The We’re Listening Blog Series: Making It Easier to Do Business with Cisco by Simplifying Order Management

February 8, 2013 - 8 Comments

In this installment of the “We’re Listening” blog, Kathy Harrington, VP of Global Service Delivery, delves into actions taken by Cisco’s Order Management team to improve your order management experience.

Harrington Kathy


By Guest Contributor Kathy Harrington 

We constantly strive to achieve the best possible customer experience in every part of our business. As customers and partners, you’ve told us you want Cisco’s order management process to be less complicated, more efficient, and take less time. Your feedback is taken seriously and has resulted in several improvements to ensure placing a product or service order with Cisco is fast and simple. Comments from customers like the one below confirm we’re moving in the right direction on this journey to continually improve your experience:

“My dealings with Cisco, either for equipment issues, purchasing or planning, have been treated with probably the best customer service I’ve found…customer service reps are helpful.”
                                                                                                                                  – Public Sector Customer

Your time is important and we understand frustration around seemingly unnecessary steps that increase the cycle time of order fulfillment. To bring down cycle times and increase your productivity, we are ramping up the adoption of our Cisco Commerce Workspace (CCW) tool. CCW is your single online portal that consolidates quoting, configuring, and ordering functions into one platform. Today, customers, partners, and distributors using the full functionality of Cisco Commerce Workspace are experiencing:

  • Faster quote to order times, with 90%+ of all orders processing within 24 hours or less
  • More auto bookings
  • Improved transaction quality
  • Average booking times of 1 hour (vs. 3-5 hours for those still using Ordering Tool)

We expect to have full adoption of CCW, and the retirement of legacy commerce tools, in the 2nd half of 2013.    

To reduce time and complexity in orders that require manual assistance, we‘ve increased resources to more quickly address your needs, and now ensure there is one case owner and one single point of contact throughout a manual ordering process. You can now open and track these 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 services cases related to both products and Cisco services business through a single intuitive interface.

In the near future, expect to see improvements to the order management backlog process by optimized tracking and notifications that avoid potential delays in booking. We are also enhancing our Services quoting process to increase the flexibility of the quoting tool, improve the accuracy of contract renewals and speed up cycle time.   

Keep the feedback coming! We want to hear whenever we miss your expectations. Our goal is to listen and always keep improving. When you share, you give us the opportunity to continually make your experience with Cisco a better one – thank you!

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  1. Robert and Doug –

    Thank you for sharing your feedback and point of view. I’ve followed up with the channels organization and someone will be contacting you directly to discuss your specific concerns.


  2. Cisco,
    I do have a number of comments concerning my partner membership.
    • My partnership hasn’t really been much of a benefit. Network installation requiring Cisco/Linksys equipment is rare in my geographic area. As such, it is always small networks (always less than 48 connections and usually less than 24 connections) and I may do one or two a year. No one down here pays for high-dollar fiber routers and switches. The only corporations that use that equipment have contracts with major integrators.
    • I recommended and used Linksys equipment because of the price point and availability for the equipment. I was very disappointed with the equipment being sold and sold to a company I don’t even like at all.
    • Finally as a follow-up to my first point, when the jobs are needed to be done that I do install or replace are last minute up to maybe 48-hour notice. There are no massive installations and roll-outs. Again, only large integrators have contracts with companies like Wal-Mart, Lowe’s, etc. and they do regional or state-wide installations and not a hit and miss like the majority of the businesses.
    In short, Cisco has really blown it for small businesses and reaching out to us. I know we don’t put large chunks of money in your pockets at a single time, but the MANY installations and repairs certainly total more than those few large integrations.

    • Robert,
      I have to fully agree with you on Cisco lack of support for Small VAR’s. We too are in an area where Large installs are far and few between and even medium installs are very few but when we get opportunity to do one we need support. Just yesterday I contacted every single Cisco person I could and got the run around. First the standard online chat but they said they could not help me as I belong part of a partner. Then to partner contact people and they had no clue of Cisco stuff that I was desiring and was reading the same spec sheets just like I was. 5 HOURS of trying to get help to make proper recommendation for customer and Cisco provided absolutely no help. I actually had to hang up on one person at reseller presales line as she refused to do anything I asked and was just reading the spec sheets. It has to be a dire situation for me to hang up a phone on someone but Cisco has, like you said, provided no real support for resellers of the areas like ours that have few big businesses. Couple that with Cisco’s lack of having almost noone for support with English as thier first language.
      Before working for this small VAR I spent 10 years supporting some of the worlds largest networks and some really great Cisco products. Now my boss is going to send us to Adtran and Juniper training as they seem to have the support when we need it. As I reflect back it seems that when I worked on large networks there was a direct rep that put me in touch with the proper person but if you don’t have that it seems we are abondoned. 5 hours of trying to narrow down the differences of various firewalls is totally ridiculous and I ended up contacting 2 of my CCIE previous coworkers to get a few spare minutes out of their busy work days to make my recommendation. Client wants Cisco but I did send him in addition to my Cisco recommendation a Juniper comparable product.

  3. Understand the improvement we may make on the OM, however, I’d like to point out that the experience when we call CS is not very good.

    Answer varies from agent to agent, and if send email to CS alias, turnaround time is up to 2 days normally, and sometimes you feel you are talking to a robot which don’t understand what you meant although we speak the same language and I put all of my requirement crystal clear in the email.

    For the replacement SO# for shipping, invoice amendment is always a nightmare, the worse case takes 30+ days. The case is handed over from one CS team to another CS team.

    The problem is -> the communication back and forth cannot be viewed in a single tool, like for service order, and TAC troubleshooting, we can check the case status in a tool, but I didn’t see CS has the similar one.

    • Hello, Jeason,

      Thank you for your feedback. We are currently ramping up our call center in China, to better serve our customers with Order Management support. And, we expect the delays you have encountered with case resolution and routing will not be an issue based on these actions.

      **We are up-skilling our agents to ensure they have the appropriate communication skills and problem solving skills.

      **We are also in the process of expanding the number of “elite agents” in each of our sites so that our agents have a quick escalation path and “one owner” for escalations.

      **Our Customer Service Central Portal will help us route the cases directly to the right place to avoid hand-offs between agents.

      Please use the Customer Service Central Portal, and you will have a view of all your cases, and there are instructions on how to escalate a case if you need immediate assistance.

      If you encounter problems with our escalation support, you can reach out to our Escalation Managers for assistance: US hours,; APJ hours,

      Regarding your feedback on “replacement SO# for shipping and invoice amendments”, we will contact you directly to obtain more information.

      We appreciate and welcome your feedback, thank you!

    • Hi Jeason,

      My name is Jim Suarez and I am the Cisco manager responsible for our Logistics & Returns, our Post Invoice Disputes, and our Order Management General Inquiries service categories. As my VP, Kathy Harrington, has committed to you, I am following up on the below feedback:

      “For the replacement SO# for shipping, invoice amendment is always a
      nightmare, the worse case takes 30+ days. The case is handed over
      from one CS team to another CS team.”

      I would like to gain more insight into your recent experience (or experiences) in this area so that we can 1) address and resolve any open/pending issues and/or 2) provide you some insight into what we are doing to improve this area.

      I attempted to reach out to the email address provided but was unsuccessful. Please send me a note to so that we can connect on this.

      I look forward to your response.


  4. Why is it that Cisco has reportedly, in the latest release of IOS, significantly weakened the password hashing strength, and done so without informing your customer base? Specifically, your new password algorithm no longer salts the values and instead of the old 1000 iterations of hashing, you are only now doing 1 hash with no salt?