Lithys 2016: Cisco - Social ROI Titan

Lithys 2016: Cisco - Social ROI Titan

Untitled57.pngCompany: Cisco

Contact: Becky Scott (Program Manager, Social Knowledge Management)

Community: Tech Zone 

Lithy category:  Social ROI Titan


Cisco is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected.


At Cisco, customers come first and an integral part of our DNA is creating long-lasting customer partnerships and working with them to identify their needs and provide solutions that support their success.


Our 2015 goals for our  Lithium-powered community 


Breaking Down Social Barriers


Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, today.

At Cisco Systems, our Technical Assistance Center (TAC) of over 4,000 engineers has fully adopted our Social Knowledge Management platform (Tech Zone), behaviors and practices. The knowledge they create within the Tech Zone TKB is externalized as content our customers use to self-serve and self-solve, which allowed us to realize over $25M in case avoidance savings in 2014.  


In 2015, we wanted to do much more. Yes, we wanted to continue finding ways to increase case avoidance savings, but we also looked beyond our TAC organization to understand the broader ecosystem engaged in resolving complex customer issues. This led us to the organization that is most often consulted in escalations – Engineering, the group that designs and develops our products. That’s when we realized we had an opportunity – our over 35,000-strong engineer community.


We set out to break down barriers by extending our social knowledge capabilities beyond our Services organization borders and into Engineering, providing capabilities and workflows to foster collaboration with the TAC, thus bringing people together in new ways to create a living, breathing, social organism. This is critical to our continued success because as our customers’ environments become more complex, borderless engagement channels are key in solving their biggest challenges. So we targeted over 35,000 Engineering employees.





Our focus areas and tactics to meet our  goals


Bring in your advocates!


Our engagement began at a summit last year in which the Engineering teams came together to discuss improving collaboration and escalation processes with the TAC. At the time, Engineering was using hundreds of email aliases to communicate with their TAC colleagues as part of their escalation procedures. Our Social Knowledge program manager attended to talk about how Tech Zone could improve the collaboration processes between Engineering and TAC.


As part of the summit objectives, the Engineering team had to agree to standardize on a single, escalation management system. We saw the opportunity to introduce Tech Zone as a means to collaborate early, thus avoiding potential escalations. We also highlighted the added benefit of capturing vital knowledge that could be externalized to help our customers – knowledge that would otherwise be lost in an email exchange. Or worse, asked over and over again.


We brought along our strongest and most influential TAC advocates who highlighted and endorsed the benefits of using Tech Zone, and who influenced Engineering to agree to use the site to collaborate.


At the end of the summit, Engineering agreed to include Tech Zone training and onboarding within the escalation management system training plan. We then identified Engineering advocates who agreed to be early adopters and who would help communicate the benefits of Tech Zone to their colleagues. TAC continues to encourage their engineering partners to use Tech Zone to collaborate today, helping to create the adoption “stickiness” needed for continued success.




Our results


To date, we have established an Engineering Adoption roadmap and have onboarded nearly 15,000 Engineering employees onto Tech Zone to engage and collaborate with TAC engineers. The results have been phenomenal: Engineering has become our fastest growing, knowledge-producing community within Tech Zone, and currently produces 12% of Tech Zone content.





This in turn translates to faster problem resolution and higher customer satisfaction scores as vital, actionable knowledge captured in TKBs is externalized on Our results prove this as we have observed record-high support content satisfaction scores (4.46 out of 5.00), and consumption numbers for TAC-authored articles (4.7M views of ~2,000 articles) as customers increasingly opt to self-serve and self-solve whenever possible.


In addition, we have retired ~40 email aliases to date (with many more to come) as Engineering teams continue to migrate to Tech Zone.


The benefits for Cisco have been staggering! We’ve more than met our 2015 goal to increase case deflection savings – with an approximate $54.2M in savings for the year – more than double our $25.2M savings from 2014.