Our customers are the heart and soul of everything we do at Cisco and each one of them has an interesting story to tell! Our Q&A series allows us to shine a spotlight on some of our most passionate customer advocates as we learn more about their stories and backgrounds.
Cisco’s advocacy community brings our customers together and provides a way for them to make powerful connections, expand their professional and personal networks, and learn from top experts in their field. One of our goals with our advocacy community is to deepen our relationships with our customers and today, we have one of the friendliest faces in the community joining us for a chat. I’m excited to welcome Amit Gumber from HCL Technologies Ltd.
Welcome, Amit! Let’s kick things off by talking about what you wanted to be when you were 16 years old?
At 16, I was hoping to become a computer operator! This motivated me to start getting familiar with software and programming languages including dbase, C++ and MS office—all from NIIT, a reputable computer training institute. This was a 12-month course where I joined classes on weekends. A year into it, I realized what I had learned had become outdated as new software began to roll out into the market. Keeping up with these fast changes was challenging, and it pushed me to explore other areas in IT, namely engineering. I then went on to become a certified systems engineer.
It’s great to hear that your love for IT started at a young age! Where did you start your career? And, what professional decision or opportunity helped lead you to your current role?
I started my career at a small IT company 20 years ago as a technical engineer. My main duty was handling the Windows server during installations, configuration and maintenance. During my time there, I started to hear more about Cisco’s product suites and my customers were looking to upgrade their routers and switches for their networks. My company at the time offered me training which helped increase my skills. They supported me throughout my CCNA exams and training, which I successfully completed! After that, my career started shifting toward networking management. Shortly after becoming CCNA certified, I joined my current company and I have been working here since 2012.
So, you’re currently working for HCL Technologies. How has partnering with Cisco helped your work in your industry?
Cisco has been a huge help in stabilizing our environment at HCL with the latest products and technologies. Cisco AnyConnect provides a seamless solution to access centralized resources from any remote location and is integrated with Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for profiling and device posture capabilities. This was extremely useful during the height of the pandemic when we were thrust into remote working overnight and needed to ensure our cybersecurity protocols were reinforced.
What’s been your biggest challenge in your company the past year, and how did you overcome it?
Managing our employees who are working remotely across the globe has been our biggest challenge, by far. Our objective was to provide our employees with a flexible working environment and a secure way to connect their devices, while ensuring that productivity levels remained stable. We managed to tackle this problem by using Cisco’s advanced security and collaboration products that included Webex, Cisco Secure Endpoint, and next generation firewalls, alongside a layered security approach. This allowed us to have the deep visibility we needed to prevent online threats and attacks.
Let’s move on to our customer advocacy community! How would you describe it to those who aren’t familiar with it?
Cisco’s customer advocacy community helps us meet other Cisco customers outside of our own networks. We can interact with peers, share ideas and questions, and stay on top of trends within the IT industry. We participate in a variety of challenges, including opportunities to share feedback and earn points which we can redeem for various rewards and Cisco swag. We also have the chance to participate in blogs (such as this one!) and podcasts!
You’re one of our community “Rockstars,” and we really appreciate how active you are in the community! What made you want to join, and how has being part of this community impacted you both professionally and personally?
I’m quite passionate about sharing knowledge and ideas with peers and participating in collaborative activities. That’s why I was intrigued by Cisco’s advocacy community. Since joining, I have been an active member for three years and have gained an immense amount of knowledge which has helped me both professionally and personally. It’s a privilege to be part of such an amazing community and I really enjoy participating in the various activities. Two achievements I am proud of was winning the “Future of Work Visionary” award for Cisco’s Global Advocate Awards and “Advocate of The Month” within Cisco’s APJC region.
Both well-deserved wins, Amit! Congratulations again! We’re almost at the end of the interview and we’d love to finish with three things you can’t live without?
Number one would be my family, especially my kids. They will always be my number one priority! I also can’t live without weekend get-togethers with my friends. We usually chat about we did during the week and we really enjoy each other’s company. The final thing would by my green tea that I have in the morning with my breakfast. I never miss it, as it helps keep me active throughout the day.
What a great morning ritual. Thank you again for joining us, Amit!
You are welcome, Rashik!
Read more customer advocate interviews
You might enjoy this interview with our customer advocate, Marcel.
For our customers who have already joined Cisco’s advocacy community, say hello to Amit if you haven’t met each other yet. And for those Cisco customers who haven’t yet joined, consider doing so! You’ll be able to:
- Connect with peers in a gamified, online community
- Have an opportunity to meet with Cisco’s executives
- Share your feedback, questions, and best practices
- Get access to “insider” content and resources
- Grow your professional and personal brand
- Amplify your company’s success story with Cisco technology
Ready to get started? Head over to the community and say hello!
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