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Exam Code: 820-605 Cisco Customer Success Manager (CSM) test January 2024 by team

820-605 Cisco Customer Success Manager (CSM)

Exam Number: 820-605

Exam Name : Cisco Customer Success Manager (CSM)


The Cisco Customer Success Manager (DTCSM) v2.1 course gives you the confidence and competence to fulfill the Customer Success Manager (CSM) role successfully, helping your customers realize value from their solutions and achieve their business outcomes. The course offers experiential learning through practical exercises using situations based on real-life use cases and case studies. In this highly interactive course, you can practice and gain confidence in fulfilling core tasks using best-practice tools and methodologies while receiving feedback from the facilitator and your peers.

This course is based on the concept of the customer lifecycle and how to optimize that journey, increasing the value realized by the customer, and maximizing your likelihood to maintain their loyalty and renew or expand their business opportunities. The course helps you prepare for the 820-605 Cisco¬ģ Customer Success Manager (CSM) exam. By passing this exam, you earn the Cisco Customer Success Manager Specialist certification.


After taking this course, you should be able to:

Describe the role of the Customer Success Manager

Describe the tools that the Customer Success Manager uses to ensure customer experience

Describe the lifecycle approach to customer experience


Transition to Subscription Economy

Customer and Industry Trends

Defining Customer Success and the CSM Role

Impact of Customer Success on Business Practices

Engaging the Customer for Success

Engaging the Customer for Success

Addressing Barriers

Customer Success Management Activities

Success Plan Elements

Customer Success Management Activities

Expand and Renewals

Cisco Customer Success Manager (CSM)
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Cisco Customer Success Manager (CSM)
Question: 201
Which definition of customer success is true?
A. It is the business methodology of ensuring that customers achieve their expected and unexpected outcomes while
using your product or service.
B. It is a business methodology for increasing recurring revenues by minimizing the risk of churn while driving
adoption and expansion.
C. It is the business methodology of ensuring that customers are always on the latest software releases and subscription
contracts so that they can focus on the core business activities that make them successful.
D. It is a measure of the Net Promoter Score that results from a disciplined engagement of sales, services, marketing,
and customer success teams working seamlessly to deliver a positive experience for the customer.
Answer: D
Question: 202
The customer wants to Excellerate operational expenditure and reduce the C02 footprint of the organization.
Which two business outcomes are critical to the companyís success? (Choose two.)
A. sustainability
B. credibility
C. time to market
D. business growth
E. cost efficiency
Answer: AE
Question: 203
Which two actions should the Customer Success Manager take throughout the quarter to support their customer?
(Choose two.)
A. No action is necessary as long as the health index is green
B. Observe the online image of the customer
C. Review and update the success plan for ongoing activities
D. Manage the service issues and escalations
E. Join the sales and marketing strategy meetings
Answer: CD
Question: 204
The customer wants to Excellerate operational expenditure and reduce the C02 footprint of the organization.
Which two business outcomes are critical to the companyís success? (Choose two.)
A. sustainability
B. credibility
C. time to market
D. business growth
E. cost efficiency
Answer: AE
Question: 205
Which two actions are critical when communicating with executives? (Choose two.)
A. Keep services as a primary topic
B. Focus on the value achieved
C. Incorporate the sales teamís plan
D. Target executive priorities
E. Focus on technical details
Answer: BD
Question: 206
From a Customer Success perspective, which reason to monitor your customerís health is the most important?
A. It provides the opportunity to address any changes in the customerís experience or actions around the solution
B. It allows the customer to identify unused licenses so they can be addressed via a service improvement plan
C. Understanding your customerís health directly enables renewals
D. It gives the customer valuable insight so they can automatically renew critical on time
Answer: C
Question: 207
In an onboarding session, introductions to new stakeholders were made, new KPIs were collated, and desired use cases
were discussed.
Which step does the Customer Success Manager take next?
A. Document the session, stakeholder interests, and metrics for leadership
B. Create a success plan to be reviewed with the customer at the next review meeting
C. Provide technical configuration for development
D. Discuss new opportunities and new products to purchase
Answer: A
Question: 208
Which list of components of a Customer Success Quarterly Success Review is common?
A. results from prior quarter, product roadmap, proposed marketing new products, and confirm goals for the next
B. results from prior quarter, agreed actions completed, benchmarking with the market, and confirm goals for next
C. results from prior quarter, services delivered, issues and open services cases, and confirm goals for next quarter
D. results from prior quarter, cover roadmap and promote new products, and confirm goals for next quarter
Answer: C
Question: 209
A customer is coming up for renewal in 180 days for three solutions. One of the solutions has not been fully enabled.
The other two solutions are in regular use in production.
How should the Customer Success Manager address the one solution that has not been fully enabled?
A. Contact the services team and request that they reach out to the customer to address the solution
B. Make the renewals manager aware that the one solution is not fully implemented but the other two are fine
C. Investigate why the customer has not enabled the solution and work with the sales and renewals teams to address
the issue
D. No action is needed because the customer will probably renew and you can address the issue after the renewal
Answer: B
Question: 210
Your customerís business outcome is to drive employee efficiencies.
Which key metrics measure this outcome?
A. increase in new subscribers or increase in end users
B. number of incidents reported or number of compliance issues
C. reduction in headcount or operational support costs
D. customer and employee feedback
E. number of activities completed or increase in direct time
Answer: E
Question: 211
The Customer Success Manager notices that their customer has delayed going into production.
Which action does the Customer Success Manager consider?
A. Suggest that the customer replace their existing staff
B. Provide the customer with a chargeable deployment service
C. Re-enforce the time to value of the solution
D. provide the customer a discount on a future purchase
Answer: C
Question: 212
Which item should the Customer Success Manager focus on to enable the adoption of a software solution?
A. KPI that will be improved by the new product solution
B. current existing products that are being displaced by the solution
C. current configuration guide of the product solution
D. product use case that will achieve the desired outcome
Answer: D
Question: 213
Which of these is included in a success plan?
A. confidential customer information
B. customer business outcomes
C. customer HR processes
D. services cost
Answer: BD
Question: 214
Which definition of customer success is true?
A. It is the business methodology of ensuring that customers achieve their expected and unexpected outcomes while
using your product or service.
B. It is a business methodology for increasing recurring revenues by minimizing the risk of churn while driving
adoption and expansion.
C. It is the business methodology of ensuring that customers are always on the latest software releases and subscription
contracts so that they can focus on the core business activities that make them successful.
D. It is a measure of the Net Promoter Score that results from a disciplined engagement of sales, services, marketing,
and customer success teams working seamlessly to deliver a positive experience for the customer.
Answer: B
Question: 215
What are two barriers of adoption in an organization? (Choose two.)
A. new product sales motion
B. lack of knowledge on solution
C. organizational announcements
D. implementation issues
E. hiring practices
Answer: BD
Question: 216
What is a financial implication of churn?
A. loss of revenue
B. increased production
C. reduced product utilization
D. contract expansion
Answer: A
Question: 217
You notice a decline over time in your customerís usage of your product.
Which action do you consider?
A. Tell the customer a new solution will soon be available
B. Carefully tell the customer to get more people to use your product
C. Re-assess the customerís business process and outline the capability of the solution
D. Show the customer a comparison of the solution versus the competition
Answer: C
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Cisco Customer test - BingNews Search results Cisco Customer test - BingNews Cisco CX Momentum Means More Specializations, Tools To Trigger Double-Digit Partner Profit

Cisco is delivering on the promises it made last year by helping partners operate, organize, and monetize on lifecycle opportunities. The tech giant also unveiled Business Critical Services 3.0 at Cisco Live 2019.

