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How to turn your customer crisis into a competitive differentiator

Cisco strives to deliver a great customer experience, every time. It’s a top priority at our company. But even with that focus, we still trip up from time to time. With the increasing complexity of today’s IT environments and as our customers’ business networks grow, invariably things go wrong. When that happens, the most important thing we can do is address the issue with an urgency, transparency, and immediacy that gets our customers back on track and restores their confidence in Cisco.

With over 20 years of experience handling our customers’ most challenging technical issues, we’ve developed expertise and best practices in how to quickly respond to and resolve an issue while identifying the root cause so we can drive lessons learned back into the business for continuous improvement. In parallel, we continuously evolve and innovate how we serve our customers, particularly how we handle our customers’ most critical issues.

We recently documented our processes and based on that, I’m excited to share with you a new white paper: “Developing a Customer Assurance Program from Start to Finish: Best Practices from Cisco’s Award-Winning Customer & Partner Assurance Organization”

Graphic for white paper
In this white paper, we share the five key best practices that form the foundation
of Cisco’s entire critical situation response process. Our intent is to share ideas and innovations that you can adopt in your business on a number of levels: to build out a full-blown critical situation response team, to better drive lessons learned in your business, or simply to improve the cross-functional leadership skills of your employees.

 
We also know that many of our customers and partners operate in similar environments. Cisco has a vision to build a common escalation management framework in the industry that can be employed when multiple companies are involved in the same critical escalation with a mutual customer or in a multi-vendor scenario. This would allow for standards that help all of us better manage customer expectations and deliver a more consistent experience. Together, we can ensure our customers’ success when it is most at risk.

Please give the paper a read, share it with your teams, and give me your feedback. I’m interested in the approaches you use at your business and the experiences you’ve had in resolving critical customer issues. Sharing ideas and learning from one another makes all of us better at serving our customers.

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Helping You Transform in a Digital Age

October marks five quarters since I took on a role to lead Cisco’s Internet of Things (IoT) Systems and Software Group, a critical business for Cisco to help organizations connect the unconnected. And, wow, what an incredible time it has been. I’m so proud of the many team accomplishments—from the IoT System launch with 15 new products on the market, to the daily innovations and unbelievable culture we created—it truly has been an honor to lead this group and make a difference for Cisco and you—our customers—worldwide.

As I write this blog, I’m taking on a new opportunity as Chief Technology and Strategy Officer for Cisco Services. And again, I find myself working on something incredibly exciting —helping our customers transform in this digital age.

This digital age poses new challenges and opportunities for organizations. As Cisco moves to help the industry capitalize on the next wave of the Internet, I have the opportunity to bring my skills and experiences to this new challenge in Cisco Services. Read More »

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Microservices Infrastructure Release 0.3

On behalf of the development team. I’m pleased to announce the 0.3.0 release of Microservices Infrastructure. In the weeks since 0.2, we’ve added a number of features and improvements.

Cisco Cloud

The software can be downloaded at:
https://github.com/CiscoCloud/microservices-infrastructure

Documentation is located at:
https://microservices-infrastructure.readthedocs.org/en/latest

 

What is it?

Microservices Infrastructure is software that launches servers and then configures them to support a wide range of applications – like continuous delivery or realtime data processing.

Read More »

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Getting Started with Cisco CMX 7.6 Analytics

First we rolled out the MSE tech blog series to give our customers an in depth look at the various features of the location-based technology behind Cisco’s Mobility Services Engine (MSE) and Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution. Now, we’re kicking off a CMX Techtorial video series to provide a visual and helpful walkthrough of how to maneuver and get started with CMX and location-based services.

First up, we have the charismatic Darryl Sladden, Technical Marketing Manager for CMX, taking us through CMX 7.6 Analytics. In this quick video, Darryl will cover:

  • What is CMX 7.6 Analytics?
  • What is the analytics dashboard?
  • How do I visualize dwell time, heat maps, device density?
  • What kinds of reports can you get with CMX 7.6 Analytics?

Read More »

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Cisco Partners, Complex Support: Simplified

I had the opportunity to attend Cisco’s annual Partner Summit last month and I am excited about the news announced at the summit as well as the valuable conversations I had with our partners. The reoccurring topics I heard included cloud, innovation, speed, scale and, most importantly, differentiation.

The partners I spoke with viewed exceptional service as a key enabler of future growth. As solutions get ever more complex, partners increasingly look to services as their key competitive differentiator.

Partners have a unique opportunity to leverage recent Cisco investments in software enabled services to enable differentiation. In discussions at Partner Summit, one question came up time and again:

“Customers are demanding more complex solutions, but they want a simpler support experience – how do we balance these seemingly competing objectives?”

Multi-vendor solutions are by their nature complex. Integrating support across these disparate components enables partners to create a simplified support experience – speeding resolution times and increasing transparency across the support process. Customers also look for integrated SLA’s, no matter how many parties might be involved in delivering support.

By connecting all service partners in the cloud, partners can deliver a unified support experience, opening new opportunities for partners to provide differentiated services. Better still, this “ecosystem” of connections in the cloud enables automation of IT service management and better exchange of support information between providers and customers for faster mean time to resolution for IT issues.

One partner at the forefront of this new paradigm is BORN Green Technologies of Switzerland. I caught up with Patrick Spreng from BORN at Partner Summit. He told me about BORN customers who had visibility into multi-vendor support processes they’ve never had before, using Cisco ServiceGrid. What had previously seemed an unmanageable mess created from a highly fragmented environment was brought together into a single support experience – with one overall SLA. On a daily basis, Patrick reported, it just made support easier.

Services will continue to grow as a major competitive differentiator for partners. Partners that embrace new models and innovate in this space will win new customers. Nowhere is this more important than in managing the growing complexity customers are facing every day.

Watch our interview with ATP Partner BORN Green Technologies to learn more about how it is leveraging the power of Cisco ServiceGrid:

 

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