2023 Customer Awards: Cisco Systems - Best-in-Class: Community

2023 Customer Awards: Cisco Systems - Best-in-Class: Community



Company: Cisco Systems

Company background: Founded in 1984 by a small group of computer scientists from Stanford University, Cisco is now the worldwide leader in technology that powers the Internet. Cisco inspires new possibilities by reimagining customer applications, securing data, transforming infrastructure, and empowering teams for a global and inclusive future.

Contact: Denise Brittin

Title: Sr. Manager, Cisco Community Strategy & Engineering

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

Kudos Category: Best-in-Class: Community

1. Describe the organization's objectives in launching a Khoros community. What is the use-case and purpose of your community (support, enablement and learning, marketing awareness, customer success, driving sales, product innovation, etc.)? Has the community charter evolved since its launch, and if so, how?

Cisco’s customers want simplicity. They want a clear, consistent experience that guides them to their desired business results, no matter how complicated the technology. And they want that experience on their terms: self-guided when they want, connecting with people when they need.  We recently took a large leap in this direction by completely reimagining Cisco Community, which serves more than 1.5 million monthly visitors globally.

They come to our community for a clear, consistent experience that guides them to their desired business results, no matter how complicated the technology. 

Knowing this, we’ve turned Cisco Community into a new hub for customer success. Now, customers and partners benefit from immediate access to the information they want and can ask questions about content in real-time, wherever they are located.  We expanded Cisco Community’s original product-only focus to include connecting customers with self-help content and resources that enable them to address their most pressing needs as they adopt and use Cisco hardware and software products.

The main components of this transformation project, called Community Reimagined, include:

  • Interactive Guided Resources – step-by-step product adoption knowledge base articles designed for user engagement.  They are dynamically rendered from Adobe Experience Manager fragments, automatically updated and include interactive progress tracking – a Khoros first!
  • Ask the Experts Interactive Live Events – users can interact with experts live and on-demand and register without ever leaving the community.
  • Dynamic Translation –7 distinct communities in different languages were integrated and equipped with multi-directional machine translation to enable users globally to consume content and interact with experts on Cisco’s huge English-language community, even if they don’t speak English. With Khoros open APIs we were able to build an integration with our existing Translation Management System (TMS) to take advantage of Cisco’s translation memory and glossary.
  • Updated User Interface –Cisco Community was upgraded to Khoros’ Hermes UI and was aligned with the new Cisco.com design system, creating a harmonious experience between Cisco’s two most visited digital properties. 



CISCO COMMUNITY LINK: https://community.cisco.com/

2. How did the community get brought to life? Was there executive/business/stakeholder buy-in? What was the process to gain this buy-in? How was cross-functional support and organizational adoption achieved?

Because Cisco is a customer-centric organization and these changes were driven by customer insights, internal buy-in as well as customer adoption came naturally.  The project was supported by Digital Experience and Marketing executives and progress was tracked to the SVP level.  Along with the Community and Khoros teams, the End-to-End Customer Experience, Research, Digital Strategy and Management, and Customer Success teams were critical to the success of the project.  Numerous cycles of research, design and approvals took place to ensure cross-organization buy-in and adoption.

Cisco took advantage of Khoros’ extended ecosystem of technology partners and brought in Khoros Professional Services and iTalent Digital to partner with Cisco’s internal research, design, experience and engineering teams to deliver these innovations. Below are further details about each Community Reimagined component.

Interactive Guided Resources – Product adoption guides were static, manually created web pages on Cisco.com. Now, they are dynamically constructed from multi-purpose Adobe Experience Manager fragments. This ensures Guided Resources always contain the most up to date information and streamlines productivity for Cisco content creators. 

Hyper-customized features and integration with Cisco’s Snowflake database allow logged-in customers to track progress through each use-case step. They can also “hide” sections of the articles that are not applicable to them. Furthermore, additional personalized content is served up based on where a specific user is in their product journey.

This is a Khoros first that involved a custom-built solution using Khoros TKB Board, TKB article page, post page and edit page.  This “first” has assisted in driving visits, increases logins and encourages returning users.




Ask the Experts (ATX) – These live online events focus on onboarding, adopting and using Cisco products. This content was migrated from Cisco’s Learning community to Khoros and enhanced with value-added custom features, including the ability to:

  • Browse upcoming ATX sessions in Community events, featuring in-depth product demos and live Q&A
  • Register for ATX sessions and submit questions in advance – all without leaving the Community.  Registration was made quick and easy by requiring login, then automatically populating user data to the registration form.
  • Access on-demand ATX recordings and resources shared during sessions

Support for multiple days/times per event, one-click registration, and event creation via API was all custom built to provide an exceptional user experience.

Dynamic translation was applied between the English, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and French communities. 95% of the content and 97% of the accepted solutions on Cisco Community are in English. Now, unanswered questions posted in the other communities are automatically syndicated to the English community (in English, thanks to machine translation and the integration between Cisco’s TMS and Khoros) so non-English-speaking users can engage with content and experts on the English community in near-real time and in their preferred language, all without leaving their current community.  This bi-directional syndication creates truly global community conversations.






Ask the Experts Events Link:


3. What were the results? More revenue generated, a reduction of costs, improved customer experience, more innovation, etc.? Tell us how Khoros helped you achieve those results. Please include quantifiable metrics if possible.

The Khoros Professional Services team was a true partner in the design and development of the innovative, interactive AEM-based Guided Resources, the advanced Events customizations required to meet Cisco’s needs and the smooth transition to the Hermes UI theme.

Guided Resources Results:

  • Enabled a streamlined process for Guided Resource authors, reducing overall publication time from weeks to hours
  • Guided Resources are now the 2nd most clicked link in the Community first tier navigation menu.
  • The cascading launch of Guided Resources started in Sept 2022, with the first 5 guides.  Over 30 additional guides have been launched since, driving 8,938 visits to Guided Resources as of June 3, 2023.
  • Increased logins.  19% of visits (1,708 visits) that viewed a Guided Resource logged into Cisco's SSO and 82% of those (1,397) logged in users were doing so on the Guided resource page, mainly by engaging with the personalized progress tracker.
  • Users are continuing to leverage Guided Resources throughout their lifecycle journey. 72% of the Guided Resources users are part of a returning visit.




LINK: https://community.cisco.com/t5/all-guides-for-intersight-workload-optimization-iwo/intersight-worklo...


ATX Results:

  • Since adding ATXs to the community Events board, traffic has increased by 4%
  • 335 ATX videos in the English and Japanese communities have drawn 5,378 views


Content Syndication Results:

  • 34% increase in visitors, visits and views in non-English forums
  • 3% increase in accessible accepted solutions for non-English-speaking users
  • 228 unanswered questions syndicated to the English community generated 3,566 views and 111 replies






User Interface Refresh Results:

  • The Hermes-based UI refresh helped us meet two goals:
    • Internal teams and acquisitions were reluctant to invest and participate in Cisco Community because of the outdated UI.  Since the refresh, we easily increased buy-in and have onboarded three acquisitions and we’re in the process of migrating a fourth.
    • To align with our One Cisco initiative, we needed a more seamless experience across Cisco’s two most visited web properties, the Cisco.com website and Cisco Community.   We achieved this by combining the Hermes theme with design elements from a new Cisco.com design system.





Over time, we expect to see increased cost savings from case deflection thanks to more efficient and available access to content and expertise.

Special Thanks: Ryan Hinchliffe - CSM

Case Study Opt-In: Yes