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2020 Customer Awards: Cisco Systems, Inc. - Best-in-Class: Community

2020 Customer Awards: Cisco Systems, Inc. - Best-in-Class: Community

2020 Customer Awards: Cisco Systems, Inc. - Best-in-Class: Community

Cisco brand logo.PNG
Company: Cisco Systems, Inc.

Company background: Cisco proves that amazing things can happen when you connect the unconnected. By creating long-lasting customer partnerships, Cisco works to provide solutions that fuel their success. In 1984, Len Bosack and wife Sandy Lerner, wanted to email each other from their offices at Stanford University, but the technology didn’t exist. This is how the multiprotocol router was born. Since then Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by creating unprecedented value and opportunity for our customers, employees, investors and ecosystem partners and has become the worldwide leader in networking - transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborate.

Contact: Monica Lluis

Title: Global Community Manager Lead

Related URLs: https://community.cisco.com

Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Community

1. Describe your community(s) and how you decided to start a community or grow/change it? (user request, Khoros suggestion, internal idea, etc.).

Cisco Community is a combination of two external communities – the Cisco Support Community and Cisco Communities - that were merged in July 2018 for the purpose of providing a single site for customers and partners to interact, share information about Cisco Products, technologies and solutions, as well as learn about the latest and greatest in new products. Community members can also participate in Cisco-hosted events and host events to share their knowledge, expertise and experience with others.
Cisco Community, where 96% of the answers provided are from external contributors,
continues to steadily grow in membership and engagement as we strive to provide the best experience for our users. The enhancements below have been instrumental in improving our Easy of Use metric from 8.02 in fiscal year 2019 to 8.11 to fiscal year 2020.


These are some of the key enhancements since July 2018:

  • Security Category Restructure: During the merger of the two communities, we chose to retain the names of discussion boards in the Security category to prevent further disruption for our users. Over time, it became clear that we needed to restructure the security category to provide a more seamless and cohesive experience for our users and to more closely align with Cisco.com security product pages. We also heard from our top contributors who requested we streamline the discussion boards and labels to enable users to ask and answer questions more efficiently. As a result of the restructure, not only the visits increased 16%, and the number of questions posted grew 9%, but more importantly, the replies went up 22% and 29% more helpful votes were given. This is because it is easier now for users to engage and find the information they need.
  • Jive External Communities: In November 2019 we migrated the remaining Cisco external private communities hosted on the Jive Cloud platform. We leveraged the Group Hub functionality and integrated 380 groups into Cisco Community.
  • Webex Community: Cisco offered free access to its collaboration Webex products to help address the increased demand for remote workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, our technical assistance centers experienced an astronomical increase in requests for support. In order to help millions of users (teachers, remote workers and health care providers), we created a new Webex Community.
  • Events to support our users during COVID-19: To support our new users who had taken advantage of our free trials of Webex and Security products, we hosted a series of Community Live Webinars and Community Ask me Anything events from March through June 2020, in multiple languages.



2. Tell us about how you made it happen? Did you stage it first? Who got an early look? How did you drive adoption? Did you get executive buy-in? Did you have any key iterations?

Security Restructure:
Our approach to this project was to listen to feedback from our community members, specifically the top contributors, and to input from the different business units at Cisco. We worked cross-functionally to achieve these results and performed a mini-migration of content from the existing discussion boards to the new streamlined structure. Not only did we move content from one board to another, but we also removed any existing labels and applied new appropriate ones. We finalized the new structure on February 22, 2020.

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Jive external Communities:
Our approach to this project was not simply to migrate all the forums and content from Jive to Khoros, but to streamline the entire experience for our users and provide a consolidated community structure. We wanted to create a user interface design that aligned with Cisco’s new digital personality with convenient usability and personalization improvements. We started by doing an in-depth cleanup of private groups, users, and content and planned to migrate what was relevant. We migrated 380 private communities (out of 482), and 13.3K users (out of 30K).
This project was the final piece in our consolidated community plan, but couldn’t be executed until the Group Hubs capability was available in Khoros. We were one of the first customers to adopt this feature for our users.

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Webex Community for end users:
With COVID-19 pandemic, Cisco has helped the world by providing free licenses to Webex and security products to allow people to work remotely and teachers and students to learn virtually. Webex is one of the few Cisco products that is available directly to customers via the web or mobile apps, but it did not have a singular community for users to engage with each other and experts. We fast tracked the launch of the Webex Community and featured it in a prominent place within Cisco Community so users can find the help they need when they need it. Prior to starting this, Cisco Community forums focused on Webex topics such as adoption and administration.
The Webex Community visits have grown by 372% since launching in MayContributions have gone from 17 before launch to 1,068 after launch (representing 6182% growth).

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Events to support our users during COVID-19:
During this unprecedented time, we quickly organized ourselves to support the world with tools that allow people to connect with others remotely and securely. Government leaders, teachers, and remote workers in all industries need to work from home.

To help new users, who may not be technically savvy, participate in Webex meetings, connect to their companies’ intranets, etc., we provided a series of how-to webinars and moderated discussions. The events helped address specific questions in the community and reduce the number of cases being opened with Cisco’s technical assistance center.

The moderated discussions, called Ask Me Anything, are one of our most popular events in Community. Here is how they work: We open a topic-based discussion thread for two weeks and assigned experts promptly answer questions during this timeframe. We hosted each Ask Me Anything event in seven languages simultaneously! Our local language moderators helped with the translations of the questions and answers. This is the first time we have hosted these “Ask me Anything” discussions across our local language communities simultaneously, and our users were very engaged and found these events quite useful.
In total we had 51 Ask me Anything events that generated more than 62K views and 880 kudos. We also hosted 16 Community Live Webinars with over 4.5K registrations and 2.4K attendees. During the live webinar there were over 321 questions answered live, and the overall ratings were 4.61 (out of 5).

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3. What were the results? Tell us how it impacted your customer experience or the outcomes you seek as a business. Please include metrics if possible.

Overall Cisco Community CSAT (Easy of Use) Monthly average: It increased from 8.02 in fiscal year 2019 to 8.11 this fiscal year. This increase is significant!

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Security Restructure:

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Jive external Communities:

  • Traffic grew 35% from the four months prior to the migration to the last four mounts (from 7.5K views to 11.5K views)

Webex Community for End users:

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Events to support our users during COVID-19:

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