Cisco is hailing its focus on customer experience as its biggest area of joint opportunity with the channel. Cisco is investing in its partner's lifecycle practices through new programs aimed at boosting partner profitability, the networking giant said at Cisco Partner Summit 2019.

Partners that increase their Cisco customer retention by 5 percent increase their profitability overall by 25 percent, but these solution providers need help operating, organizing, and monetizing lifecycle. To that end, Cisco is launching its Customer Success portfolio, including a Customer Success Specialist individual certification, said Rajat Mishra, senior vice president of product management, customer experience at Cisco.

In a crowded landscape, partners need to differentiate. Cisco kept promises it made at last year's partner summit by launching its first business specialization; the Customer Experience (CX) specialization and Advanced Customer Experience specialization in August, aimed at helping partners monetize lifecycle opportunities. More than 240 partners have already achieved the specializations, all of which having already graduated from Cisco's Lifecycle Advisor Program.

[Related: Cisco Partner Summit 2019 Preview: Oliver Tuszik Wants Partners To ‚ÄėOwn Their Edge‚Äô]

Cisco has laid out the roles required for partners looking to build a lifecycle practice, including customer success manager and customer success specialist positions. The company is now taking its own blueprint and exposing it to partners, which will help channel organizations operate their lifecycle businesses and drive more digital renewals, Mishra said.

Hiring and training customer success managers, Mishra said, is the next step. Cisco launched its Customer Success Manager certification in August, as well as its Renewal Manager Verification exam, which were both greeted with "terrific reception" by the channel, Mishra said. To help partners further "organize," Cisco will also be launching a Customer Success Specialist certification next year, he said.

"Just like Cisco led the way in networking with a CCIE certification earlier, We want to lead the way with the customer success manager certification," Mishra said. There are about 50 partners certified as a Customer Success Manager and that number grows every week, he added.

Cisco has been promoting customer experience, especially lifecycle opportunities, for partners since bringing on Maria Martinez, Cisco's executive vice president and chief customer experience officer, and Gerri Elliot, Cisco's chief sales and marketing officer in April 2018.

Many partners already have the hang of customer experience and are building their lifecycle practices further. The partners who have invested in lifecycle capabilities with Cisco are enjoying three times greater sell-with growth rates, according to the San Jose, Calif.-based company. Some partners are still getting there, while others were ahead of Cisco on the lifecycle journey, Mishra said.

"Over the last year, the change we've seen is less partners asking why lifecycle is important. It's more a shift to how do we do it and how do we do it faster," he said. "It's exciting to see the momentum in lifecycle within the whole industry."

Cisco's CX business unit went through a restructure last year when it cut between 200-300 jobs, which the company said was aimed at reorganizing Cisco around software and subscription-based services.

"We have become a lot more tightly connected between sales and CX," Mishra said. "Becoming more customer-centric, emphasizing products and partners together and focusing on renewals, and working closely with sales has been instrumental."

On the product side, Cisco is unleashing Business Critical Services (BCS) 3.0; its platform that uses analytics and automation to guide customers as they transform their IT environments with insights and data.

Cisco has been making changes to BCS based on feedback from the channel. BCS is now aligned with specific IT roles, such as architect, engineer, or DevOps, which helps open up access to new buying centers for partners. Cisco is also adding guidance to BCS for every stage of the customer's journey to help partners sell more implementation services.

BCS now comes in simple, packaged offers, such as BCS Essentials, which can be resold by partners into commercial accounts, Mishra said.

Cisco wants partners to keep in mind the same message as last year when the tech vendor formally unveiled its customer experience message to the channel: "We want to do it with you, not to you," Mishra said. "We have invested a ton and the 5,000 hours we have spent working with partners globally has helped us build the model together."

Mon, 04 Nov 2019 18:00:00 -0600 text/html
Partnering for Sustainability: Cisco’s Collaborative Approach

Published 01-04-24

Submitted by Cisco Systems, Inc.

A person seated on a tall rock overlooking a winding river.

Embracing sustainability and reducing our environmental footprint has been a longstanding priority at Cisco. For almost two decades, Cisco has set transparent, publicly declared objectives as benchmarks, diligently tracking our progress and holding ourselves accountable. Additionally, we’ve developed comprehensive programs to empower customers to achieve their sustainability goals.

We understand that sustainability is a collaborative effort, and success requires leveraging our extensive partner network. Collaboration is essential, and it’s through working with our partners that we foster innovation and gain support across the value chain. To this end, Cisco has developed several sustainability-focused programs that enable partners to offer customers end-to-end solutions designed with sustainability in mind, while also enhancing deal profitability.

Net zero by 2040

Cisco has embarked on an ambitious journey towards sustainability, aiming to achieve net-zero status by the year 2040. This goal has not been mere words but supported by continuous improvement and innovation across our entire business landscape. Our primary focus has been on delivering tangible, data-validated advancements that lead us closer to the realization of all our sustainability goals, ultimately culminating in our net-zero goal.

These efforts have not gone unnoticed. The approval of our net-zero goal by Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) stands as a testament to the robustness of our plan, the allocation of resources, and the soundness of our strategic approach. This validation confirms our determination to truly meet these targets, helping to forge a path towards a more sustainable future.

As for our partners, whether you are just starting this journey or already investing, there are four key Cisco programs to consider, through which we work together to meet our sustainability objectives.

Earn Your Cisco Environmental Sustainability Specialization

Launched in 2022, the Environmental Sustainability Specialization (ESS) equips partners with Cisco-specific sustainability knowledge. It covers key sustainability terms, the technology behind our Sustainable Solutions, Cisco’s commitment to a circular economy, and supporting programs. Only one person in the company needs to complete this training and exam. For others in the partner organization, we have additional efforts to educate partner sellers on these topics. If you’re not the one going through formal training, we’ll summarize the partner programs you should leverage in this blog.

Leverage the Cisco Takeback & Reuse Program Plus Incentive

Cisco’s Takeback and Reuse program is integral to CEO Chuck Robbins’ commitment to reclaim 100% of customer gear at no cost while providing partners with discount incentives. This program is an important step towards a circular economy, ensuring the responsible end-of-life management of returned equipment, with a remarkable 99.9% material recycling or reuse success rate.

