When Cisco’s premium service processes fail, its customers simply can’t operate. Here’s how they use Celonis to improve outcomes for everyone.
When the products or capabilities you provide your customers with are mission-critical, so is the customer support and service you offer. When something goes wrong, you need to be ready to spring into action and get them back up and running fast, so they can keep their lights on, their doors open, and their customers happy.
It’s a process Cisco takes very seriously — and for good reason. If there’s a problem with a customer’s network, every minute of downtime Cisco can prevent could save them thousands of dollars. And there are a lot of companies depending on Cisco, which held 45.4% market share for Ethernet switch revenue and 37.5% of the service provider and enterprise router market, according to IDC.
So, it’s also a process Cisco is constantly striving to strengthen and improve — a journey that recently led them to Celonis. Cisco’s Continuous Improvement Lead Miguel Gutierrez walked through our journey together since then, exploring how using Celonis has helped his team transform one of the most critical processes across their entire enterprise.
For many of Cisco’s customers, if a critical component or piece of equipment fails, next-day replacements won’t cut it. So, the company offers two premium service options, promising two and four-hour delivery of replacements — creating tight SLAs that service teams need to uphold.
Recognizing how critical these two and four-hour service processes were to customer satisfaction and outcomes, Cisco created an initiative to improve and strengthen them, dubbed Reliable Premium Services.
“The aim of the initiative was to find new ways of identifying delivery performance failures in real-time, enabling us to take action and prevent similar failures quickly,” said Miguel. “But, we also wanted to identify opportunities for process improvements, and see where we could be doing things better.”
When they started evaluating solutions to support Reliable Premium Services, Miguel and his team outlined five critical capabilities that any solution they might adopt needed to deliver:
End-to-end process visibility
Improvements in how Cisco measured Service Delivery Performance (SDP)
Opportunities to improve process directly
Complete scalability, so that processes could be improved everywhere
The means to improve on its already >90% SDP success rate
“When we engaged with Celonis, we felt that it could help in all of those areas,” said Miguel. “As we explored it more and started loading data, we also learned that there was another side we hadn’t considered in automation — something that ultimately proved very valuable for our team.”
“Before we started working with Celonis, the processes behind our premium service options were very manual and labor-intensive,” explained Miguel. “At the center of the process, we had a nominated ‘Process Quarterback,’ responsible for personally tracking all two-hour service deliver requests end-to-end.”
Much like in a game of football, there was a lot resting on the shoulders of that quarterback. After receiving information about the request from Cisco’s database, it was up to them to log it into a smartsheet, verify travel distances and routes through Google Maps, and liaise directly with logistics and field teams through WebEx Teams.
“At every step of the process, the quarterback had to manually request updates from the field and logistics teams, then log that information into our systems,” said Miguel. “From confirming departure and on-route check-ins, to verifying arrival and completion, there was a lot of copy and pasting to do.”
“It worked. But it wasn’t easy — and it certainly wasn’t optimal.”
When Cisco introduced the Celonis EMS, it became the new Process Quarterback — immediately removing a huge amount of the manual work involved in fulfilling two-hour service requests.
“We established a real-time connection between the company database and Celonis,” explained Miguel. “From there, numerous APIs were able to talk directly to smartsheet and Google Maps, so everything happened automatically.”
“We created bots for WebEx teams, automating conversations with field and logistics teams — helping us capture information immediately at every stage of the process, with no room for error,” he continued.
“All in all, we’ve automated 17 critical steps in our two-hour service delivery process, reaching 54% automation across it,” said Miguel. “But we’re not finished. We think we can easily get that figure up to 70% and bring even greater efficiency and accuracy to the process.”
But this isn’t just a win for two-hour premium service customers. “We’ve created a process with Celonis that’s completely scalable,” Miguel explained. “We can easily apply it for our four-hour customers too, as well as many others.”
With huge improvements already made to two-hour service delivery processes, Miguel’s next goal is expanding automation into other process areas and enhance visibility with live views of more process elements.
“Beyond that, our next big aim with Celonis is to enable real-time service delivery root cause reporting, so we can better understand where and how problems occur in service delivery, and take immediate action to prevent them,” said Miguel.
“Once we’ve fully optimized premium service delivery, we’ll then be able to replicate that success for other service levels — improving experiences for thousands of Cisco customers worldwide.”
To learn more about Cisco’s process optimization journey with Celonis, you can catch up with Miguel’s full session from Celosphere on-demand.