San Jose State University

The Cisco Customer Experience team provides insights for a strategic view of the network and security posture.

Industry: Education

Company size: 33,000 students

Location: San Jose, California



Customer objectives

  • Gain better visibility into and across all network infrastructure.

  • Ensure a strong security posture by identifying vulnerabilities before they cause harm.

  • Improve forward planning and budgeting for network updates.


Cisco solutions

  • Cisco CX Cloud to gain deeper insights into Cisco DNA infrastructure

  • Success Tracks resources, support, learning content, and more

  • Predictive analytics with AI/ML for risk mitigation and remediation


Business outcomes

  • Significant time savings with CX Cloud analytics that provide actionable insights

  • Enhanced performance with deeper, contextual view of the network

  • Access to a wide variety of learning content to augment staff skills


Gaining new visibility into vast network infrastructure

Since 1857, San Jose State University has built up a reputation as a leader in providing innovative educational opportunities. Starting as a small campus focused on preparing teachers for the frontier, the university has evolved into a world-class institution based in the heart of today's global digital economy. One of the three largest institutions in the California State University system, its staff serves more than 33,000 undergraduate and post-graduate students.

As with most higher education institutions, the network infrastructure is fundamental to supporting instruction, research, and administration at San Jose State University. To gain better insight into its environment, its IT team needed better visibility into its infrastructure, not only in terms of devices, but security and lifecycle.

"Our infrastructure is becoming increasingly complicated, and we're managing a very diverse mix of hardware, subscriptions, and cloud services," said Shai Silberman, Director of Network Services at San Jose State University. "Trying to pull it all together and get a simpler view of our environment and service is challenging."

Business challenge and results

Working closely with Cisco Customer Experience (CX) team, the university utilized Cisco CX Cloud to better manage and provide deeper insignts into their Cisco DNA network infrastructure. The CX Cloud gives the IT team access to Success Tracks suite of service capabilities of expert resources, trusted support, insights and analytics, and contextual learning.

Through a personalized use case-guided experience, CX Cloud is designed to help the university simplify and adopt new technologies faster and optimize IT performance. Using CX Cloud, the digital interface to Success Tracks, the IT team can access and manage the infrastructure, use cases, expert engagements, and other capabilities in a single pane of glass. "Getting started with CX Cloud was very quick," said Silberman. "Once my portal was provisioned, we simply connected CX Cloud to our Cisco DNA Center instance and it began to populate it with our environment’s information."

"CX Cloud connects to Cisco DNA Center, and lets us leverage a lot of the work, best practices, and insights learned from other Cisco DNA customers," he said. "As I introduced it to my staff who manage the equipment, they immediately saw the time savings and value in its lifecycle approach, and its ability to help us understand what devices need to be upgraded, and how."

Aligned to support specific outcomes

CX Cloud offers several different uses cases that enable organizations to tailor it to align to their specific needs and processes, to unlock the best possible outcomes.

CX Cloud provides insights that give San Jose State University a 360-degree view of all assets—from understanding what is covered to being able to see security advisories, bugs, field notices, and recommendations on how to resolve those issues. Having a consistent contract view eliminates manual errors and enables better forecasting and planning based on asset lifecycle milestones.

"CX Cloud gives us comprehensive visibility into the Cisco assets where previously I would need to log into several portals or contact my account team to get access to all this information," said Silberman. "It lets us examine the network from a lifecycle perspective, such as which devices are supported, which are not, and which are nearing end of life—the insights we need for better planning. We also gain visibility into TAC cases in detail, which used to require a phone call to a support representative."

CX Cloud lets us gain a higher level of context, leveraging ML and AI to provide a more strategic view of our network, security postures, and risk.

-Shai Silberman, Director of Network Services at San Jose State University

Access to rich learning content

With CX Cloud, the IT team can take advantage of a wide variety of learning content, to help staff augment their skills and keep pace with fast-changing technology using contextual learning and knowledge sharing.

One of the strengths of CX Cloud is its ability to apply context to these learning resources, to ensure that it is applicable to the team’s specific needs, and make it easier to adopt and manage new technologies from on-demand self-paced learning to virtual labs and certification preparation to empower IT teams.

"We can drill down into a specific use case or technology and get prompted with learning opportunities or access to experts," said Silberman. "CX Cloud is a great tool to help us understand where we are with deployment and provides resources to learn and improve adoption. It provides links to technical help, training, and other resources if we need to dive deeper."

AI/ML provide proactive and predictive analytics

The university also benefits from analytics that leverage machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) to support risk mitigation and other insights in CX Cloud. It provides automated health assessments for networks and devices, using fingerprint matching, and guidance on high risk remediation. Cisco expert analysis combined with analytics help increase operational resiliency.

Automating software version optimization for devices is another feature the IT team finds valuable. "CX Cloud enables us to do bug scrubs and recommend us down the right software path, which typically has been a very tedious process previously," said Silberman. "CX Cloud shows only security vulnerabilities and issues that are actually applicable to our specific equipment. This lets us avoid the need to sift through individual security announcements, which saves us a lot of time and helps us focus our efforts in bringing devices into compliance."

Regulatory compliance checks are also critical for ensuring compliance across the campus community. "CX Cloud provides the ability to go in and check equipment for HIPAA or PCI compliance," said Silberman. "It helps us streamline the process of identifying bugs, patches, and security vulnerabilities."

Much like Cisco DNA Center focuses on the user experience, CX Cloud focuses on the customer experience and how to improve and unify it.

-Shai Silberman, Director of Network Services at San Jose State University

Realizing the full value of technology over the long term

By providing a rich view of the San Jose State University infrastructure, CX Cloud and Success Tracks capabilities help guide the IT team as they navigate their technology journey to realize the most value from their Cisco technology investment.

"CX Cloud allows us to be more proactive about managing our infrastructure,and provides a view into our whole security posture," said Silberman. "It's about more than just saving time; it's about gaining a contextual view that we didn't have before. I would encourage everyone who is serious about managing their network, assets, and security to check out CX Cloud."

For more information

To find out more about Cisco Customer Experience and how we can accelerate your success, check out our e-book, Accelerate Your Journey to Intent-Based Networking With Cisco Customer Experience.

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