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Cisco Intersight: AI-Driven Proactive Support


October 16, 2018 - 1 Comment

The Cisco Customer Experience organization works closely with the Intersight engineering team to ensure customers have seamless access to Cisco’s unparalleled device knowledge.  This allows Cisco Intersight to deliver a wide range of enhanced customer support benefits, especially around systems maintenance and support.

Guest Blogger: Howard Moorin, Product Manager, Cisco Customer Experience

This blog is the latest in a series of blogs describing the Cisco Intersight strategy for delivering enhanced customer benefits through AI Ops. In the previous blogs in this series, we presented the Intersight strategy for AI-driven proactive maintenance and user experience. In this blog we will describe how artificial intelligence (AI), analytics, and machine learning (ML) enable proactive support with Cisco Intersight

Cisco AI Enhances Customer Support

The goal of the Cisco Customer Experience (CX) product management organization is to enhance the customer experience of Cisco’s products worldwide. We started on an initiative over two years ago to digitize the Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) knowledge base. (You can learn more about the TAC vision and strategy here.) This “data lake”, which we refer to internally as BORG, includes automated issue detection scripts we developed by analyzing millions of Service Requests, combined with AI, ML, and analytics. BORG serves as an automatic problem detection, alerting and reporting engine that provides users with diagnostic information and Cisco best practices developed by thousands of our expert Customer Service Engineers.

As James Mobley, vice president of Cisco Customer Experience product management, explained in a recent article,

…the rise of machine learning algorithms is transforming the nature of how IT services and support are delivered. Instead of being based around a specific event or incident, services and support is now increasingly being provided as part of a continuous approach to lifecycle management…

Leveraging the Intersight-TAC Integration

My role as a CX product manager is to define the requirements and work with the engineering teams to achieve our goals of enhancing the customer support experience. We have been working closely with the Intersight development team for over 18 months to develop a holistic means of enhancing the customer support experience. The initial results of our efforts is the integration of Intersight with TAC and the supporting BORG AI/ML engine.

This integration provides new capabilities that allow us to provide a more proactive experience and faster time to problem resolution. The enhanced capabilities are available now on both the free Intersight Base edition and the licensed edition, Intersight Essentials. We developed this video to provide an overview of some of the current and planned functionality from Cisco’s Digital Intelligence capabilities enabled by the Intersight-TAC integration.

How It Works

When an issues occurs on a connected Cisco UCS or HyperFlex device, a case is opened automatically, if the customer has Smart CallHome. (A case is created manually if the customer does not have Smart CallHome.)  Diagnostic data related to the case is automatically generated from Intersight. The diagnostic data is analyzed using BORG to identify any known issues and possible fixes. This significantly speeds the time to problem isolation and resolution.

This all sounds good, but I wanted to provide a recent real world example to demonstrate how the integration of Intersight with Cisco TAC improves the ability to respond to actual incidents. In this example, there was a DIMM failure. A case was opened, and the diagnostic data was uploaded from Intersight, and analyzed within 11 minutes of the case being opened. The TAC support person reviewed the case, and a RMA was generated within two hours. The DIMM was replaced in just over seven hours, and the case was closed.  In the past, this process would typically have taken a couple of days; now it can be resolved in a matter of hours.

Cisco IT currently has thousands of Cisco UCS servers and HyperFlex systems connected to Intersight. They have also seen significant time savings from the ability to have tech support files directly downloaded by a TAC engineer.

Just Beginning to Enhance Support with AI Ops

This is an example of the initial benefits we can deliver through the power of AI Ops in Intersight. Our roadmap has additional use cases, including the ability to detect and remediate potential issues before they cause device/network disruption. We will work with the Intersight development team to implement updates to continually enhance our customer support experience.  Stay tuned for additional announcements as these innovations are deployed.

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1 Comments

  1. Awesone use of data and machine learning to improve response times and customer experience!!