Partners benefit from this initiative through a stackable discount of up to 7% on Refresh deals, applied to new equipment when replacing older gear. To learn more, visit our Takeback and Reuse Program page. Please note that this incentive is exclusively available to partners with ESS certification and program enrollment, so ensure your company is specialized to take advantage of it.

Strategically Position Cisco Refresh

With Takeback products, we seize the opportunity to remanufacture gear based on their life stage, making them available through the Cisco Refresh program. This refurbished gear supports the circular economy, meeting rigorous quality and performance standards, and is readily available with no lead times. It‚Äôs cost-effective and environmentally friendly, and has a lower carbon impact than purchasing newly manufactured products. Explore available products on the Cisco Refresh list ‚Äď the more we take back, the more we can offer!

Utilize Cisco Green Pay

Cisco Green Pay, through Cisco Capital, offers a flexible payment plan for solutions designed with sustainability in mind, covering hardware, software, and services with a set contract term. At term’s end, Cisco reclaims the hardware to support the circular economy, helping support a more sustainable lifecycle. Cisco’s ownership guarantees gear return, providing a consistent refresh cycle and benefits akin to the Takeback program. All of this is offered to the customer, requiring minimal effort from partners. Plus, customers receive a 5% discount when opting for Green Pay.

Let’s Get Started Helping the Planet Together!

Ready to begin? First, become specialized under the ESS and enroll in the Takeback Program. Inform your Cisco team of your interest. We have partner sustainability specialists to assist you in integrating sustainability into your sales approach and boosting your confidence in discussing your customers’ sustainability goals. Prepare for these conversations by researching your customers’ public sustainability goals on their websites.

Although we’ve made progress in reaching our sustainability goals, we recognize that much more work needs to be done to ensure that people and ecosystems can thrive together on a livable planet. There’s no time like the present to get started.

For further information, visit our Environmental Sustainability Products and Solutions webpage or consult your Cisco team for specialist guidance.

View original content here.

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 03:02:00 -0600 en text/html
Best IT Certifications for 2024

Earning specialized certifications is a surefire way to advance your career in the IT field, regardless of industry or current career level. The right certification validates your skills and knowledge, which makes you more desirable to future employers who want to attract and retain the best employees. Below, we’ll explore the top IT certifications and share how to examine your goals to choose the right path forward. 

We’ve narrowed IT certifications into specific categories to help IT professionals assess what’s available and pursue the best certifications to show their willingness to learn and develop the in-demand career skills employers want.

Best database certifications 

Database platforms have changed greatly over the years, but database technology remains important for various applications and computing tasks. Available certifications for IT professionals include those for database administrators (DBAs), database developers, data analysts and architects, business intelligence, and data warehousing specialists, and other data professionals.

Obtaining database certifications demonstrates an understanding of database concepts, design, implementation, administration and security. This can boost your credibility in the job market and show potential employers that you have the skills needed to work with databases. The best database certifications include the following:

Best SAS certifications 

SAS is one of the world’s leading firms for business analytics, data warehousing and data mining. Today, the SAS Global Certification Program offers 23 credentials across categories including foundation tools, advanced analytics, business intelligence, data management and administration.

SAS programmers remain in high demand, with a quick search of job boards showing thousands of open positions. Obtaining SAS certification shows employers that you are proficient in the company’s popular suite of tools. Some of SAS’s certification programs include the following: 

Many professionals earn certifications to help navigate their career paths. According to the IT Salary Report, 92 percent of information technology professionals have at least one certification.

Best Cisco certifications 

Cisco Systems is a market leader not only in networking and communications products, but also storage networking and solutions for data centers. Cisco offers a variety of certifications for IT professionals, ranging from entry level credentials to expert-level exams. 

These certifications prepare professionals for Cisco-related careers. A search of job boards reveals thousands of open positions for Cisco experts, underscoring the continued relevance of these skills. Some of Cisco’s certifications include the following:

Best Dell certifications 

Dell Technologies remains one of the world’s leading computing companies. In addition to its well-known hardware lineup, Dell also offers solutions for networks, storage, servers, gateways and embedded computing, as well as a broad range of IT and business services.

Becoming certified in Dell products can help make IT professionals competitive in engineering roles for server, virtualization, networking, systems, integration and data security. Additional roles include consultants, account executives, system administrators, IT managers and deployment managers.

Best mobility certifications 

In the mobile era, it has become increasingly important for network engineers to support local, remote and mobile users, as well as provide proper infrastructure. The focus on application and app development now leans more toward mobile environments, requiring security professionals to thoroughly address mobility from all perspectives.

Due to the fast-changing nature of mobile technology, not many mobility certifications have become widely adopted. However, a few of the top mobility certifications can help IT professionals stand out in this rapidly evolving field. 

If part of your job includes selling and implementing an IT solution, you may want to pursue the best sales certifications. You’ll show your organization that you’re willing to go above and beyond to reach sales targets.

Best computer hardware certifications 

As remote and computer-based work has become more common, it’s more important than ever that businesses and individuals be able to maintain their hardware. While discussions about potential computer-related jobs often revolve around software work and coding, jumping into the IT field by becoming a computer technician is an excellent starting point.

Today, thousands of hardware technician jobs are available across the country. Entering this industry becomes more accessible for those who acquire computer hardware certifications. These certifications can showcase your expertise and proficiency in the upkeep of computers, mobile devices, printers and other hardware components.

Best Google Cloud certifications 

IT pros with solid cloud computing skills continue to be in high demand as more companies adopt cloud technologies. Today, Google Cloud is one of the market leaders in the cloud computing space. 

Regardless of where you are in your IT career, engaging with certification programs can demonstrate your willingness to keep on top of rapidly evolving cloud technologies. To that end, Google has introduced a host of certifications for its cloud platform, including the following: 

Best evergreen IT certifications

In the fast-changing world of technology, it can help to focus on certifications that have stood the test of time. ‚ÄúEvergreen‚ÄĚ refers to certifications that remain popular year after year.¬†

The top evergreen certifications are based on exact pay surveys in IT, reports from IT professionals about certifications they want or pursue the most, and those that appear most frequently in online job postings. Obtaining these credentials is one step toward ensuring that your skills remain relevant for a long time: 

Best IT governance certifications 

IT governance provides structure for aligning a company’s IT with its business strategies. Organizations faced with compliance rigors always need experienced IT pros who can see the big picture and understand technology risks. This means certified IT governance professionals are likely to remain in high demand.

Earning one of the following certifications proves a commitment to understanding the role of IT governance and its position in a company’s current and future success. Getting certified can validate your expert knowledge and lead to advanced career opportunities.

Best system administrator certifications 

An IT system administrator is responsible for managing and maintaining the information technology infrastructure within an organization. The position demands sought-after career skills, ranging from configuring and maintaining servers and clients to managing access controls, network services, and addressing application resource requirements.

If you’re in charge of managing modern servers, there’s a long list of tools and technologies that system administrators must master. Obtaining some of the most prominent system administrator certifications can demonstrate your mastery to potential employers. 

