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Meet Martin Koch: Cisco Designated VIP
Martin Koch is a Senior Consultant for Atea, specializing in Cisco TelePresence. He says, “I solve technical issues for the same reasons that other people work crossword puzzles. Coming up with an answer is the reward!”
How did you become interested in networking?
My interest started when I was a university student in my home country of Germany, studying electrical engineering. Some friends and I started building up a computer network and later I worked part-time for the company that managed the student network. Most of the work was troubleshooting when students had problems connecting. Today mobile phones in your pocket is much faster than the computers we used back then, in 1997.
What are you doing now?
I live in Norway and work for Atea, an IT consulting company with customers in the Nordic and Baltic countries. We are a Cisco Gold Certified Partner and Cisco Cloud Partner. I specialize in Cisco TelePresence solutions, both on the customer premises and Atea’s own hosted TelePresence service. I’m also helping Atea develop a Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) offering.
What drew you to the Cisco Support Community, and why did you stay?
The community came up in my Google search results when I was looking to solve a customer issue. I liked the Q&A format, and decided it would be a good way to learn about real-life issues I haven’t heard of yet. I mostly visit the TelePresence forum, and sometimes the other Collaboration forums. If one of my customers experiences an issue that I’ve read about in the forums, I have a head start on solving the problem.
What do you get out of participating?
I solve technical issues for the same reasons that other people work crossword puzzles. Coming up with an answer and the positive feedback via the forum is the reward! I also enjoy getting to know people through the community. When I was at Cisco Live, someone saw my nametag and said, “Are you Martin from the TelePresence forum? It’s so cool to meet you in person!” That felt great.
Browsing the forums has exposes me to technologies that overlap with TelePresence. For example, many customers now deploy Cisco Unified Communications Manager as a virtual machine. That means an issue might be related to storage. From reading the discussions I’ve learned what questions to ask to see if storage is the problem.
Does your company support your participation?
My company, Atea, is proud that I’m a Cisco Designated VIP. They encourage consultants to keep learning so that we can become even more valuable to our customers.
What can other community members do to make the forums even better?
Before posting a question, take a few minutes to see if it’s already been answered. Also, be precise in your question. It’s impossible to answer a question like, “My video system isn’t working. What should I do?” We can find a solution more quickly if you list all hardware and software and also describe the experience. Is the TelePresence system ringing? Do you see anything on the display? Can one party hear and see but not the other? This kind of detailed information helps us narrow down the problem to the network, software version, interoperability issues, and so on.
Another important thing is that people should rate the answers via the stars below the messages and set the Thread to "answered" if it is! This is an important feedback; it motivates me and helps others to find the right answers!