Today is CX Day. How does Cisco CX fuel success for our customers, especially during a pandemic? We asked Tony Colon, SVP of CX Engineering & Product Incubation, about Cisco’s accelerated digital transformation and new ways of meeting customer needs and innovating in today’s world:
What does CX mean to you?
The Customer Experience (CX) team is a driving force, and the growth engine, in the transformation of Cisco. We’re already seeing success in enabling predictable, recurring revenue through a focus on customer adoption throughout the lifecycle. The engineering and product incubation team I lead is partnering with all of Cisco’s engineering groups to accelerate Cloud and As-a-Service models and ensure a great customer experience is embedded into all our products going forward. In addition, the CX teams specializes in listening. We serve as a “feedback loop,” gathering and integrating customer sentiment across the supply chain, marketing, product development and other areas to learn how we can do better in the eyes of our customers and partners.
How has CX stepped up to help customers during the last seven months, given the pandemic?
The last seven months have been a challenge for all of us, in how we live and how we work. In a way, the pandemic has propelled society’s move to a digital world we all knew we ultimately needed to get to. We have a wealth of skills and solutions to support our customers that help them accelerate digital transformation, support their workforce in working remotely, and build business resiliency.
The pandemic has changed our mentality as a company and as an organization. We now place a higher priority on the interoperability of our products, starting from that connection from a location, to the human, to the digital, and how it all works together. We had to go through this ourselves, and we are in a unique position to share what we’ve learned with our customers. This has included sharing best practices and selling solutions that improve communications and collaboration for team and product development, for live events, for education and telehealth, IT support and so on. We’re also seeing intense focus on security, data privacy and performance of the network infrastructure.
Moving to a digital world, we are also looking at how we can deliver an “office experience” to a home environment, something I call “office in a box.” Pre-pandemic, our focus was on keeping a campus network secure, where you’d have essentially one location with a thousand users. Today, you have a thousand locations within a campus, due to remote working. How to keep the network and data private and secure are huge priorities.
What’s the first thing you will do when pandemic travel restrictions life?
I will get on a plane and go see my team for an in-person Town Hall, complete with a celebration including Indian and Latin foods. I really want a cultural explosion, with food, music and dance with my team. I can’t wait for that day!
What lessons can you share from the last seven months, working remote in a pandemic?
On the personal front, make sure to take care of your health. My prior lifestyle—flying 400,000 miles in a year, eating airline food, sitting for hours at a time, avoiding the gym—was not adding to my personal resiliency. I’ve renewed my love of boxing. I take meetings while walking. I’m looking at all my meeting requests and being deliberate about where I need to spend my time.
I’ve learned to carve out time in my calendar for mental health as well. This includes disconnecting my phone and my laptop, and building in breaks to re-energize. In addition, I encourage everyone to make sure you take time off. We all need downtime and space to relax, reflect and refocus. I’m a better employee, and a better person in general, when I’m at my best and healthy.
On the business front, the most important lesson is going above and beyond for customers. The customer and partner are front and center of all things we do as a CX organization. The focus on the customer was never so prominent as it is now, navigating unprecedented times together. Asking “how can we help you?” not only helps us drive to the outcomes customers want, but it lets them know we are in it with them, together as an integral party. That is truly what CX means to me.
Tell us below, how will you celebrate CX Day?