Best ITIL certifications 

ITIL, or Information Technology Infrastructure Library, was developed to establish standardized best practices for IT services within government agencies. Over the ensuing four decades, businesses of all types embraced, modified, and extended ITIL, shaping it into a comprehensive framework for managing IT service delivery. 

The ITIL framework remains the benchmark for best practices in IT service and delivery management, offering certification programs that cater to IT professionals at all levels. These training and certification courses ensure that IT professionals stay well-prepared for the ongoing evolution in IT service delivery management. There are four certifications in the ITIL certification program:

Best enterprise architect certifications 

An IT enterprise architect is responsible for designing and managing the overall structure and framework of an organization’s information technology system. Enterprise architect certifications are among the highest that an IT professional can achieve; fewer than 1 percent ultimately reach this level. 

Enterprise architects are among the highest-paid employees and consultants in the tech industry. These certifications can put IT professionals on a path to many lucrative positions. The average worker earns over six figures annually. Some top enterprise architect certifications are listed below:

To become an enterprise IT architect, you’ll need knowledge of systems deployment, design and architecture, as well as a strong business foundation.

Best CompTIA certifications

CompTIA is a nonprofit trade association made up of more than 2,000 member organizations and 3,000 business partners. The organization’s vendor-neutral certification program is one of the best recognized in the IT industry. Since CompTIA developed its A+ credential in 1993, it has issued more than two million certifications.

CompTIA certifications are grouped by skill set and focus on the real-world skills IT professionals need. Armed with these credentials, you can demonstrate that you know how to manage and support IT infrastructure. 

Best Oracle certifications 

A longtime leader in database software, Oracle also offers cloud solutions, servers, engineered systems, storage, and more. The company has more than 430,000 customers in 175 countries. 

Today, Oracle‚Äôs training program offers six certification levels that span 16 product categories with more than 200 individual credentials. Considering the depth and breadth of this program ‚ÄĒ and the number of Oracle customers ‚ÄĒ it‚Äôs no surprise that Oracle certifications are highly sought after.¬†

Vendor-specific certifications address a particular vendor’s hardware and software. For example, you can pursue Oracle certifications and Dell certifications to become an expert in those companies’ environments.

Best business continuity and disaster recovery certifications

Business continuity and disaster recovery keep systems running and data available in the event of interruptions or faults. These programs bring systems back to normal operation after a disaster has occurred.

Business continuity and disaster recovery certifications are seeing a healthy uptrend as new cloud-based tools grow in popularity. While business continuity planning and disaster recovery planning have always been essential, they‚Äôre becoming more critical than ever ‚ÄĒ and IT certifications are following suit.

Tue, 02 Jan 2024 09:59:00 -0600 en text/html
Cisco IT Security Makeover

Prominent cyber threats like malware and ransomware continue to jeopardize the security of companies around the world. Businesses that previously did not use Cisco security products are now relying on it. The threat landscape has changed significantly, and businesses of all sizes need help. As many businesses are realizing their vulnerabilities, Cisco's Cybersecurity Distinguished Engineer, Mike Storm, is documenting real-life Cisco customer success stories using Cisco Security. By working as a team with their Cisco Partners and Resellers, Cisco customers are able to finally experience a completely integrated security solution that helps protect their network, endpoints, cloud, internet, and email from cyberattacks. Whether it's a small medical office with HIPPA compliance data requirements, a large organization protecting lots of personal data or even a high visibility business with a strong reputation to uphold, Cisco is always on the scene - keeping businesses safe across the globe, one customer at a time. The Cisco IT Security Makeover series documents the before, during and after real-life experiences of a Cisco IT Security Makeover, showcasing the customer problem before, the installation and proof of value during and the positive business outcomes afterwards. With this three-phase walk-through of the makeover, Storm uses his intellect and wit to illustrate the transformation Cisco Security provides to our clients' security posture and peace of mind. In addition, Storm exemplifies the face-to-face, two-way conversation that allows for Cisco to create business specific solutions. Seasons 1, 2, & 3 cover diverse business settings to show how solutions can always be tailored to different business needs.

Tue, 09 May 2023 16:49:00 -0500 en text/html
Cisco Unveils ‚ÄėNew Era‚Äô Of Specializations Focused On Solution Delivery

‚ÄėWe‚Äôre now looking for knowledge [and] we‚Äôre looking for experience ‚Ķ we‚Äôre focused on the partners‚Äô ability to actually deliver the solution. That‚Äôs what customers are looking for. And because they‚Äôre multi-architectural in nature, you can leverage a lot of the expertise that you already have invested in and have in-house,‚Äô Cisco‚Äôs Marc Surplus tells CRN about the tech giant‚Äôs new Solution specializations.


Cisco Systems is introducing a new pack of lighter-weight specializations that better match customers’ changing buying behaviors with partners’ ability to deliver comprehensive solutions at less of a cost for partners battling a backlog of business, according to the tech giant.

‚ÄúThese are truly a new era of specializations for us. They are multiarchitectural in nature, so there‚Äôs a higher level of expertise the partners [must] have to deliver these solutions. They are very much aligned with Cisco‚Äôs innovation priorities, which align to customer priorities,‚ÄĚ Marc Surplus, vice president of strategy planning and programs for Cisco‚Äôs Global Partner Organization, told CRN at Cisco Partner Summit 2022.

The new Solution specializations, which San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco began rolling out in September, will showcase partners that excel at delivering value with Cisco solutions, including the cross-architectural solutions that are in high demand, Surplus said.

[Related: 5 Tips For MSPs Zeroing In On SMBs]

The three new Solution specializations unveiled at Partner Summit 2022 include Hybrid Cloud Computing, a specialization that showcases partners providing secure hybrid cloud computing experiences at home, in the office or anywhere. Hybrid Cloud Networking, meanwhile, recognizes partners connecting, securing and managing customers’ data, workloads and applications across data centers, edge and multiple clouds. The Hybrid Cloud Software specialization highlights expertise in unifying IT operations with secure, hybrid cloud management software.

Three specializations revealed in September were Full-Stack Observability (FSO) to highlight expertise in centralizing and correlating application performance analytics across the full IT stack, which includes technologies such as AppDynamics, ThousandEyes and Intersight. The Hybrid Work from Office specialization recognizes skills and experience helping customers evolve traditional on-site and off-site work models. Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) highlights partners helping customers to secure and power remote users, devices and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications.

The Solution specializations join the three other categories of Cisco partner specializations, including the Architecture specializations, Cisco Powered Service specializations and Business specializations.

Partners can use the new Solution specializations toward their progress to Gold, a level that formerly required partners to have three Architecture specializations plus the Cisco Customer Experience specialization to achieve Gold, Surplus said.

The cross-architectural approach is what makes the Solution specializations ‚Äúlighter weight,‚ÄĚ Surplus said, because they allow partners to leverage the multiyear investments they‚Äôve already made in architectures.

