Interview with Gilles Dufour, Cisco Support Community Star
Gilles Dufour has participated actively in the Cisco NetPro Support Community since 1997. He says, “I think everyone should participate,” and we wanted to find out why.
Q: What’s your role at Cisco?
A: I’m a technical leader in the Application Datacenter Business Unit, which is responsible for Content Services Switches (CSS), ACE Application Control Engines, and Content Switching Module (CSM). If any Cisco customer anywhere in the world has an issue with a product that we support, our unit is the last stop.
Q: How did you get started with the NetPro Cisco Support Community?
A: I joined Cisco in 1997, at the same time as several of my classmates from UniversityofLiège in Belgium. We discovered the forerunner to NetPro and decided to have a little competition on who could get the most stars, for answering the most questions.
The game with my classmates ended a long time ago, and now I participate because I find it interesting and it’s valuable for customers. The customer and Cisco are both better off if we answer a question on the Cisco Support Community before the customer opens a Technical Assistance Center case.
Q: How do you participate in the forum?
A: Every morning I look for unanswered questions about CSS, ACE, and CSM. I’ve been working with these products for 10 years, so if it’s a known issue, I have the answer. If it’s a new issue, I leave it for someone else to answer.
I also look for customer suggestions, which are often for new command or reporting options. If I think it’s a useful suggestion, I’ll relay it to a developer in the unit or sometimes even just implement it myself.
Q: Why would you recommend that other Cisco subject matter experts contribute to the Cisco Support Community?
A: By participating in the Cisco Support Community you can get to know the people who actually use the product we make. They give very good feedback on what works for them, and what could be improved.
Also, customers really appreciate our participation. When I go outside Cisco to provide training or meet a customer, customers frequently say, “You must be the Gilles who answered my question on NetPro,” and they’re grateful. I think everyone should participate because it doesn’t take much time to answer a few questions every day.
Q: What could we do to improve the Cisco Support Community?
A: I actually like NetPro the way it is. The new features are good, such as publishing and rating documents, but I don’t use them because I mainly visit just to answer questions.