Jennifer Halim: How Cisco Support Community Became a Hobby
Q: Tell us about your role with Cisco.
I joined the Cisco Technical Assistance Center in 2007, focusing on security products in Australia. In 2010 I became a Technical Account Manager with ScanSafe, Cisco’s cloud-based web security service. I spend most of my day on Cisco TAC with customers. Since I cover the Asia Pacific region, I mostly interact with WebEx.
Q: How did you get involved with Cisco Support Community and how do you participate?
I stumbled on the site in March 2010. After spending time looking through the forums, I realized the discussions were very helpful. I subscribe to the security forums, including Firewall, VPN, and IPS, and receive email alerts when new comments are posted. I look over the discussions most days, before or after work if I’m too busy during work hours. It’s become a hobby!
I also read the documents published by other Cisco people. Sometimes I refer to them when someone asks a question. When we start a ScanSafe forum, I plan to publish sample configurations.
Q: Why do you participate?
Mostly, it gives me satisfaction to help people. I might know the answer right away, and yet to the person who asks, the issue could be difficult. If I were in the same situation, I would be grateful for assistance. Recently I answered a question about configuring NAT on a firewall, and the person was so appreciative he sent a personal email to thank me.
I also view the Cisco Support Community as a way to keep learning. I’m not always right, and other community members are generally friendly about improving an answer.
Q: Is being active in the Cisco Support Community helping your career?
My manager is happy for me to participate and appreciates my contribution. When the email goes out regarding the top internal contributors, he emails me and thanks me for my participation. This top contributor acknowledgement email is a great way of letting our managers know the extra things we do on the community. Following the discussions also helps me keep track of new Cisco security products and features. I might not learn about them otherwise because my job keeps me focused on the ScanSafe cloud service.
Q: Why would you recommend your peers become active in the Cisco Support Community?
It feels good to help other people, and participating also helps customers to have a good experience with Cisco. Not all customers are getting help through formal channels, and they appreciate getting answers through the community. Also, participating helps you keep learning.
My advice is, don’t be shy. If you think you know the answer, go ahead and respond.
Q: Any ideas for how we can improve the Cisco Support Community?
I’ve seen a huge improvement since I joined, and participation has increased dramatically in the last six months.