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How Cisco's Learning Network Became a Social Hub for the IT Industry

Learning@Cisco is a service division set up five years ago by Cisco that launched a digital social platform for education and training, both for its own employees, as well as for others in the IT field. The platform today attracts over 2 million participants around the globe, and has become a hub for the IT Industry. Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, the director of Learning@Cisco attributes much of the success of this platform to having an early vision of what the goal of the network would be, seeding it with quality content, and carefully listening to what the users of the network would find most valuable.

She says that the top notch content created and entered into the network by Cisco from the start was of great interest to those who wanted to learn how to obtain Cisco certification. However the network also grew to become an industry resource for job hunters or anyone else in the industry that wanted tips and a place to discuss how to advance in their career. Beliveau-Dunn says that currently her network has over 1,000 active discussions every second, making it one of the largest social network in existence. Chat groups are extremely popular she says as users can decide who to collaborate with and do so privately.

Not only has it become a valuable recruitment tool for Cisco, but through its partnerships with CareerBuilder and other sites, it has become an industry recruitment platform as well. Other benefits it has provided Cisco directly include a source for data mining, a method for recognizing large contributors and build brand loyalty, and to help create brand apostles. Beliveau Dunn cited a study done by Cisco that found that people who were using the Cisco Learning Network that were certified were, in fact, 25% to 30% more loyal.

Beliveau Dunn says her next goal is to help turn the conversations and information sharing on this platform to create a crowd sourced knowledge base. That base would serve to assist Cisco in customer support and in field support as well.

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