The past few weeks have been fantastic.
After 10 months working on one of the most exciting, innovative and challenging projects of my career, we have been able to tell the world about all the great work we have done.
At our Beyond the City event last week, over 200 people attended, with some of the most respected organisations in our industry sharing how impressed they’ve been with the work we have done with 5G RuralFirst.
So, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank some of the people at Cisco who made it possible.
This, of course, was not the work of a few people. Every one of our partners, associates and suppliers played a role. But, I wanted to focus on the great work done by the Cisco Customer Experience (CX) team and give them the praise they deserve.
There’s a lot more than what you get in the box
When you buy Cisco products, you get a fantastic product that works straight away but one we work with you to make even better in the future. Our CX team works tirelessly on every deployment to make sure it’s a success for our customers, so for 5G RuralFirst we made sure we had the right team working from day 1.
The complexities with a trial of this size in remote rural areas were massive. One of the big ones was ensuring the low latency integral to many of the agri-tech trials. To overcome this, the Cisco CX team helped create and deploy the world’s first CUPS based packet core to support mobile edge computing in a rural location.
This does not happen overnight or without a lot of hard work.
The complexity of conversation
The 5G RuralFirst project has 29 key partners, with many more associate partners and suppliers all helping with the work.
That’s a lot of design sessions, meetings and conversations to be having over 10 months.
The CX team was able to manage these complex deployments, helping consolidate all the different requests in one place.
Helping build for the future
When we talk to any customer in the world now, we can point to the work we have done with 5G in this project.
This was not a few streets in London, or some nice soundbites at a conference.
This was a difficult, industry-first and extensive deployment of 5G in rural locations, spanning around 3000 square km around the Orkney Islands and over 1000km across the length of the UK, showing the world that Cisco is ready to work with customers around the world on building their own solutions.
It’s not just the technology that we have showed works, but that the CX services team is able to design, deploy and manage that technology. These learnings go beyond rural locations and offer a platform to build everything on going forward.
We have also shared all our learnings with our sales teams, ensuring that they are able to share these globally when talking to customers.
A personal thank you
As I’ve already said, this project was the work of many companies and people, but from my CX team I want to thank the following folks:
Dez O ( Honorary CX member – from our SP CTO team)
Malek S (chief architect)
From Malek helping develop the architecture for the initial submission to all the use case traffic analysis work Dez did. All tasks the team engaged in, from troubleshooting the core, to Mitesh impressively orchestrating the troubleshooting of the Orkney to DataVita data centre fibre connection across many of our partners, for me really illustrated why you need Cisco CX on your team if you’re building out a 5G deployment: the foundation for 5G is the core network, the foundation for making this complex technology work is Cisco CX.
I’m proud to work with such a talented team.
So, for those reading who are thinking about doing 5G. Don’t do it without this team. You want them to be obsessed with your problems and to be people you can trust. Together they can do extraordinary things for you.