‚ÄúFor partners that have made those investments, this allows them to get further differentiation [and] showcase their ability to deliver the solutions customers are looking for, with the full weight of Cisco branding behind it,‚ÄĚ he said.

Cisco specializations have historically included heavy training and testing.

‚ÄúWe‚Äôre now looking for knowledge [and] we‚Äôre looking for experience. So, there is a training component, but it‚Äôs not as extensive as with the Architecture [specializations]. More importantly, we‚Äôre focused on the partners‚Äô ability to actually deliver the solution. That‚Äôs what customers are looking for. And because they‚Äôre multiarchitectural in nature, you can leverage a lot of the expertise that you already have invested in and have in-house,‚ÄĚ he said.

The new specializations will provide partners the recognition they need to land new business without taking people out of the game to study and test, Surplus added.

‚ÄúPartners have a big backlog of business. A lot of projects they‚Äôve got to deliver because of supply chain shortages [and] coming out of COVID and they don‚Äôt want their people in nonbillable situations,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs what we‚Äôre trying to do here.‚ÄĚ

Cisco is integrating its partners much earlier in the sales process for things like hybrid work and SASE because no vendor can deliver customer experience and complexity reduction on their own, said Cisco Channel Chief Oliver Tuszik.

‚ÄúWe see that the ecosystem we have already needs to be engaged earlier ‚Ķ and when partners create offers based on our technology and add capabilities and services‚ÄĒeven add products‚ÄĒthey make more money and are winning bigger deals,‚ÄĚ Tuszik said.

Cisco already has 300 newly specialized partners, Surplus said.

Cisco in 2020 made sweeping changes to its partner program to drop the number of disparate programs and center the revamped Cisco Partner Program around four roles that partners are playing for customers: Integrator, Provider, Developer and Advisor.

A Focus On Life Cycle

Another ‚Äúneedle-mover‚ÄĚ that Cisco‚Äôs partner team unveiled this year at Partner Summit is an update to its Life-Cycle Incentives (LCI) program. The program, which rewards partners for activities leading to better software and subscription adoption, has existed for six years, but the experience was ‚Äúgood, not great,‚ÄĚ Surplus said.

To remedy that, Cisco is launching LCI 2.0. It will involve the standardization of all of the company’s software on one consistent life-cycle process for partners, he said.

‚ÄúIn the past, incentives were more back-end-loaded towards delivering the business outcome, [so] we will be shifting the incentives [to make them] more balanced across the full life cycle, so more incentives upstream, because we know when you drive that usage and engagement with the software that leads to greater consumption, that correlates to larger renewals, which is what everybody wants,‚ÄĚ Surplus said.

The upgrade will involve an entirely new platform, Surplus added. The platform will provide partners visibility into each transaction and deal, including where they are with each deal on the customer life cycle, what incentives they have available to earn, potential use cases, and how Cisco is paying them against the earnings. ‚ÄúThey‚Äôll be able to track everything‚ÄĒwe‚Äôve not had that visibility in the past. That‚Äôs going to be a game-changer for our partners as we think about life-cycle incentives,‚ÄĚ he said.

Cisco partners already have access to some of the features, like enhanced visibility and reporting. The tech giant plans to launch the platform in the second half of Cisco’s 2023 fiscal year.

Tue, 01 Nov 2022 01:45:00 -0500 text/html
The Top Ten HR Trends That Matter Most In 2024

Rapid use of Generative AI, the emergence of a new blended workforce of humans and digital workers, and increasing employee fear of being obsolete (FOBO), together prove what Intel co-founder Gordon Moore (and the author of Moore‚Äôs Law) said, at any given point in time, ‚Äúchange has never been this fast and will never be this slow ever again.‚ÄĚ

Resiliency, agility, and adopting a ‚Äútest and learn approach‚ÄĚ will mark the winning strategies for 2024.

As I have done in in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023, here is my countdown of what you should include on your HR roadmap for 2024.

1. Generative AI Will Be Your New Work Buddy

In 2024, Generative AI will shake up how we think about what work we do and what we delegate to our new ‚Äúwork buddy.‚ÄĚ This will be the year of specialized AI powered assistants working side by side with humans. Teachers will get a copilot for homework grading, such as Class Companion. Architects will get an AI assistant for design, SketchPro, and online learners studying at Kahn Academy will be able to access Kahnmigo to aid in brainstorming helping them to become better writers and learners while decreasing a teacher‚Äôs administrative workload.

Walmart launched one of the largest AI powered work buddies, called My Assistant, an AI powered app to help Walmart’s 50,000 corporate employees be more productive in summarizing long documents, creating new content, and taking over routine tasks that humans did in the past. Microsoft’s Co-Pilot, soon to launch, will integrate generative AI into Microsoft 365, allowing workers to perform at a much higher level. Jared Spataro, Microsoft Corporate Vice President, believes Microsoft Co-Pilot will transform meetings from a point in time and place to a knowledge object. This means employees working with Microsoft Co-Pilot will not only be able to create a summary of the meeting, but also use Co-Pilot to query the group’s sentiment on the meeting topic, the dissenting opinions, who the key dissenters were, and the agreed-to next steps. While these AI powered work buddies can boost efficiency and performance, it will be up to humans to have a strategy to capitalize on their potential.

2. Generative AI Will Impact How Managers Lead

Generative AI has evolved to one of the fastest adopted technologies, with nearly 200 million users of ChatGPT since it launched on November 30, 2022. Business and HR leaders are struggling with how to keep pace with rapid adoption in the workplace. The impact on managers is not simply in training employees on how to use Generative AI, but also in helping managers lead teams of humans and digital workers. Morgan Stanley estimates Generative AI technologies will likely affect a quarter of all occupations that exist today, and this will rise to 44% within three years. To address this, companies and education providers need to provide training on how to use Generative AI. Within the next three years, this will translate into a $16 billion market for re-skilling workers displaced by Generative AI.

As Generative AI becomes increasingly adept at problem solving, it will be up to managers to get better at problem finding. Managers will be working side-by-side with their human and digital teams to foster a culture of continuous learning while leaning into their uniquely human skills, such as relationship building, communications, and collaboration. One thing is certain: Generative AI will drive organizational change, impact workflows, automate some jobs, and create new ones. But it will always be humans augmented by machines that will create innovation.

3. The Fear of Obsolescence Will Force Companies to Increase Spending in Career Development & Mobility

While employers see the promise of increased productivity using Generative AI, a exact survey by EY reports that 75% of employees are concerned AI will make certain jobs obsolete, and two-thirds say they fear AI will replace their job. This fear of being obsolete is causing employees to seek out training in using Generative AI and acquiring new skills to better deal with their fears. PwC announced a $1 billion investment in training its workers on AI with courses on syllabus such as the ethics of AI, responsible use of AI, and how to create AI prompts to generate the best results. Their goal is to engage 75,000 U.S. PwC employees to both enroll and complete these courses.

