I’m thoroughly enjoying the NBA playoffs again this year, in large part because my favorite team is once again in contention for the championship (go Golden State Warriors!).

I’ve watched most of their games this season and relish the entertainment the team provides. After many hours of viewership, it’s no surprise that I’ve internalized this season’s marketing tagline: the very clever, “A Great Time Out!”

I find this tagline clever because this single phrase effectively communicates multiple messages with just a few high-impact words.

For instance:

  1. The purist basketball definition of “time out,” as in a stoppage in play, nicely associates the tagline with the subject matter at the surface level.
  2. Further unpacking reveals a location-oriented message emphasizing the word “out,” as in going “out on the town.” This second meaning subliminally differentiates the greater value of buying an expensive ticket to attend the live game relative to watching from home.
  3. And more introspection reveals a third, aspirational message that emphasizes the “great time” one will have by attending a game.

The multiple messages of the Warriors’ tagline came to life for me at the Cisco Data Virtualization Customer Advisory Program regional workshops we held in Washington D.C., New York City and Boston during the last week of April*.  But before I explain how, let me first set the stage with a general definition of this program and these meetings.

Cisco Data Virtualization Customer Advisory Program at a Glance 

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | August 19, 2015

Customer success matters! Since our initial Customer Advisory meeting in New York City 12 years ago, advancing Cisco Data Virtualization products & services offerings, and our customers’ successful deployment of them, has been the mission of this program. Today, this mission continues to guide our greatly expanded program.

Alongside Cisco Data Virtualization Product Management, R&D, Advanced Services, and Support staff, Cisco Data Virtualization customers and partners participate in this exclusive community via a variety of online and face-to-face activities. This 360° x 365-day approach to engagement delivers the shared insights and resources critical to mutual success.

Regional Workshops

As part of the program, we host 12-15 Regional Customer Workshops per year. These half-day events are typically held at a Cisco office, offering customers a place to meet face-to-face to share plans, insights, use cases, and more. Bookending the formal meeting is lunch to open the day, and cocktails to close.

Why “A Great Time Out”

San Jose, California, U.S.A. | April 7, 2015

From the “stoppage of play” point of view, these meetings allow our customers to call a time out on all their other responsibilities so they can invest precious hours on how to optimize their Cisco Information Server implementations.

Supporting this goal, agenda topics for our latest East Coast road trip included:


  • A deep dive into strategies and options for row- and column-based security, as well as column masking.
  • Best practices around LDAP and Kerberos.
  • Next generation UI requirements and roadmap timeframes for upcoming releases.
  • A preview of the new www.dvknowledge.com.
  • Ad hoc discussions on these and myriad other topics that arose.

Having some time out of the office was a great way to meet other customers and Cisco staff, share experiences, and, see the wide world of data virtualization from a broader, more external perspective.

And these meetings truly were a great time. Where else can you spend quality time and build personal relationships with data virtualization’s vanguard of industry leaders, including recent Washington, New York, and Boston participants Allegis, Carfax, E-Trade, Fidelity, JPMC, Morgan Stanley, State Street, The Hartford, and World Bank to name a few?

Houston, Texas, U.S.A. | May 6, 2015

How You Can Have a Great Time Out

As a Cisco Information Server customer, you can participate in regional workshops, as well as all the other activities associated with the Cisco Data Virtualization Customer Advisory Program.

Learn more about the program, including how to sign up today.


*Unfortunately, we did not capture pictures at our latest meetings, but we hope you enjoy the Toronto, San Jose, and Houston shots from the last few years.


Bob Eve

No Longer with Cisco