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Meet Russell Byrne: Founder of an Internal Corporate Community

March 9, 2012 - 1 Comment

This is the story of Russ, a Networking Consulting Engineer on the Cisco Advanced Services (AS) team, who took time aside from his regular day job to lay the seeds of an exceptional resource on the IWE QUAD Community, an internal social platform. As a result of his efforts, the AS team’s work efficacy has increased and Cisco’s rapport with customers and partners has improved immensely.

Southern California Edison (SCE) is one of the Advanced Services (AS) team’s largest clients with over 10-15 service activities usually going on at one time. The advent of bringing people in and out of working with this client proved to be a recurring issue because these individuals had little to no knowledge about SCE, and there was no official training route they could go through in order to be brought up to speed about the client’s needs.  

To solve this problem, Russ created and launched the SCE IWE Community in December 2011. On this site, he spent hundreds of personal hours to consolidate and organize resources in one place for the SCE Account and AS teams. Many of his team members have started to use the site on a daily basis since then, claiming that being able to easily upload, update, and access any content onto this site is such a convenience for their work.
Creating the Community is Only the Beginning

Following the launch of the SCE IWE site, Russ has continued to handle much of the community maintenance. In addition, he has been instrumental in getting his team to adopt the IWE community with ideas such as writing How-To Posts, building a help tab at the main Community level, and taping videos showing members how to use the various features of the community.  
Impact of the SCE Community

This common repository of documentation has enabled several operational efficiencies for both the team and the client. In addition to reducing the number of unnecessary single-threaded communications, the site allows people to be able to easily manage shared resources such as project calendars. Russ’s work has substantially upgraded the effectiveness of running various engineering and client meetings as all past and present meeting notes are available in real time.

As part of the aftermath of building this new social tool, people brought in to work with SCE came in to the team with a good understanding of what they were going to accomplish with the client, thus reducing frustrations on the client’s side. Furthermore, clients are now able to effortlessly and securely share controlled information with Cisco teams.

Because the site was such a success, the strategy of creating an online community to house all of the team and client’s resources has been applied to other Cisco teams as well. Russ’s work has provided a single source of collaboration and information exchange that has brought many individuals together and given them the power to be a few clicks away from any of the team resources.
Social Media Tip from Russ

“Getting involved as a Community creator stemmed not only  from the need we had on the SCE delivery team and the growing maturity of the IWE application, but also from a ‘perfect storm’ of sorts when it came to my own background.  Years ago, I worked at an ISP, so I’ve created hundreds of small websites back when it was common to do that using raw HTML code.  Add to that some experience writing two biographical articles on Wikipedia, and a recent foray implementing a Facebook Group devoted to sharing the photos and videos for my extended family’s biannual reunions, and I was more than ready to adopt IWE into my work processes.”

Learn more about Russ and his social media work:

“Meet Our SMEs” is a new blog series designed to acquaint you with some of our behind-the-scenes Cisco SMEs (subject matter experts) who have gone above and beyond to integrate social media into their day job. In addition to introducing you to their background and areas of expertise, we have highlighted some of their social media achievements and best practices. We hope you find these SMEs’ stories interesting and possibly even applicable to enhancing your own social media practice.

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  1. Great work Russ! Welcome to the community of community managers at Cisco!