In addition to training employees on how to use Generative AI, there is an explosion of new internal talent marketplaces as companies continue to find it difficult to successfully recruit external talent. Internal talent marketplaces have become the de facto way companies connect employees with internal career opportunities and resources to grow in their careers. For example, Grow at Key is KeyBank’s AI powered employee-led, and manager supported talent platform to support internal talent mobility. Launched with the vision that every employee can be the CEO of her own career, Grow at Key provides a range of resources, from matching employees to new job roles to accessing mentoring, coaching, and stretch assignments. To date, there has been a 60% increase in employees engaging in training programs and one in three KeyBank employees have enrolled in an Investing in My Development session to prepare them for understanding how to better manage their careers.

4. Hybrid Work Environments Are Good for Business

Companies need to stop debating the merits of hybrid work and realize this is the new way of working for many knowledge workers as we enter 2024. An ADP survey of 32,000 workers reports that 64% of workers would consider quitting if asked to return to the office full time. Recent research shows companies that allow choice and a remote first/hybrid work environment have revenue growth four times faster than their peers who are more stringent about office attendance. This research conducted by Boston Consulting Group and Scoop Technologies Inc. among 554 public companies employing 26.7 million people, found that ‚Äúfully flexible‚ÄĚ firms ‚ÄĒ which are either completely remote or allow employees to choose when they come to an office ‚ÄĒ increased sales 21% between 2020 and 2022, on an industry-adjusted basis. The better growth rates for more remote-friendly companies reflects their ability to hire faster and from a wider geographic area, along with higher rates of employee retention.

As hybrid work becomes the norm, leaders must have a plan to combat proximity bias, or the phenomenon of favoring in-person workers for career development, mentoring, and stretch assignments at the expense of those who work remotely. Hybrid work environments ‚Äúwork‚ÄĚ when leaders ensure they are equitable for all and grant autonomy for individual leaders to determine when and where work happens, rather than follow a CEO mandate. Leaders must remember presence in the office does not equate to performance, so they need to shift from ‚Äúmanaging by walking around,‚ÄĚ to ‚Äúmanaging by connecting across geographies.‚ÄĚ

5. The Workforce Is a Blend of Full-time Employees, Part-Timers, Contingent Workers, and Digital Workers

Remember when the blended workforce was simply a distinction between full-time workers and part-time workers. Today’s work now gets accomplished by a blend of full-time workers, part-timers, teams of contractors, contingent workers, and digital workers, the later designed to augment some tasks of human labor. In fact, Statista reports a growth in all sectors except full-time workers, with part-timers (growing from 20 million in 1990 to 26 million in 2022) and contingent workers forecast to be half of the US workforce by 2027.

This blended workforce is not a new concept; it’s been around for decades. What’s different now is that a greater percentage of key jobs are performed by contingent workers. Overall, we are starting to see upwards of 30% to 50% of a global organization’s total workforce composed of contingent workers. MIT Sloan Management Review reported that the Novartis workforce includes 110,000 full time employees plus 50,000 contractors and temporary workers. Cisco has 83,000 full time employees and 50,000 plus contingent workers of various types. This new workforce ecosystem requires a new set of management practices, and leadership approaches, especially as 81% of companies in a exact HBR Analytical Services survey report that contingent workers are important to their organization, but only 38% say that their organization is effective at managing them.

Leaders will need to acknowledge they will have more types of contributors‚ÄĒhuman and digital, full time, part time and contingent‚ÄĒthat must seamlessly work together. What is needed is a total workforce strategy where HR plays a central role in coordinating all the cross-functional disciplines that hire internal and external workers.

6. The Four Day Work Week is Desired by Both Front-line and Knowledge Workers

Many of the assumptions we have about how we work, when we work, the needs of our workers, the demographics of the workforce, and where we work have been changed forever. One of the major changes, as we move into 2024, is our assumptions about a five-day work week. All workers, including both frontline and knowledge workers, want flexibility in when they work. Research conducted among 1,301 workers found 41% of both front-line workers and knowledge workers want flexibility in when they work, and 56% of front-line workers and 69% of knowledge workers want the ability to opt for a 4-day work week with no pay reduction.

As I wrote in my Forbes column, the UK four-day work week pilot was conducted among 61 companies and found 56% intend to continue trying the four-day week citing benefits of increased productivity and decreased employee attrition. These UK companies adopted the 80-100-100 model of flexible working: a drop in hours to 80% of their standard work week, while retaining 100% pay and 100% productivity.

Experiments on a shortened work week are also occurring in the US. For example, several Chick-Fil-A stores are allowing front-line workers the opportunity to work 13 hour shifts for three consecutive days with full pay. The results so far have been increased retention while maintaining customer service efficiencies.

However, it‚Äôs important to remember the three- or four-day work week is not a one size fits all solution. Companies should adopt a ‚Äútest and learn approach,‚ÄĚ focusing on the type and magnitude of changes required to allow for a shortened work week, the level of employee and manager training needed, and the type of well-being support required for new ways of working.

7. Cognitive Skills Will Increase in Importance as Generative AI Gains Traction

The World Economic Forum estimates that 44% of a workers’ core skills are expected to change in the next five years. While there are endless lists of the most important skills for the future, World Economic Forum identifies five core skills that will increase in importance in the next five years. This are shown in Figure 1 as:

Cognitive skills are growing in importance, reflecting the increased demand for creative and analytical thinking in the age of AI. This combined with technological literacy, the third fastest growing skill along with the skills of resilience, flexibility, curiosity, and lifelong learning are evidence that leaders will continue to emphasize a culture of lifelong learning. As Generative AI gains traction, one skill I see that is foundational to all of them is the ability to be digitally curious, meaning seeking out and using new and emerging digital technologies to enhance one’s cognitive skills. I think about the past few years where some of the new technologies I have used include Mural, an online visual collaborative tool, StreamYard, a live streaming studio, and ChatGPT 4.0 and Pictory, to create a new video entitled, Flexible Work for All. This is the start of building my digital curiosity muscle, trying out these platforms and seeing what they might mean for enhancing my work.

8. Holistic Financial Well-being Is The Must Have Benefit for 2024

Financial well-being among workers is eroding. LendingClub reports 61% of American workers live paycheck to paycheck and lack a core set of financial literacy skills, and over half of workers earning $100,000 are living paycheck to paycheck.

Unifi, a leader in aviation services with more than 23,000 employees, became aware of this two years ago and created a new offering for frontline workers to access their earned wages on-demand. Since then, this has grown beyond early access to wages to a holistic financial well-being offering with almost 20% frontline workforce enrolled and taking advantage of free services including anonymous financial coaching and customizable saving plans. Dr. Archana Arcot, Chief People Officer at Unifi, believes that, ‚Äúthe major driver of this program is to relieve an employee‚Äôs financial stress and make financial wellness part of their everyday life.‚ÄĚ

MetLife reports nearly half of workers surveyed cited financial concerns as the cause of poorer mental health. To address this, Unifi adopted a Goal Based Savings program which resulted in the company moving to the top 1% with a total amount saved of $10,000+ YTD, as reported by Payactiv. By offering holistic financial well-being programs, companies like Unifi can not only enhance their employee experience but build financial wellness into their employer value proposition and be better able to attract talent in a tight labor market.

