I joined Cisco TAC in 2006 as a customer support engineer specializing in Cisco Unified Communications. At that time, Cisco didn’t have a team that worked with our partners between the time they bought our gear and submitted a TAC case. To fill that gap, Cisco Technical Services formed a new team for PDI (Planning, Design, Implementation). I joined them in 2008, as a PDI escalation engineer specializing in Cisco Unified Communications. My job is to help partners before their systems go live.
Why did you start participating in Cisco Support Community?
In 2008, the tech lead on my TAC team sent me a link to a discussion when I asked for advice about a case. I liked what I saw and started visiting the forums regularly. At that point I had some spare time because the PDI team didn’t have as much visibility as we do now, so not many partners used the service.
Now whenever I have a chance I answer questions in the Collaboration, Voice, and Video forums, especially IP Telephony, Unified Communications Applications, Jabber Clients, and UC Migrations. I’ve also led two Ask the Expert sessions on Cisco Unified Communications Manager. At some point I’d like to start a blog. I just enjoy helping people by sharing all the knowledge I’ve accumulated over the years.
How does participating help you in your job?
The main benefit is learning what’s going on in the real market. Generally I work behind my computer. I don’t get the chance to go out to the field and deploy our solutions myself. So reading and answering customer posts tells me what problems our customers actually face. I’ve also learned a lot about third-party products from the discussions.
Do your managers support your participation?
Actually, my participation in Cisco Support Community is part of my evaluation. My manager expects us to reply to 15-20 posts each quarter. I generally do that every day.
Any advice for other Cisco employees who are thinking about participating?
Participating in the forums is a great learning experience. You’ll find more information about cases in the discussions than you would in a typical TAC case. Participating also helps your career because it gives you a lot of exposure both inside and outside of Cisco.
Any suggestions to make the community even better?
One idea is a FAQ section. A related idea is suggesting previous threads as members type in their questions.