As any CIO with a digital transformation agenda can attest, success relies upon establishing clearly defined objectives for each step of the journey - with visibility into the entire IT infrastructure. Also critical is the ability to receive the right information at the right time to help achieve desired outcomes faster. This was especially true during the pandemic when, for example, Cisco enabled - within 10 days - 140,000 employees and partners to work from home.
In Cisco IT, we're meeting these goals with CX Cloud - a one-stop destination that combines Cisco expertise and best practices with telemetry, AI-/ML-driven insights, use cases, and contextual learning. This cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) portal is smoothing the bumps in our digital journey by removing complexity, filling skills gaps, and ultimately accelerating technology adoption.
It accomplishes this by providing:
Full visibility into all of our network assets and contracts
Automated risk detection and mitigation
Actionable data and insights
Ready access to targeted learning resources and expertise, and much more
Let's take a closer look at how we're leveraging these and other CX Cloud capabilities to benefit our business.
'Single source of truth' with 360-degree insights
CX Cloud provides a secure, single source of truth that enables full visibility of our 100,000-plus IT assets (see Figure 1). CX Cloud's telemetry ensures we always have the latest information pertaining to purchased and connected assets, security advisories, support cases, and individual success tracks.
Because we now have all of our asset information and security advisories in one place, our engineers no longer need to build reports manually or reconcile across platforms. As a result, they expect to boost their efficiency and improve their operational scale by 50 to 60 percent, allowing them to spend more time on innovation. The bottom line: We're accomplishing much more with the same number of people.
CX Cloud also lets us keep track of on-premises and cloud-based infrastructure across multiple deployments - with tools to search, filter, and see a 360-degree view of an asset's hardware and software details. We can access contract and coverage details with key support milestones, while also receiving on-demand diagnostic scans and updated advisories.
Timely expertise with quick resolution and enhanced security
CX Cloud leverages machine learning to analyze our network and generate a prioritized listing of security advisories (alerts), field notices, and priority bugs (see Figure 2). Each security advisory shows the vulnerabilities, the number of affected assets, IP addresses, and actionable data - ultimately helping us drive faster resolution and enhanced security.
Before we had this tool, our engineers would spend as many as three hours analyzing each potentially impacted device. CX Cloud is dramatically reducing the majority of the time it takes to gather the information from multiple sources, giving our engineers opportunities to focus on higher-value activities.
With CX Cloud, we can access use-case-guided expertise and lifecycle resources to help us deploy, manage, and optimize our technology while reducing risks. We can leverage a guided adoption journey to help us deploy and optimize specific use cases, with expert advice tailored to our specific progress (see Figure 3).
CX Cloud enables us to gauge our deployment progress using a combination of telemetry insights and manual actions. We can engage with Cisco and partner expert resources such as best-practices webinars and 1-to-1 coaching. We also enjoy access to extensive eLearning catalog and remote practice labs (Level 2), as well as product documentation and communities.
We've found the lifecycle section of CX Cloud to be especially useful when we onboard new people. This feature helps keep us moving forward in our transformation journey, without having to backtrack.
Speedy resolution and simplified case management
With CX Cloud, we can see all open support cases in a handy list view (provided that each viewer on our team is eligible to review those cases). This easy access is available regardless of whether a viewer is the case owner or not. This built-in support is akin to always having a high-touch operations manager at our fingertips, accelerating collaboration and issue resolution.
Minimize risks with tailored recommendations and insights
CX Cloud delivers deep intelligence and insights into our network and security posture, allowing us to reduce our operational risk. We can view targeted insights and suggestions that help us optimize our business and solve problems before they happen.
For our Catalyst 9500 switches, we receive software recommendations tailored to our assets and configuration - by risk profile. Combined with Cisco DNA Center software image management (SWIM), this helps us automate software upgrades and ensure all the assets are on the same Golden Image. Our engineering leaders can also see potential crash risks based on known contributing factors, along with tailored recommendations to minimize risks. With Integrated Secure Operations, we also have visibility into license consumption information and features used.
CX Cloud even lets us quickly identify devices with regulatory compliance (e.g., HIPAA, PCI) violations and view recommended fixes.
Ultimately, CX Cloud's comprehensive suite of use-case-driven solutions work together to help us drive business value across architectures. CX Cloud digitally connects us to the right expertise at the right time, with the right level of engagement to achieve our goals - faster.
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