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Francine Richards

Tell us about your career at Cisco.

I joined Cisco in 2011 as a customer support engineer for the TAC Data Center Server Virtualization team. In January 2015 I became a technical marketing engineer for the Data Center Competitive Insights Team.


How did you get involved in Cisco Support Community?

TAC managers encouraged customer support engineers to participate. If customers find answers to their questions in the forums then they don’t need to open a TAC case. I visited the forums every week to look for unanswered questions and make sure customers were satisfied.


Which Ask the Expert sessions have you led?

In February 2015 I led a three-part Deep Dive Expert Series webcast on Nexus 1000v Switches. The 1000v has a presence in many areas—security, routing, application-centric infrastructure (ACI), and the cloud—making it a perfect candidate for a deep dive. We followed up the webcasts with a two-week Ask the Expert session in the discussion forums. I’ve also participated in Ask the Expert sessions on the UCS MinivPC options on the Nexus 5000, and UCS C-Series integration.

On October 20, 2015 I’ll be presenting a webinar on Cisco Data Center Overlays with a focus on VXLAN (Virtual Extensible LAN). VXLAN is a hot topic and for a long time I’ve wanted to make a presentation.


What motivates you to participate?

Making it easy for users to get help is good for the company. In addition, I like sharing my knowledge. Like Cisco Live and publishing documents, Cisco Support Community is great way to share knowledge. I also find it rewarding to get my name out to the Cisco user community.  


Any thoughts for your peers who are thinking about becoming more active in Cisco Support Community?

In the long run, sharing your knowledge helps you, too. When you teach someone you deepen your own product knowledge. At the same time, you’re helping to build the brand for Cisco, Cisco Support Community, and yourself.

Participating has also helped my career. In my current position as a TME I go on a lot of roadshows. When I interviewed for my current position, my managers liked the fact  I had experience answering difficult questions during live webcasts.


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