Cisco Blogs

The We’re Listening Blog Series: Improving Cisco Customer Experiences – What We’re Doing to Address Your Concerns

May 1, 2013 - 9 Comments

Many of you take part in our annual satisfaction surveys.  You share opinions, discuss challenges, and make valuable recommendations. More than 65,000 customers and partners responded to our survey during the first half of FY13.  For this installment of the “We’re Listening” blog series,  I asked Joe Pinto, Senior Vice President, Technical Services, to review these responses and what we’re doing to improve your Cisco experience.

Joe Pinto  By Guest Contributor Joe Pinto

While overall feedback from our customers and partners in FY13 has been positive, we know there is a continuous need for improvement. One of the questions you often ask is, “What is Cisco doing to make Cisco easier to do business with?” Here’s a sampling of areas you’ve asked us to address and progress we’re making in those areas: 

Technical Assistance Center (TAC): You expect to talk with the right expert quickly and don’t want to repeat yourself.

  • To address a top customer concern with technical support, we’ve implemented an improved, intelligent routing engine that works to match your issue to the right TAC Expert the first time. Our new collaborative escalation model helps to avoid transferring your case to other engineers multiple times and having to re-explain your issue. The first TAC engineer you speak with becomes the case owner and is responsible for bringing in any other experts needed to work on the problem.

One customer recently had this say about our new approach:

“A TAC Engineer brought in two other teams to handle different questions I had with this issue. This was great service and prevented me from opening two additional TAC cases…it was a great experience on my side.” You expect a user-friendly interface, effective search tool, and fast software downloads.

  • We’ve increased the personalized functionality and content on in order to tailor your experience based on your products, past activities, and technical support history.
  • Search and navigation improvements have made it 77% faster to find the software you need, coupled with software download speeds that are more than 4 times faster.

Order Management: You expect to configure, quote, and order Cisco products easily.

  • We’ve delivered improvements in configuring, quoting, and submitting orders—resulting in faster booking times to ensure on-time delivery of your products. 
  • The new Cisco ordering tool—Cisco Commerce Workspace (CCW)—offers improved usability. Approximately 95% of all CCW orders “auto-book,” which means those orders are booked within two hours, speeding delivery to you without any manual intervention.
  • You can now open and track cases through Customer Service Central, a newly launched portal that consolidates multiple case management applications into one destination. For the first time, you can now submit customer service cases related to both Cisco products and services through a single interface.

Software Licensing: You expect simple, easy-to-use licensing, so we are working to simplify our software lifecycle from end-to-end, including license pooling, simpler product registration and entitlement transfers, and a single software asset manager to track all Cisco software usage within your network.

  • You now have one location where you can access all software management tools.  At Cisco Software Central, you can get quotes, order software, get licensing, and download and upgrade your Cisco software.
  • We have enhanced Product License Registration with self-service capabilities to rehost, resend, look-up, edit, and register multiple licenses quickly and easily. You can also bulk load and register multiple product activation keys (PAKs) or licenses for multiple devices within a single registration.
  • Additionally, our eDelivery program has over 3,900 Cisco software products available online, and can save you time and money. Visit L- (License) and R- (Software) SKUs to see if your product is available through eDelivery (if not, keep checking; we add more products every month).

I’m excited about the progress we’re making and what’s yet to come as we continue to make your optimal Cisco experience our top priority. The annual surveys and your interactions with us on this blog are just two of the ways we capture your feedback and take action on it. Cisco business leaders and customer experience experts participate in a multitude of events all year long where we have the opportunity to connect with customers and partners, and hear first-hand about what’s working and where we can do better: Customer and Partner advisory boards, focus groups, Cisco Live, Partner Summit, transactional surveys, just to name a few. Please continue to follow the We’re Listening blog for additional information on how your feedback is making a difference in the way we work and how we’re striving to improve your Cisco experience.

Send comments and questions to

In an effort to keep conversations fresh, Cisco Blogs closes comments after 60 days. Please visit the Cisco Blogs hub page for the latest content.


