Cisco’s customer experience group aims to boost ROI for enterprise purchases

Cisco’s customer experience group aims to boost ROI for enterprise purchases

Cisco’s CX group offers a suite of services to help enterprises optimise their network infrastructure, security, collaboration, cloud, and data center investments.

Credit: Cisco

Cisco continues to invest in its customer experience (CX) group, which provides product lifecycle management and aims to ensure that customers get what they want out of their technology purchases.

Alistair Wildman, senior vice president of Cisco Global Customer Experience, says his team of 20,000 is primed to make sure enterprises are effectively choosing, implementing, and using the technologies they purchase to achieve their business goals. Cisco CX offers a suite of services to help customers optimise their network infrastructure, security, collaboration, cloud and data center operations – from planning and design to implementation and maintenance.

“We are really focused on making sure that we understand the use cases behind why customers bought the technology they did and [helping] them maintain it, run it if necessary, upgrade software, [or] whatever is needed to make sure customers get a return on investment as soon as possible [and] achieve the business outcomes they expected when buying Cisco products,” Wildman said.

In addition to making sure customer networks, software and services are working as advertised, a key part of CX is to grow customer retention and bolster hardware and software sales, although CX isn’t directly involved in selling. 

As a real-world example of what CX does, “we have a customer who wants to make sure their network is current, but they have only small windows to perform changes and upgrades,” Wildman said. “We'll set the automation and run the changes, and we do it with optimisation, security and usability in mind.”

“Others may want something as simple as to refresh the network so that all their end users at the offices have a great Wi-Fi experience. Or they want to secure the network and have a great application experience. Whatever it may be, we focus on that,” Wildman said.

The CX Cloud is core to the CX mission, and it incorporates a wide range of information from Cisco, including best practices, telemetry, AI/ML-driven insights, use cases, and contextual learning, Wildman said. There is a CX Cloud for partners, CX-P, as well.

“With CX cloud, the idea is that we want to [include] as many relevant services and information for the customer so they don't have to go to 20 places. It's a one-stop shop for Cisco,” Wildman said. “And as we further develop the cloud, and we release new features every month, we're adding more functionality. So, all of our as-a-service offers and customer consumption data will be in CX Cloud.”

With specific services, CX can see all the assets in an enterprise network, including security and collaboration details, and that information shows up in the CX cloud, Wildman said. “We can tell you how many switches you've got, we can tell you how many routers you've got, we can tell how many collaboration devices, we can say what software version to run,” for example.

With visibility into enterprise assets, CX can capture data and telemetry and use data analytics to make recommendations. For example, “we can tell customers a particular router is running an end-of-life software and it needs to be updated,” Wildman said. 

“We can automate responses and then use AI and ML to understand network [trends]. And then because we have all of this information, we can predict network failures and other events,” Wildman said. “We have more information than anybody else about networking because of who we are.”

Security, automation and sustainability are among the trend areas that CX tracks. “Just simply helping to secure these large networks, and helping customers maintain and refresh and understand the lifecycle of all their security products, is a big job,” Wildman said.

On the sustainability front, CX offers lifecycle services that look at energy consumption in hardware and can make recommendations based on power, Wildman said. “RFPs at the moment nearly always have a sustainability as a requirement.”

Customers invest a lot of money in technology, Wildman said, “so we have to be laser focused and be able to show the ROI on those investments. We want to make sure that if you go with us, that we have the customer’s back.”


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