Recently, I had the opportunity to chat with Alisdair McKeand of CAE Technology Services, a Cisco Gold Partner in London, UK. I’m sharing our conversation as it illustrates the power of Cisco APIs and one of the methodologies – called JumpStart – that we use to assist resellers in developing new platform-enabled software to expand their market reach, implementing a successful go to market plan and building a sales pipeline.
CAE Technology Services, Ltd., a Cisco Gold Partner, is a privately-held company in London, UK, with a strategic focus on Cisco. A multiple award-winning IT infrastructure Solutions provider, CAE’s role is to enable the adoption of relevant Technology. With a belief that delivering the best customer experience is a combination of technology, process and people. It is CAE’s approach, people and outcomes that differentiate them. This is Technology on Point.
JULIA: How and why did CAE decide to leverage Cisco APIs and the JumpStart framework?
ALISDAIR: Early this year, we had a large-scale, complex opportunity with multiple government councils that raised the question ‘How do we efficiently and effectively roll out 20,000 Cisco Catalyst devices for nearly 1,000 Schools?’ I created a one-page high-level overview of how I felt it could work with the 11 Cisco DNA Centers so we could simplify the rollout. This project was around $20,000,000 in Cisco Catalyst products and DNA subscriptions, so it was a great opportunity to look at adding additional value.
We went through the thought process of ‘How do we turn this into something that could be a robust business process and platform in the area of automation using APIs in DNA Center?’
We turned to the Cisco UK DevNet and EMEAR Enterprise Network teams; Stuart Traynor suggested the JumpStart methodology as a way to facilitate our concept. JumpStart was an amazing fit for what we wanted to achieve. It provided a framework that enabled us to map our vision with the outcomes that we wanted to achieve with our customer and gave CAE access to various Cisco resources.
JULIA: What was it like working with Cisco on this? Was it easy to get the resources you needed?
ALISDAIR: With JumpStart, we brought the automation idea to life through a quick 8-week sprint development, delivering a new platform that could automate our vast networking project.
A key part of the JumpStart methodology is having a way to track the APIs we were integrating with. With the documentation that was available for DNA Center APIs, we didn’t actually need to loop in too much Cisco expertise. We built our own DevNet lab environment because we knew we were going to need it long term to address the integration and support function of the application.
JULIA: So were you able to make your automation concept a reality by working with DNA Center APIs?
ALISDAIR: Yes! It really has snowballed! In addition to rolling out the original project, we are working with other government councils and we are expanding the solution to enterprise, transport, education, and healthcare. We’ve gotten good mileage for CAE and even more outcomes for Cisco.
JULIA: Do you have other plans for the platform?
ALISDAIR: Oh, yes. We are working on a go to market plan to maximize the work that’s been done to date. We have branded this new automation platform as “DNA Nucleus – A repeatable Day Zero Application.”
We are currently seeding the offering into all new project engagements and bids to add more value to customers.
JULIA: Fantastic! Any final thoughts on the impact of JumpStart?
ALISDAIR: I think that Simon Moyes, our Chief Services Officer, says it best: “JumpStart has given CAE a springboard to truly explore what can be achieved with platform integrations. It has accelerated our focus into areas that we ultimately believe will be the future of our business. It has driven excitement internally and we can’t wait to see what comes next from our team.”
Explore what you can do with Cisco APIs and the JumpStart framework.
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