  1. I’d like to see Cisco focus more efforts on customer self-service interfaces. There are a great many things that I don’t need or in many cases want to engage my partner on until I’m ready to place an order.

    For example, I am a heavy user of the Dynamic Config Tool. Even when I was a partner’s engineer I greatly preferred to use that simple interface over Informix any day of the week. As a direct customer and now a customer through a partner, I still find great use in it. Unfortunately it’s slated for termination in the next few months and as best I can tell, there won’t be a replacement in functionality for customers. Instead it appears that we’re being forced through partners for even the most basic of product building and/or list pricing. In most cases I have no need to call on a partner to help build a router parts list the way I want it. I can build the BoM myself quite easily and significantly faster than calling on my partner and consuming their limited time resources. I could easily find myself building half a dozen BoMs or more to arrive at the appropriate solution as well. All that could be handled in an hour or two with ease. Calling on a partner to provide the BoM may take days or weeks. They’re just as busy as we are so I hate to consume their time building BoMs that we aren’t serious about buying. I need access to a tool like DCT to build my own hardware configs and get basic list pricing. This is essential to me being able to perform my engineering duties.

    Likewise, I need access to CSCC (though I greatly prefer the old SCC). I’m trying to prepare a $200k SmartNet renewal. Unfortunately I can’t even access my current contracts via the CSCC tool. The transition to the CSCC tool from SCC was frustrating enough back when it happened several years ago (2009?) and at the time I had a $330k/yr SmartNet renewal. At least I could see all my contracts and what products were on each. Now I don’t even have that option.

    I hope some of the options become available in the future. I believe Cisco will find their customers to be more efficient and more prosperous (and thus Cisco) if they can become a little more self-sufficient. The Partners are still there to help us vet our orders and help us engineer complex solutions. However many of us need little to no hand-holding on the vast majority of Cisco’s common products. Speeding us up and not slowing us down only serves to speed up how fast we can put in orders. 🙂


    • Hi Justin,

      Thank you for your thoughtful feedback on this topic. I work with the Ease of Doing Business team that supports Curt Hill on this initiative. Our team would appreciate the opportunity to discuss your comments and concerns in more detail, and will reach out to you directly.


  2. And yet I still don’t have access to download ViewMail even though I’m CUWL pro licensed. Or download IOS updates for my 3750x switches. I’ve called licensing support with my reseller and still can’t get access. How about insourcing licensing of your own products so the people who are actually processing the delivery of eLicensing have a clue what the products your company and resellers are selling are?

    I’m sorry, but while I see the benefits that you are listing this has been a major ongoing hassle.

    • Hi Jim — thanks for sharing your thoughts on your experience. I’m a member of the Licensing Support team that is focusing on improving the customer Software Licensing experience. We’ve got a number of longer-term efforts underway that should streamline the licensing process and ease your frustration – but I’m eager to address your immediate concerns to see if we can get this straightened out for you. I’ll contact you directly to see how we can help.

  3. Great information it will be helpful for customers the services offered is really very good

  4. My question is similar to Lori’s. Real time feed or video for service help, will that be a reality soon?

    • Hi Lori and Dan,

      Thanks for your thoughts on this topic. As a member of the Cisco Ease of Doing Business team supporting Joe Pinto, Curt Hill, and others, I’d like to take a moment to respond to your question.

      When it comes to the role of video in our Technical Support delivery, that’s something we’re investigating. As part of our ongoing investment in evolving the support process, we continually look at the role that technology can play in our Customer-TAC Engineer interactions and conduct limited trials to test new approaches. That being said, we’ve found in our customer listening, surveys, and focus groups that video-based [and Avatar-based :-)] interaction during the troubleshooting process is not a top request from our customers.



  5. Joe, great overview on the updates for TAC. Will customers be able to use video to chat with TAC Engineers in the foreseeable future? Will there be a time when avatars are used?

  6. Cisco la mejor compañia para trabajar