9. The Sexy C-Suite Job For 2024 Is Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer

While we have seen a myriad of new C-suite job roles in the past decade‚ÄĒfrom Chief Medical Officer to Chief Ethics Officer‚ÄĒthe Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer is coming at a time when organizations are looking for guidance with how to create guidelines and policies for safe and ethical use of generative AI in the workplace. LinkedIn reports 44% globally and 57% in the U.S. say their organizations don‚Äôt have policy guidelines or training for how to use these new tools at work.

Organizations are starting to appoint a new C-suite player to lead this effort. Research from Foundry, an IDG company, finds 11% of mid-size to large organizations already have an individual with the role of Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer and another 21% of organizations are actively seeking such a person for this role. This role is growing in importance as business leaders develop an AI strategy, create governance practices, and engage cross functional leaders in safe, ethical, and responsible use of generative AI.

A new Wavestone survey of Data and AI leaders found 61.7% report the responsibility for Generative AI is currently part of the Chief Data Officer (CDO) remit. But a growing number of organizations are creating a new role, the Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer (CAIO) to oversee AI developments for their organization. ‚ÄúThis will be very much a focus during 2024,‚ÄĚ says Randy Bean, Innovation Fellow at Wavestone.

10. An Organization’s Sustainability Record Will Attract and Retain Talent

As the talent marketplace continues to be competitive, climate change and sustainability has become one of the defining challenges for current and future generations. A growing number of publicly traded companies, such as Alphabet, Apple, Cisco, and PayPal, have created sustainability annual reports with Alphabet committing its entire $5.57B Sustainability Bond to support environmentally and socially responsible projects such as clean energy, clean transportation, and circular economy design.

A company’s sustainability record is proving to make a difference in talent acquisition and retention. Research by IBM Institute for Business Value, found 70% of workers and those in the job market, are drawn to environmentally sustainable employers. And almost half of these workers said they would take a lower salary to work for environmentally and socially responsible organizations. Gartner predicts employers will respond by promoting climate change protections, such as offering employees shelter during natural disasters, as part of employee benefit offerings.

In addition, a growing number of universities are building ambitious goals to integrate sustainability into their curriculum, campus operations, and endowment. The University of Toronto, placing first out of 1,400 universities in environmental and social impact, is making headway to de-carbonize its campus by 2050, developing new energy efficient student centers, and committing to climate responsible construction.

The Global Business School Network, a network of 150 global business schools in 50 countries, has several new initiatives for universities to share sustainability ‚Äúnext practices.‚ÄĚ While companies and universities are each addressing sustainability, I see the need for greater collaboration among them, as both employees and students weigh the environmental impact of their employer and university. Sustainability is both a business and educational issue requiring joint corporate and university solutions.

What’s important to you as you reflect on your 2024 HR Playbook?

Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 05:12:00 -0600 Jeanne Meister en text/html
Cisco Webex Expands Contact Center Portfolio

Today at WebexOne, Cisco detailed the Webex AI Assistant capabilities to be included within Webex Contact Center and Webex Suite for paying customers. It also two new tiers called Customer Experience (CX) Basic and CX Essentials. Prior to this announcement, Webex had a single contact center offering. The two new offerings are meant to meet the needs of customers who don’t want or need to power up to a full contact center but will have situation-specific needs for increased communications.

CX Basic provides what Khan described as light, perhaps temporary, call center capabilities. ‚ÄúMaybe during open enrollment HR needs to add 15-20 employees to take calls and they don't want to buy a full license, so they can get those capabilities,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúIt includes things like voice queues, announcement options, welcome messages, estimated wait time messages, call routing, etc.‚ÄĚ

This functionality is provided at no additional charge to paid Webex Suite customers, and these features are also available from within Microsoft Teams via the Webex calling plugin.

Priced at $30 per user per month, and available in the first quarter of 2024, CX Essentials fills the middle ground between the new Basic tier and Webex’s full contact center offering. It is designed for customer service-oriented industries and is available for purchase by Webex Calling users.

‚ÄúWhat we found was there are certain personas like an engineer who gets pulled into a contact center call to troubleshoot a level two level or three problem,‚ÄĚ Khan said. ‚ÄúThey don't need a full contact center license so for them, we added CX Essentials. That's why it's more aggressively priced.‚ÄĚ

The Webex AI Assistant capabilities will be included within Webex Contact Center. These capabilities include suggested responses, conversation summaries, a low-code virtual agent, AI-powered burnout detection and agent coaching. Note, too, that the Webex AI Codec and the Real-Time Media Models (RMMs) will also make their way into Webex Contact Center. The suggestions, summaries, low-code virtual agents and even agent coaching are already common to other contact center platforms.

The following graphic shows the AI Assistant providing summaries and insights for supervisors. In this case, the AI Assistant shows customer satisfaction (CSAT) highlight for various calls. The supervisor can drill down into each call and see what led to those CSAT scores. The supervisor can focus on listening to the good (green highlights) and bad (red highlights) of those calls (and the entire call, of course) while also reviewing the AI-generated summary of those calls or portions of calls. The Webex platform also enables the supervisor to make highlight reels of the calls which can then be used for coaching and/or training purposes.

Khan said that at present the AI Assistant features are included at no additional charge to paid Contact Center and Webex Suite customers. He said further that they have imposed usage caps on the generative AI features. ‚ÄúWe don‚Äôt know what the usage is going to be, but we're not trying to monetize it. We want our existing paying customers to have everything they need on a day-to-day basis. But we also want to guard against particular high use cases.‚ÄĚ

So, in the future, they may add a usage-based add-on fee, but for now all the functionality is included for paid customers.

Agent burnout detection involves the real-time AI technology in Webex detecting situations and stress indicators in agents that lead to burnout and then suggesting they ‚Äúdisconnect and recharge‚ÄĚ (see the following graphic) via a 60-second Thrive Reset video. The agent is temporarily removed from the queue of handling customer interactions until they have ‚Äúrecharged.‚ÄĚ

Webex did not provide details on what those stress indicators are, how they are detected, how frequently those indicators need to occur for a reset prompt to occur. Cisco Webex partnered with Thrive Global to provide stress-reducing reset videos. (Thrive has also partnered with Zoom, Genesys and Intradiem.) The agent burnout detection APIs is planned to be in beta in February 2024.

Stay tuned: Over the next several days NJ will cover the news around WebexOne. You can check out a preview of Irwin Lazar’s session here.

