end users may be interested in, with lists like “Most Popular Services”.  If a user has a certain model of IP Phone, the service catalog may feature associated items such as a compatible headset.   This familiar ecommerce experience is still governed by the service catalog’s entitlement and approval process, so the service owner has full control over service consumption.   User experiences like this will help transform employees’ impression of their IT department.  Service providers will also find that they can configure this new user interface to portray the brand image and customer experience they want to project.

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Cisco.com is a Top Global Enterprise Site

June 4, 2013 at 10:23 pm PST

Cisco.com has been featured by industry research firm ByteLevel Research as “Best Global Enterprise Technology Website” in their latest ‘Global By Design” installment focusing on globalization web practices in tech B2B.

ByteLevel Research is the author of the annual Globalization Digital Scorecard, where Cisco.com was ranked #4 worldwide in 2013 among such peers as Adobe, GE, HP, Microsoft, Intel, EMC, etc. Cisco has consistently ranked in the top 5 since 2007. The scorecard also takes an in-depth look at best practices and trends in digital globalization within specific industries: Web services and eCommerce; Enterprise Technology; Consumer Technology; Travel Services; Automotive, etc. Cisco is featured as leader of the Enterprise Technology category where it gets top marks from the analyst among the following companies:

  • Autodesk
  • Cisco Systems
  • Dolby
  • EMC
  • IBM
  • Intel
  • NetApp
  • Oracle
  • Renesas
  • SAP
  • Texas Instruments
  • Xerox

The analyst praises in particular the number of languages supported (40, not including English) ahead of many other sites; and the high-level of consistency of presentation across these local implementations, while being “flexible enough to support local content and promotions.” The analyst also notes that “Cisco leads the sector in its support for locally relevant social networks”, showing as an example social media aggregation pages on cisco.com in the US and Korea.

Cisco Social in Korean

Kudos to the fantastic work done by our fabulous virtual team across organizational lines and geographies, who pretty much never sleep and yet somehow manage to look bright eyed and bushy tailed night or day when I see them.

You can read the full ByteLevel Research article online.

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From the Front Lines: How IT Is Taking Advantage of the Cloud Today

The cloud is here and here to stay. No one expects a wholesale move to the cloud overnight, but I’ve been hearing recently from numerous customers whose journeys are well underway, and some common themes are emerging as businesses explore various deployment models. Business agility, flexibility and balance sheet liquidity will drive cloud adoption, and, as the popularity of hybrid models increases, users will demand a seamless end-user experience between the cloud and on-premise systems.

A few weeks ago, I included these themes in my predictions about the future of cloud collaboration. This week I had the chance to speak with two Cisco customers about why issues such as flexibility, cost savings and user experience drove them to deploy cloud collaboration technologies and other cloud solutions. Sheila Jordan, senior vice president, communication and collaboration IT, co-hosted the discussion with me and offered her insights from an IT perspective. She also recapped the discussion, sharing some specific tips for how IT managers can best take advantage of the cloud.

John Jackson, vice president of global infrastructure and vendor management for D+M Group, said that he can relate easily to the prediction about business agility, flexibility and cost when thinking back to his company’s decision to move to the cloud. D+M Group employs people in several different operating divisions around the world and grew through a series of acquisitions, leaving the company to globalize shared-services IT team that did not previously exist. Read More »

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