Introducing Brad Magnani and why he is a Cisco Support Community Fan
has been participating actively in the Cisco Support Community since he joined the company in 2007, and has won several Cisco Achievement Program awards for his contributions. We caught up with him in June 2011 to find out what’s in it for Cisco—and for him.
Q: What’s your role at Cisco?
I’m technical lead for Unity and Unity Connection for the TAC team in Richardson, Texas. I’m also the technical Cisco Support Community advocate for the Unified Communications Applications community for TAC West (North America).
Q: What inspired you to participate in the Cisco Support Community?
Soon after I joined the company, TAC management suggested we take a look at the forums. Right away I saw questions I could answer, and haven’t stopped!
At the beginning, I saw questions I had no clue about. I would do quick lab reproductions and look through documentation to find the answers. That process increased my knowledge and skills. And while pursuing the answer to the immediate question, I would often learn about other topics, as well.
Q: How do you interact with the community in a typical day?
I’ve made it a habit to check the forums several times a day to answer what questions I can. I also keep an eye on trends. When an issue comes up frequently, I blog or post documents, helping to save time and aggravation for customers and partners.
If I see that resolving the issue will take too much public troubleshooting, I invite the customer to open a TAC case straight from the community, and then take ownership of the case through resolution. Customers really appreciate the personal experience.
Q: Tell us more about browsing the forums to spot trends.
TAC might not immediately realize that many customers are experiencing similar issues if those customers are assigned to different TAC engineers in multiple locations. The Cisco Support Community provides a centralized forum, making it easier to spot trends so that we can fix the documentation or the code.
Q: Would you participate in the Cisco Support Community it were not a requirement for your job?
Absolutely. You stop learning if you’re not engaged every day in current products and technologies. As an engineer, what excites me is the challenge of figuring out new issues and how everything works together. I don’t see myself going from day to day without learning something new about technology, and Cisco Support Community is a constant source of new information.
Q: Has your participation helped your career?
Yes. Cisco Support Community has provided more visibility, both inside and outside the company. Upper management can see that I’m helping to move the company forward, and they’ve acknowledged that with CAP awards over the years for my contributions to the community. I’ve also built a handful of relationships with partners and customers who trust me to fix their issues. Whenever they’ve got a problem and I’ve got time, they’re willing to open a TAC case so we can get to the bottom of it.
Q: Any ideas for how we can improve the Cisco Support Community?
After the recent website upgrade, everything is great! The social media tools are especially effective. Any way to disperse our knowledge base is beneficial, and I believe that Cisco Support Community plays a valuable role.