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, Cisco Insider Advocates, 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 Joacim Wicander from Conscia Sweden AB.

Welcome, Joacim! Let’s kick things off by talking about what you wanted to be when you were 16 years old?

When I was 16, I wanted to be a racecar driver. I wanted to compete at the highest level of racing and win them all!

Oh wow – that’s such an exciting career aspiration to have before choosing to switch to IT! Where did you start your career in IT? And, what professional decision or opportunity helped lead you to your current role?

I started my IT career at my local University, Växjö University (today, it is part of Linnaeus University) as a student computer administrator. I was the email administrator for student emails. My colleague and I held training sessions for students who weren’t familiar with e-mail and the internet.

When the student union didn’t want to be part of this project anymore, we moved to the university’s IT department where we kept administering student emails, and later on for a student-network for the nearby student housing association. We then moved to the university’s main IT department and started administering the network and all servers attached to that. Finally, I moved on to become a networking consultant in April 2000, and I’ve been employed at different companies as a Networking/Data Center consultant ever since. Today, I’m a Senior Data Center Engineer for Conscia Sweden AB.

How has partnering with Cisco helped you in your role?

I’ve almost always worked exclusively with Cisco equipment since the start of my IT career, and I can wholeheartedly say that it’s always been a great and rewarding partnership. Since 2015, after passing my CCIE lab for the Data Center track, the partnership with Cisco has become even more rewarding and fulfilling for me.

That’s great to hear that your experience partnering with Cisco has only gotten better over the years! What’s been your biggest challenge in your company recently, and how did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge so far has been the in-person restrictions as a result of the ongoing pandemic. I’m a very sociable guy who loves to meet people and discuss various IT solutions. I enjoy presenting my ideas in-person to people, everyone from IT technicians to C-level executives.

Thank you for sharing that struggle, Joacim. With things opening back up in Europe, at least, I hope you can go back to finding those important in-person interactions. Let’s move on to our customer advocacy community! How would you describe it to those aren’t familiar with it?

Cisco Insider Advocates (formerly, The Gateway) is a really cool and giving community for anyone who enjoys working hands-on with Cisco hardware or software. And of course it helps that it is gamified, meaning, you participate in challenges and collect points that can be redeemed for rewards!

You’re one of our community “Rockstars.” What made you want to join, and how has being part of this community impacted you both professionally and personally?

I joined around 2017-2018 in Stockholm. I wanted to see what all the fuss around the in-person community meets was about, so I visited the advocate lounge (formerly, The Gateway lounge) at two Cisco Live events in Barcelona (2019 and 2020) and really enjoyed meeting with other community members and the Cisco Advocacy team!

That’s amazing to hear that the community helped you become a star in your own company! Speaking of community experiences, we really loved your recent conversation around Cisco ACI with tech influencer Bill Kleyman! What did you think of that experience collaborating with the Cisco community team?

I really loved this experience, not just the interview part, but also the pre-meetings with Bill and all of the Cisco employees to plan this and get the most out of the conversation between me and Bill Kleyman. I really hope I get to meet Bill in person soon, and all the Cisco employees (Mirela, Tom, Hailey) who were part of this incredible initiative.

It sounds like you really enjoyed the experience, Joacim. Fingers crossed that Cisco Live EMEAR will be the opportunity for you to meet the team! We’re almost at the end of the interview and we’d love to finish with three things you can’t live without?

  1. My workouts. I do traditional strength training 4-5 times a week before I start to work. I also take Yin Yoga classes 1-2 times a week.
  2. My internet connection at home, mainly because I have been working from home 60-65% of the time since I joined Conscia Sweden AB in May of 2017.
  3. My wife. She’s the rock I can lean on when I feel down and she will always support me when I need it.

I’m not an early bird myself, but I have a ton of admiration for your early morning strength workouts! It’s been a pleasure, thank you again for joining us, Joacim!

You are welcome, Rashik!

Read more advocate interviews

You might enjoy this interview with Dave Clark.

Join us!

For those Cisco customers who haven’t yet joined our Cisco Insider Advocates community, 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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Rashik Rahman

Global Advocacy Specialist

Global Advocacy - UK