Anyone with more than a passing familiarity with Twitter will no doubt have seen a hashtag whizz passed entitled #CiscoChampion or even #CiscoChampion(s) (more on the latter later)
So what does this mean? well you may well be familiar with other vendors Advocacy programs like “EMC Elect” or VMware “vExpert”, well “Cisco Champion” is Cisco’s.
There are several “Flavors” of Cisco Champion I for example am humbled and proud to be a Cisco Champion for Data Center.
How did I become a Cisco Champion? well you have to be active in the Social Community and be willing to “Give Back” to the community and give those in the community the benefit of your knowledge and experience. What form this takes is not fixed but it could be a blog or via Twitter or the Cisco Community sites, or a combination of all 3.
So what’s changed for me since becoming a Cisco Champion? well quite a lot really, not only do I feel more empowered, but also that I now really have a voice (or at least one that people listen to) as well as getting a lot more “Cisco Love”; not to say that I didn’t get any before, as working for a Gold Partner I certainly get my share.
But since becoming a Cisco Champion this “Love” has increased to a whole new level!
By “Cisco Love” I mean access to Betas, inside scoops, early blogger briefings, guest blog spots, becoming a member of the Cisco Exam Advisory Group, where I now submit test material for use in the CCNP DC Track, and participation in great events and promotions the most fun of which was acting a Cisco’s Roving Reporter at Cisco Live Europe 2014!
So does this mean Cisco have now bought my Soul, and that I am no longer able to blog objectively?
Is it like Cisco have driven my punk ass to the Vets and laid me on that table and made the unkindest cut of all? Removing any last shred of independent thought or dissidence.
Hell no!, as a Cisco Champion and advocate our objectivity is what Cisco require, they want it, they need it, they crave it.
After all a constructive criticism from an advocate in any walk of life is an opinion really worth listening too.
All Cisco Champions are told to continue to be themselves in their online social activities, and make it clear they are NOT Cisco representatives.
And as for the #CiscoChampion(s) hashtag, well it’s because we are plural i.e. there’s more than one of us but the logo is singular, and we have to match the logo. Nothing more interesting than that I’m afraid.
And a big congratulations to the new intake, the Class of 2015, you’re sure in for a great ride!
You can find more information on the Cisco Champions program here: http://www.cisco.com/web/about/facts_info/champions.html