In the summer of 2012, I was asked to pick up a high profile project with time restrictions for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch (BAML). The brief was to implement a mobile phone recording solution for UK traders to comply with UK’s FSA rules on mobile call recording for financial institutions.
Part of the problem with this was that the technology wasn’t very mature when it was first introduced. There were a lot of pilot programs and discussions at all the banks, with lots of suppliers jostling for position and airtime.
My first instinct was to start contacting suppliers and initiate the RFI/RFP/RFQ/Pilot process to find a solution that was a good fit for BAML. So the fun began and I spent the best part of a month defining requirements and talking to suppliers.
During this time, the front runners became clear. We created a shortlist and suppliers had even started to ship me mobile phones for onsite testing.
We had narrowed the decision down to SIM-based or agent-based solutions, but then Cisco contacted me to say that they were close to offering a solution that would integrate into the Bank’s existing VOIP setup. BAML was already a Cisco shop, so it made sense to get the sales team in and understand their offering.
This was my first time talking to Cisco face to face, and surprisingly it was death by PowerPoint. Where the other suppliers had been able to live-demo their products, Cisco couldn’t demo anything for months! They had a 30 page slide deck with pretty pictures and diagrams, explaining how it would work when released… We were disappointed.
Strategically we all knew that the Cisco solution was the best thing for the Bank. But short term we couldn’t wait for a Cisco Proof of Concept to be set up to convince us. We pulled the trigger and went with a SIM-based solution, and replaced 2,000 SIM cards across the UK in a matter of weeks.
Since that time, Cisco has plugged this gap of not being able to provide demos at short notice. The dCloud platform has taken the concept of on-site demos and labs to a whole different level, which enables the Sales Engineers to run at #FULLSPEED.
In 2016, dCloud is a well established sales tool, poised to be part of the Cisco Sales future with over 200 different types of demo/lab content. It is available 24/7 in four globally-located data centers with 24/7 support, and has a dedicated team of developers constantly working on refreshing content and adding new offerings. It allows our Sales Engineers to fully demonstrate Cisco products and solutions that fix our customers’ problems – with no more PowerPoints!
As you’ve probably figured out… I’m now on the other side of the fence, working for Cisco.
I manage a fantastic team of developers, creating Data Center Content for the dCloud platform. I also manage the UI/UX team of developers who are responsible for the dCloud experience and the upcoming mobile app.
I get great satisfaction out of the fact that I now work at Cisco dCloud in a team that really makes things happen. We enable Sales Engineers and customers to learn about our products and get their hands dirty at a moments notice, and really try before they buy.
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