“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”   Alexander Graham Bell

Sometimes it seems like our senses are being assaulted by product pitches from virtually everywhere. Most of these pitches have one thing in common – they assume you’re interested. What if someone actually took the time to find out what’s important to you before proposing anything? What if they figured out how you can be more successful, and started from there?  Well, that’s exactly what we did.

Over the last few months, we’ve interviewed hundreds of IT experts in many different roles at dozens of organizations worldwide. Our mission was to find out what their most important business and technology initiatives are, and how people in various IT roles – Network Manager, Server Manager, Storage Manager, Applications Manager, CIO, etc. – define success for their specific roles.

As you might expect, each person within these IT organizations has a slightly different definition of success, despite having common technology and business goals.  For example, while everyone in IT is impacted in some way by cloud and mobility technology transitions, Network Managers are more focused on improving user experiences and reducing deployment costs than their Security brethren who concentrate on compliance and data protection.

According to the Network Managers interviewed so far, their most important success factors are:

  1. User satisfaction and reducing the overall number of help desk calls
  2. On time, on budget deployment of new projects
  3. Security and compliance
  4. Delivering new business services

With these customer priorities in mind, at Interop Las Vegas we’ll showcase several solutions – both Cisco and Partner ones – that directly help Network Managers and other IT professionals achieve their most valued success factors. So regardless of how well you do off the show floor, we’ll help you find a way to win with your customers when you get back home.

All these solutions will be displayed in a working NOC on the show floor, so you can see exactly how they apply in the real world in real time.  There are, of course, many solutions that can directly address these priorities, so how will you find out which ones are most applicable to your situation? Here are a couple of examples:

  • Right after the holidays, IT help desk calls increase dramatically as people with new mobile devices bring them to work and try to access the network. What if you could track all the devices – wired and wireless – that are registered on your network from one centralized view? Then, with policies in place to restrict access to certain applications and services, what if you could have users self-register their devices, so help desk calls only occur when there’s an isolated on-boarding issue, instead of every time someone brings a new device into the office? Apply this concept to guest access, and you can see how the help desk calls could either increase or decrease, depending on whether or not you use a “unified access” approach that includes one network, one policy, and one management, and addresses these challenges proactively.
Marlowe Prime AVC5_JPG
Is Hulu, Facebook, or Netflix the culprit on your network? See which specific web applications are using the most bandwidth on your network, and use this intelligence to prioritize services and reduce help desk calls.


  • New cloud applications can result in a wave of new help desk calls when those they compete for bandwidth over your busy network. What if you could easily see, prioritize, and manage all the applications running throughout your network – including routers, switches, and wireless controllers – all from one common management GUI, without probes? With recent innovations in Application Visibility and Control, you can see how your mission critical applications are performing in real time, so you can tune them before your SLA’s are compromised, and before you help desk phones start ringing off the hook.

In both of these cases it’s easy to see how intelligent solutions can directly help Network Managers be more successful by making users happier and preventing help desk calls.

We’ll be sharing many different solutions that align to other IT-specific success factors and challenges over the next few weeks. If you’re headed to Interop Las Vegas May 7-9, or Cisco Live Orlando June 23-27, come visit the Cisco booth for experiences that are designed with your success in mind. And by the way, rumor has it that some of our TechWise TV friends may make a special guest appearance, so you may also see some super-geeks in action in our NOC on the show floor.


Have suggestions on what you’d like to see in our booth NOC?  Want to know more about the experts we’ve interviewed?  Ask in the comments!


Marlowe Fenne

No Longer with Cisco