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The We’re Listening Blog Series: Upgraded Partner Tools Make it Easier to Deliver to Your Customers

Cisco Partners are the backbone of a global, scalable and consistently excellent Cisco customer experience. And, just as we work to make improvements that will ensure our customers are always delighted with their Cisco experience, we also pay special attention to the unique Partner experience. This ensures we are best enabling you to deliver the right solutions to solve our customers’ most complex business challenges. 

We’ve heard you say that our online tools are too complex and too disconnected. You’ve told us you want a seamless online experience that helps you do your job faster and better, without frustrating and potentially costly delays.  To that end, our Partner team is rolling out tool improvements, taking into account your specific feedback and distinct needs.  I’ve invited Jennifer Petty, Director of Cisco’s Partner Experience Transformation team to give an update and explain some of the improvements.

jpetty By Guest Author Jennifer Petty

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Using Cisco’s Partner tools can put your multi-tasking skills to the test. For example, there’s an online tool to register for a program, another to check sales figures and yet another to get quotes. We know this is not an ideal experience and we want to simplify this for you in every way possible. A redesign is underway to streamline the user experience with all our Partner tools. It will take some time to complete, but we have a few early changes to share with you. Read More »

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The We’re Listening Blog Series: It’s Easier than Ever to Select SW Images on Cisco.com

We’ve heard you say that choosing the right software releases on Cisco.com is too complex. It’s too difficult to narrow down your options and know whether you’re really getting the software that meets your needs.

Now imagine that you have a “configuration cheat sheet” for all Cisco software updates that tells you exactly which release will best suit your memory, reliability and system resource needs. Would that simplify your experience?

This is exactly how the SW Research Tool on Cisco.com works. Using the tool, you enter your requirements for hardware and software features, and access and download the right Cisco software that meets your needs immediately, all in one place, with a few simple clicks.

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The tool has been live on Cisco.com since September 2013. Today, you can access release suggestions for 47 product groups (including high-end routers and switches and our newer products) via the SW Research Tool. The same suggestions are also available from the SW Download site, so you can continue to use the download venue of your choice. The current statistics show that 65 percent of all downloads via Cisco.com are for Cisco “Suggested” software versions. Our back-end metrics show both an increasing adoption rate and an improved quality experience for those versions.

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Here’s what people are saying about their recent experiences…

“I often get software version recommendation questions from customers. This tool cut down the time this task took tremendously. The feedback has been very positive.” – Cisco Systems Engineering Manager, Americas

“Early adopter reviews help us a lot before we push out new code.” – Cisco Partner

“After reviewing the Software Research application I’m very impressed with the features offered.  No doubt that when the product list grows more complete we’ll be using the tool regularly.” – Cisco Customer

Watch a brief video on the SW Research Tool for more information, or read our quick tips guide.

Have you used the SW Research Tool? Tell us what you think, and help us fine-tune the process for an even better experience doing business with Cisco.

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Nothing to See Here: A Look at Recent “Invisible Changes” to the Cisco Support Site

In the past few years, we’ve seen customer satisfaction with the Cisco Technical Support site experience steadily increase, yet we also hear customers and partners say that they don’t notice many differences in the site itself. Is that a happy coincidence? As users, are we just more likely to notice what’s broken, and not what’s improved? Bill Skeet, Manager, User-Centered Design for Cisco.com, has a better explanation. I’ve invited him to the blog to share his forward-thinking strategy for improving the support website, and to highlight some of the real differences that you may not have noticed. 

bskeetBy Guest Author Bill Skeet

As we manage the Cisco Technical Support site, we make it a priority to make things easy so you don’t waste your time. That means we are constantly changing the site and launching improvements that will help you find what you’re looking for so you can complete tasks as quickly and easily as possible.

For instance, we’ve improved site search, added new sections and pages, streamlined tools, and tweaked link labels and terminology to be more understandable.

What? You didn’t notice?

Well, that’s not a surprise. We’re always talking to our customers and partners, and we know that many users have not noticed changes.

Here’s an example – at our annual Cisco Live! conference, we often recruit attendees to participate in usability tests. We hear numerous comments from these customers about aspects of the site that they had not noticed or seen before, even though that feature may have been released months previously. Our web logs, however, show that the changes have already been used and adopted by users. Read More »

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The We’re Listening Blog Series: Simpler Licensing Registration Experience with Redesigned Portal

Brian Jeffries is a vice president of operations on Cisco’s Global Business Services team.  Working collectively with his colleagues across Cisco, he is responsible for increasing the speed and scale of end-to-end operational performance, driving efficiency and effectiveness, and simplifying the operational experience for our customers, partners, and sales field.  His key areas of focus include software simplification, customer relationship management, pricing optimization, and business architecture and policy.  Part of the software simplification effort is redesigning the Software Licensing Portal, an important step that will have a positive impact on our customers’ and partners’ ability to easily view and manage their licenses today.

I’ve asked Brian to join us to share details on the redesign, and to field any questions about the Registration Portal, or about Cisco’s larger transformation of the licensing experience. Be sure to submit any questions to the team via the Licensing Registration Portal forum on the Cisco Support Community.

Brian Jeffries, VP, Operations By Guest Author Brian Jeffries

While we’re making continual improvements to the software licensing experience with Cisco, we know that our customers still feel plenty of pain throughout the licensing processes.  We’ve made it a top priority  – and a long-term commitment – to simplify this experience and better help our customers manage their licensing. Read More »

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The We’re Listening Blog Series: Sharing Customer Experience Best Practices at the Walker B-to-B Customer Experience Summit

This month, I’m excited to welcome a very special guest author to the We’re Listening blog series. Joe Pinto is Senior Vice President of Cisco’s Technical Services group, with responsibility for a wide array of programs that support customer experience excellence at Cisco, including technical assistance, onsite and spare part logistics, certifications including CCIE, and technical support resources. Throughout his nearly 24 years at Cisco, Joe has championed the customer experience in all aspects of Cisco’s business. He also initiated and continues to sponsor an Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) program within Cisco, with a cross-functional group that is dedicated to improving the end-to-end customer and partner experience.

Joe recently gave a great keynote address at the Walker B-to-B Customer Experience Summit that talked about how companies can improve EoDB for their customers and partners – I’ve asked him to share some of those thoughts here, as well as his overall takeaways from the conference. Read on, and don’t forget to comment with your thoughts and questions for Joe.

jpinto By Guest Contributor Joe Pinto

Last month, I delivered the keynote at the Walker B-to-B Customer Experience Summit. At the event, Walker announced the findings from their latest case study The Value of Making it Easy. Given this focus, it was a great opportunity to share Cisco’s approach to improving Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) in the customer and partner experience.   Read More »

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