Wed, 25 Oct 2023 12:00:00 -0500 en text/html
Cisco: Losing Ground On Both The Networking And Security Fronts
CISCO headquarters in Silicon Valley

Sundry Photography

Cisco (CSCO) has exhibited a modest 3.1% average revenue growth and 4.8% average adjusted operating profit growth over the past five years. The company is experiencing a decline in market share within both the networking and security end markets. Consequently, I

Tue, 26 Dec 2023 04:19:00 -0600 en text/html
Converge Technology Solutions Named Master Collaboration specialists by Cisco and 2023 Americas Central Customer Experience Partner of the Year

TORONTO and GATINEAU, QC, Nov. 30, 2023 /CNW/ - Converge Technology Solutions Corp. ("Converge" or "the Company") (TSX: CTS) (FSE: 0ZB) (OTCQX: CTSDF) a services-led, software-enabled, IT & Cloud Solutions provider, is pleased to announce it has renewed its Cisco Master Collaboration Specialization in the United States. The Company is also proud to share it has been awarded Cisco's Americas Central Area Customer Experience Partner of the Year for 2023.

Converge Technology Solutions Corp. Logo (CNW Group/Converge Technology Solutions Corp.)

Master Collaboration Specializations are part of the organization's Channel Partner Program and Cisco's highest and most exclusive level of collaboration partner certification, attesting that Converge has made significant investments of time and resources in proving the Company's ability to provide sophisticated, value-added Cisco solutions through our in-depth sales capabilities, technology skills and service offerings in the US. The Cisco Channel Partner Program gives partners the necessary training to build sales, technical, and Cisco Lifecycle Services skills and then validates their skills through a third-party audit. Cisco Channel Partner Certifications also represent an increasing mastery of skills across key technologies and a partner's ability to deliver integrated networking solutions. Cisco Master specializations provide infrastructure access to comprehensive sales, technical and lifecycle services support, and Cisco training.

In addition to renewing the Company's Master Collaboration status, Converge has also been awarded Cisco's 2023 US Central Area Customer Experience Partner of the Year for the Company's demonstrated innovation, expertise, and commitment to our customers. Converge was one of 19 organizations honored in this region. This is the second year Converge has been honored at Cisco's annual Partner Summit, taking home the award for Cisco Multiple Region Partner of the Year in 2022. Recipients of Cisco Partner Summit Awards are top-performing partners that have introduced innovative processes, seized new opportunities, and adopted sales approaches that achieve substantial business outcomes for customers. The awards recognize partners for their achievements within specific technology categories and markets across the world. Award recipients are selected by a group of executives representing Cisco's Global and Regional Partner Sales Organizations.

"Converge is proud to have once again earned Cisco's Master Collaboration Specialization in the US and to have earned a Partner of the Year status at Cisco's Partner Summit," stated Greg Berard, Global CEO and President of Converge. "In addition to being a Cisco Gold Partner, our strategy aligns nicely with Cisco, and we have invested in deep technical experts across their portfolio. With Cisco's pending acquisition of Splunk, Converge is extremely well positioned to capitalize on the benefits of this combination by offering our clients cybersecurity, digital infrastructure, and next generation AI solutions. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership in 2024."

About Converge 
Converge Technology Solutions Corp. is a services-led, software-enabled, IT & Cloud Solutions provider focused on delivering industry-leading solutions. Converge's global approach delivers advanced analytics, application modernization, cloud platforms, cybersecurity, digital infrastructure, and digital workplace offerings to clients across various industries. The Company supports these solutions with advisory, implementation, and managed services expertise across all major IT vendors in the marketplace. This multi-faceted approach enables Converge to address the unique business and technology requirements for all clients in the public and private sectors. For more information, visit


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Thu, 30 Nov 2023 02:00:00 -0600 en-CA text/html
Schneider Electric and Cisco collaborate to drive AI and IOT innovation in EMEA
  • Focuses on key market segments in Infrastructure, Buildings, Data Centers, and Industries

Dubai UAE¬†‚ÄstSchneider Electric,¬†the leader in the digital transformation of energy management and automation, and¬†Cisco,¬†the¬†worldwide leader in technology that powers the¬†internet, announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to deliver innovative business solutions for customers across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The MoU targets four primary¬†areas: energy infrastructure, smart buildings, data centers, and industry solutions.

Combining the expertise and experience of Schneider Electric and Cisco, this joint strategy aims to create a service practice between both companies to offer customers in EMEA a set of differentiated services, including technology planning, strategy and roadmap, information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) integration, and energy optimization. This work underscores both companies’ focus on sustainability, in addition to leading the digital transformation of industries by integrating technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) under existing Solution Technology Integrator arrangements.

Adele Trombetta, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Cisco Customer Experience (CX) EMEA¬†said: ‚ÄúOur customers are prioritizing sustainability as an environmental and business imperative to align with intensifying consumer calls for a lower-carbon future. We continue to invest in the power of AI/ML, automation, and the scale of our telemetry data, to build solutions that can help identify, accelerate and measure the impact of our customers sustainability initiatives.¬†Our strategic collaboration with Schneider Electric marks another step in Cisco‚Äôs journey to empower businesses with cutting-edge technology that can redefine our customers‚Äô user experience, boost cost optimization and Excellerate security. Together, we are poised to build impactful and meaningful digital solutions that cater to the needs of diverse industries, setting new standards in IT-OT convergence.‚ÄĚ

Pankaj Sharma, Executive Vice President, Secure Power Division at Schneider Electric¬†said: ‚ÄúThis strategic collaboration with Cisco is a testament to our commitment to keep the innovation cycle at full speed, while addressing our customers‚Äô business-critical needs, and be the partner of choice for our customer‚Äôs digital transformation journey. By harnessing our collective expertise, Schneider and Cisco can deliver solutions that not only drive holistic digital transformation, but also support our customers‚Äô sustainability and decarbonization goals.‚ÄĚ

The rapid growth and application of AI is changing the design and operation of data centers across industries and is estimated to represent 15% to 20% of total data center energy by 2028, according to a White Paper on AI just published by Schneider Electric.[1] This megatrend is shifting the requirements of all industries and this Cisco and Schneider Electric partnership is now aligned to leverage the strengths of both companies to provide comprehensive solutions to meet the customer needs of the future.

The agreement was signed at the Technology & Innovation Hub at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP28), held from 30 November until 12 December 2023, at the Expo City, Dubai. 

About Schneider Electric

Schneider’s purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources, bridging progress and sustainability for all. We call this Life Is On.

Our mission is to be your digital partner for Sustainability and Efficiency.

We drive digital transformation by integrating world-leading process and energy technologies, end-point to cloud connecting products, controls, software and services, across the entire lifecycle, enabling integrated company management, for homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure and industries.

We are the most local of global companies. We are advocates of open standards and partnership ecosystems that are passionate about our shared Meaningful Purpose, Inclusive and Empowered values.

For more information please visit:

Discover the latest perspectives shaping sustainability, electricity 4.0, and next generation automation on Schneider Electric Insights.

[1] Source:  AI Disruption: Challenges and Guidance for DC design

Sun, 17 Dec 2023 10:00:00 -0600 en text/html

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