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Open letter to John Chambers

Dear Mr. Chambers,

I have been in the teleconferencing service sector for 29 years and will be retiring soon.  I’m taking this opportunity to tell you something about Cisco that I would want to know if I were in your shoes.

Cisco took a company with good customer support, Tandberg, and destroyed that support utterly, completely,  and remorselessly.

Cisco’s customer service is not only the worst, but by far the worst, of any video conferencing company in the world.  And I have dealt with them all.

One day, many years hence, Cisco will be a case study in MBA courses of a classic way to alienate your customers and destroy customer support.

Sincerely,

Tom Cox

Thomas H. Cox, M.Ed

Senior Learning Space Consultant

Lead Video Conference Consultant

ITS Teaching and Learning, Classroom Hotline, CB 3503

UNC Chapel Hill, NC, 27599

2 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Accepted Solutions
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Beginner

Dear Tom,

My name is Wayne McAllister and I am General Manager of Cisco's global TelePresence Support Organization.  I was also SVP of TANDBERG's Global Services organization for the 3 years immediately prior to the acquisition.

I've very keen to talk with you live about your experiences with our technical support and have included my contact details below.  We made major changes to our support organization as we integrated it into Cisco, but on balance, we have believed that those changes represented major improvements for our customers.  For example, we have more than doubled our TelePresence TAC organization, with 80% of the original TANDBERG TAC team still in place.  We've increased our global parts depots from 7 under TANDBERG to now over 100 globally, significantly improving our next day delivery rates and allowing 4-hour response in most major locations.  Our response time, case backlog and time-to-resolve figures are much improved from TANDBERG days. We've also significantly expanded our online and community support forums.

I expect when we talk, you will give me some painful examples of where my support support organization has been failing you.  As a long time Service leader however, I have both a thick skin and a genuine resolve to fix our problems and restore your confidence in our company.  I look forward to speaking with you.

Sincerely

Wayne McAllister

1860 Michael Faraday Drive

Reston VA, 20190

Office: +1 703 484 2027

Cell:  +1 703 609 1012

email / video:  wmcallis@cisco.com

View solution in original post

Highlighted
Cisco Employee

Just to close out this thread, our Cisco TAC engineer Vernon DePee worked with Tom to come up with a cost effective and suitable solution for him and he had the following comments upon closing the TAC case:

Overall:

I was the person who wrote "An Open Letter to John Chambers," complaining that Cisco had ruined Tandberg utterly and completely.

To my great surprise and pleasure, I immediately got many wonderful and helpful replies, all the way up to Wayne McAllister, a senior manager of Cisco Telepresence.

Also, I'd like to give a  great big thank you to Vern Depee, a very, very smart Cisco engineer who took charge of my problem and wouldn't quit until he'd solved it to my satisfaction.

If Cisco wants to use this , feel free.

Tom Cox

Thomas H. Cox, M.Ed

Senior Learning Space Consultant

Lead Video Conference Consultant

ITS Teaching and Learning, Classroom Hotline, CB 3503 UNC Chapel Hill, NC, 27599 Tel. (919) 962-4997

View solution in original post

3 REPLIES 3
Highlighted
Beginner

Dear Tom,

My name is Wayne McAllister and I am General Manager of Cisco's global TelePresence Support Organization.  I was also SVP of TANDBERG's Global Services organization for the 3 years immediately prior to the acquisition.

I've very keen to talk with you live about your experiences with our technical support and have included my contact details below.  We made major changes to our support organization as we integrated it into Cisco, but on balance, we have believed that those changes represented major improvements for our customers.  For example, we have more than doubled our TelePresence TAC organization, with 80% of the original TANDBERG TAC team still in place.  We've increased our global parts depots from 7 under TANDBERG to now over 100 globally, significantly improving our next day delivery rates and allowing 4-hour response in most major locations.  Our response time, case backlog and time-to-resolve figures are much improved from TANDBERG days. We've also significantly expanded our online and community support forums.

I expect when we talk, you will give me some painful examples of where my support support organization has been failing you.  As a long time Service leader however, I have both a thick skin and a genuine resolve to fix our problems and restore your confidence in our company.  I look forward to speaking with you.

Sincerely

Wayne McAllister

1860 Michael Faraday Drive

Reston VA, 20190

Office: +1 703 484 2027

Cell:  +1 703 609 1012

email / video:  wmcallis@cisco.com

View solution in original post

Highlighted

Hi Tom!

What do you mainly work with / have the issues? I am mostly working with the infrastructure part.

Maybe my perspective is a bit different as being in Norway. I know a couple of the old Tandberg and now Cisco staff.

I was very skeptical on how things would go as I also loved the way Tandberg was handling it. Sure there

were and are things which could have gone better/faster/different, but all over I was positive surprised by the work done so far.

Dont forget that its not only two different companies and mentalities but also scaling is part of it, which alone stirs up some dirt.

Cisco always has an open ear for suggestions and constructive critic, that's what I really like. So please

take the offer by Wayne and contact him to describe the trouble you faced :-)

An example what I thought was really bad was the licensing website, but that really really improved with the last

update not that long ago.

I really enjoy the support forum (do not forget to look at the TelePresence section), the bug toolkit is just

handy, the information (documentation / downloads / partner learning / single sign on with your Cisco account...)

on the Cisco website is cool and TAC and  especially the licensing support team helped me out 24/7 where I would have had to wait longer under Tandberg times.

If you have one thing you could change, what would it be and how would you fix it?

Please remember to rate helpful responses and identify

Highlighted
Cisco Employee

Just to close out this thread, our Cisco TAC engineer Vernon DePee worked with Tom to come up with a cost effective and suitable solution for him and he had the following comments upon closing the TAC case:

Overall:

I was the person who wrote "An Open Letter to John Chambers," complaining that Cisco had ruined Tandberg utterly and completely.

To my great surprise and pleasure, I immediately got many wonderful and helpful replies, all the way up to Wayne McAllister, a senior manager of Cisco Telepresence.

Also, I'd like to give a  great big thank you to Vern Depee, a very, very smart Cisco engineer who took charge of my problem and wouldn't quit until he'd solved it to my satisfaction.

If Cisco wants to use this , feel free.

Tom Cox

Thomas H. Cox, M.Ed

Senior Learning Space Consultant

Lead Video Conference Consultant

ITS Teaching and Learning, Classroom Hotline, CB 3503 UNC Chapel Hill, NC, 27599 Tel. (919) 962-4997

View solution in original post