2023 Customer Awards: Palo Alto Networks - Best-in-Class: Community

2023 Customer Awards: Palo Alto Networks - Best-in-Class: Community


Company: Palo Alto Networks

Company background: Palo Alto Networks is the world’s cybersecurity leader. We innovate to outpace cyberthreats, so organizations can embrace technology with confidence. We provide next-generation cybersecurity to thousands of customers globally, across all sectors. Our best-in-class cybersecurity platforms and services are backed by industry-leading threat intelligence and strengthened by state-of-the-art AI and automation. Whether deploying our products to enable the Zero Trust Enterprise, responding to a security incident, or partnering to deliver better security outcomes through a world-class partner ecosystem, we’re committed to helping ensure each day is safer than the one before. It’s what makes us the cybersecurity partner of choice.

Contact: Jerilyn Forsythe

Title: Community Program Manager

Related URLs: https://live.paloaltonetworks.com, Member Testimonials, PANCast

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?

Since its inception in 2015, LIVEcommunity has evolved into a global digital hub that brings together IT and cybersecurity professionals from all corners of the world. Originally designed as a platform for Palo Alto Networks customers to post questions and find answers. Today, community is the first line of support for customers — a one-stop-shop for peer-to-peer support, critical resources, customer journey guides, and self-help materials for Palo Alto Networks products and services. LIVEcommunity has become a monumental asset for driving marketing awareness, customer success, and specialized support. 

Evolution of Our Community Charter: Driving Customer Success, User Experience and Localization 

Our community charter has undergone a significant transformation, expanding beyond its original focus — on call deflection. Building on the success in reducing support calls, the charter now encompasses key areas such as product adoption, localization for strategic markets, and a reinforced commitment to customer engagement.

In 2020, we embarked on an exciting UX overhaul guided by Khoros best practices, which marked the beginning of our community CX charter evolution. This journey further enhanced our digital initiatives, leading to a community Customer Experience (CX) refresh in April 2021. The result has been successful in providing our customers with a simplified user experience, enhanced self-service support, and increased engagement.

Throughout the following year, we deepened our partnership with Khoros Professional Services team — collaborating to strategize, customize and implement new customer-tailored offerings. This led to the successful launch of a new tier-based digital support model integrated with CARE moderation capabilities and workflows. 

Taking another leap forward, this year we introduced a game-changing Robust Entitlement model on LIVEcommunity. This innovative approach grants exclusive access to tailored, customer-only content based on individual support levels tied to their login credentials. This model empowers customers throughout their product adoption and deployment journeys, ensuring their product adoption success and driving forward the Palo Alto Networks mission to protect our digital way of life. 

Expanding our horizons and deepening our commitment to inclusivity, we have launched additional translation microsites to cater to non-English speaking users. These microsites currently include Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, and a revamped Japanese native language site, with Korean soon to follow.

This expansion demonstrates our unwavering commitment to serve our global customer base at its core and better cater to  employees, partners, and customers in the Asia-Pacific region. With more than 30,000 unique visitors the past year, it further validates the effectiveness of our approach in providing valuable resources and support in their native languages.


New translated microsites on LIVEcommunityNew translated microsites on LIVEcommunity


Customer engagement is pivotal for our community's evolution. Our efforts to gather member sentiment have expanded through various channels. These include conducting one-on-one feedback sessions, member input on an industry-standard UX survey, a Member Testimonial series featuring video interviews, customer involvement in more than 30 early access and beta programs through group hubs, and the launch of a podcast and episode ideas forum. 

These enhancements build upon the progress achieved in previous years. Looking forward, we are confident that by leveraging our valuable partnership with Khoros, listening to member input and following industry best practices, our community will continue to evolve and fortify LIVEcommunity as a best-in-class community.

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?

Unlocking the Power of Community: From Buy-in to Cross-Functional Collaboration 

To bring the LIVEcommunity to life and gain buy-in, we implemented a comprehensive approach that involved collaboration, global involvement, and alignment with various internal teams. Our strategy focuses on creating useful, actionable, and expert-written content, which is the core of LIVEcommunity.

First, we fostered collaboration by partnering with marketing, critical response, customer support, product, and partner teams. This collaborative effort allowed us to build a robust knowledge base that covers a wide range of topics pertinent to our customers and partners. In the past 12 months alone, more than 700 expert-produced videos were added to our Knowledge Base resources for customers, propelling our LIVEcommunity YouTube channel to more than 3.7 million views and 30,000-plus subscribers. By aligning with business, marketing, and product initiatives, we partner with our stakeholders to ensure all resources remain relevant and technically accurate. We also synchronize our editorial calendar with new product releases and feature updates to provide timely and relevant information to our users.

