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How We’re Making It Easier to Do Business With Cisco

The We’re Listening blog series has tracked some of the new programs and capabilities Cisco is introducing to make it easier to do business with us. The corporate Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Program drives many of these improvements, so I’ve invited EoDB executive lead (and Cisco EVP of Operations) Randy Pond to discuss some of the accomplishments and upcoming plans that will make it easier for our customers and partners to do business with Cisco.  Among those are:

  • Improvements to software licensing, including big changes to the product license registration page that allow customers to complete more self-service licensing transactions, and the roll out of the new Cisco Software Central portal, a one-stop shop for all your software licensing needs
  • Creating a more consistent negotiation and deal approval process globally
  • A renewed focus on our partners’ experience
  • Stronger focus on the role of User Experience design and philosophy in every Cisco product, policy, and process.

pond_crop By Guest Contributor Randy Pond

We’ve made it no secret that Cisco aims to become the #1 IT company. And while our development teams are hard at work to bring you exciting new technological offerings in software, cloud and security, there’s another critical piece of the equation – delivering an exceptional customer experience. This is a huge priority for John Chambers and the entire leadership team, and it boils down to consistency and simplicity. Over and over again, I’ve heard customers say that doing business with Cisco can be a mind-warp of changing policies, too many steps and new obstacles to deal with. This has to change. Today, we have teams across every function at Cisco concentrated on finding and making the changes that will have the biggest impact on your customer experience. Read More »

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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.

Read More »

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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.

Read More »

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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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