Case Study

Cisco Realizes Extraordinary Community ROI with Lithium

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.

At Cisco Systems, our customers and partners benefit when our Technical Assistance Center (TAC) Engineers share their expertise by publishing actionable, vital knowledge as content on

  • Goal

    Accelerate the knowledge expertise of over 4,000 worldwide technical support engineers while sharing critical information across a global population.

  • Solution

    Leverage Lithium to engage and motivate TAC Engineers worldwide to seamlessly transform their know-ledge and expertise into knowledge for customers and partners.

“Lithium has fundamentally changed the way Cisco creates and consumes knowledge in Technical Services.”

— Becky Scott, Program Manager, Digital Support Experience, Cisco

How are you implementing community to meet your customer care business goals?

We’ve had year over year success in building a borderless technical support community where the following are now embedded into our normal, everyday workflow:

  • skills-based inventory
  • skills-based routing
  • a reputation engine
  • interactive collaboration through gamification

Now, as a knowledge asset is consumed, the reputation of that piece of knowledge grows. Our Lithium community has helped us gain record-high support content satisfaction scores, as well as through the number of views of TAC-authored articles. This in turn benefits Cisco, as we’ve realized an approximate $54.2M in case deflection savings for 2015, which is more than double our savings from 2014.

    What changes did you implement due to cost reductions from community?

    Lithium has fundamentally changed the way Cisco creates and consumes knowledge in Technical Services. How do we engage and motivate 4,000+ TAC Engineers globally to transform their expertise into vital knowledge that our customers and partners can use? By hosting a competition with the chance to win a 2-week work rotation at any global TAC location. We called this competition the Knowledge Champions League (KCL).

    KCL is a competition where TAC engineers collaborate to cre-ate articles within Tech Zone, our internal workflow-enabled community. Articles are published to the support site where customers and partners can access them to self-serve and self-solve. The KCL team that creates the highest volume of most impactful content wins the grand prize.

    Although only one team wins, all KCL participants realize the benefits of working collaboratively in global teams across technologies: building their network of contacts, building cultural awareness, and strengthening their collaboration skills while developing articles. Our goal was to encourage this collaboration while creating valuable content for

Tell us how the KCL Competition was constructed.

Phase 1–The Qualifying period: Each engineer must qualify as a top contributor within their Technology Space

Phase 2–The Games: Top contributors for each technology and site (Europe, Americas, Australia, India) were grouped into teams, each with a coach. The team that creates the highest amount of customer-impactful content wins.

The winning team was awarded a two-week rotation to work remotely from a Cisco Customer Support Site.

What results did the competition yield?

We measured the output of KCL participants and compared it with Tech Zone active users that were not part of KCL. On average, KCL participants created 5 times more content than non KCL participants. The post-KCL results were sustained—we saw a 47% increase in number of articles published annually as well as doubled cost savings due to case deflection ($25.2M vs $54.2M) YoY.

By using innovative Gamification techniques and integrating social knowledge and content publishing into TAC workflows, Cisco Services has successfully addressed the challenge of converting the intellectual capital in over 4,000 support engineers' heads into exceptional quality, reusable content. Our Knowledge Champions League efforts fostered sustainable behaviors of collaboration, teamwork and healthy competition resulting in the production of the highest quality, most impactful content our customers can use to solve some of their most complex problems.