Furthermore, we recognized the importance of security and threat intelligence by establishing a partnership with Unit 42, Palo Alto Networks' Threat Intelligence & Response team. This collaboration guarantees our customers are promptly informed about the latest vulnerability playbooks and patches, keeping them protected against emerging cybersecurity threats.

We also partnered with the Palo Alto Networks critical response team, which led to the introduction of a Customer Advisories widget that is prominently displayed on every LIVEcommunity page, regardless of the user's entry point. This feature ensures that critical customer advisories are easily accessible, enhancing user awareness and proactive response to potential risks.

Customer AdvisoriesCustomer Advisories


Our community team has demonstrated exceptional collaboration with Palo Alto Networks Product Managers to elevate our community and enhance the customer experience. One significant initiative was the introduction of Quarterly Stakeholder Roundtables in early 2023. These recorded sessions serve as a platform to unveil new community features and UX improvements, share the latest customer feedback, and train stakeholders on community best practices. To further enable collaboration with our stakeholders, we also introduced a brand-new Stakeholder Knowledge Hub.

Stakeholder Knowledge HubStakeholder Knowledge Hub


Notable outcomes from this initiative include the implementation of a streamlined content auditing process, the provision of comprehensive best practices and how-to guides for discussion moderators, and the introduction of an admin feature that offers precise information on member subscriptions within their respective areas. 

In collaboration with our Customer Success and product teams, we have created Customer Journey Guides tailored to the post-sales lifecycle journey. These guides provide actionable steps for customers from Kickoff to Deployment and Adoption. Furthermore, we were excited to announce the launch of PANCast, an official Palo Alto Networks podcast that delivers valuable insights that our customers can leverage for their benefit.

PANCast, a Palo Alto Networks podcastPANCast, a Palo Alto Networks podcast


This is illustrative of a significant evolution in the internal conversation about community: Rather than the community team reaching out to stakeholders, they now proactively seek collaboration with the community. This shift signifies a new fulcrum point, positioning the community as a primary digital support line for customers. It emphasizes the recognition of community's vital role within the organization and its growing importance as a platform for customer empowerment.

By implementing these processes and partnerships, we have not only gained business and stakeholder buy-in, but also secured cross-functional support. Our emphasis on delivering valuable content, promoting collaboration, and aligning with organizational initiatives has resulted in a thriving and resourceful environment for Palo Alto Networks customers and partners. This foundation of connectedness sets the stage for even greater achievements, propelling the collective success of both Palo Alto Networks and our esteemed customers. Together, we are poised to unlock remarkable possibilities and drive continued growth and innovation.

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 combined outcomes of these efforts reflected tangible results, including improved customer experience, increased innovation and cost savings for Palo Alto Networks.

In the past year, we’ve implemented cutting-edge Khoros features to engage our community members in exciting new ways. For example, we launched Nominated Discussions in fall 2022, which transform Accepted Solutions into searchable, shareable articles within our integrated knowledge base. As a key aspect of our solutions approach, we rely on our Cyber Elite experts, our exceptional super-users, to contribute answers, build our library of Accepted Solutions, and drive Nominated Discussions.

Nominated DiscussionNominated Discussion


Additionally, we collaborated with Khoros Professional Services to introduce the Audit Date Stamp, instantly keeping readers informed about the latest updates to articles for enhanced technical accuracy. This feature further strengthens trust and establishes our community's voice of authority.

Audit Date StampAudit Date Stamp



Transforming Results with Khoros: Tangible Positive Outcomes and Quantifiable Success in the Past Year


  • 49% increase in new member registrations
  • 27% growth in unique visitors and page views 
  • 28% growth in Accepted Solutions and 29% growth in Accepted Solutions Views (more than 3.1  million)
  • 97% average response rate in our most active forum, General Discussions 
  • 71% of posts replied to by fellow customers and partners — evidence of strong peer-to-peer engagement 
  • 21% increase in badges awarded to members — including a 29.5% increase in first-time discussions, 17.5% increase in first replies, and 16.5% increase in first accepted solutions
  • 26% increase in Kudos given YoY


By aligning with industry measures defined by TSIA and Forrester, we worked with  Rob Parrish (our amazing Khoros CSM!) to conduct a comprehensive analysis to accurately gauge cost savings. Our focus was on Unique Member Visits to pages featuring accepted solutions within the community. The results for 2022 were truly remarkable, with 38% of our members reporting successful support outcomes through their interactions with LIVEcommunity. This marked a significant increase from the previous year's 25%. These numbers translate to several million dollars in annual savings for Palo Alto Networks, showcasing the tangible impact and undeniable value our community brings to both our members and our organization. 

These accomplishments underscore our commitment to continuous improvement and provide a solid foundation for future growth and innovation. By aligning our charter with the needs of our users, we have fostered a thriving best-in-class community environment that encourages active participation, knowledge sharing, and problem-solving.

Special Thanks: Robert Parrish

Case Study Opt-In: Yes