Deep into Drupal, Cisco Starts to Give Back to Open Source Community [Oct. 21, 2015]
By Bob Brown
Cisco’s Jamal Haider acknowledged during a presentation this week that his team that works on the company’s open source-based customer support portal hasn’t given much back to the wider Drupal community yet, but he said this talk at the sold-out Acquia Engage conference in Boston is part of an effort to change that.
And why not? Cisco has plenty of reasons – more than $400 million of them, in fact – to be grateful for Drupal since migrating its Support Community portal to the open source content management system early last year. Cisco started working on project requirements in 2013 with Acquia, a SaaS provider that has commercialized Drupal offerings.
Haider, Cisco’s director of social, SaaS and mobile platforms, claims the company has saved hundreds of millions of dollars since revamping the site, which previously was based on technology from Jive Software. These savings are attributable largely to “deflecting” the cost of supporting customers – in other words, enabling customers to help themselves through a greatly improved portal rather than getting on the phone with actual Cisco technical support personnel. Haider cited a 77% deflection rate thanks to the portal, which Cisco aims to make the place to go for detailed technical, and some marketing, information. Moving to Drupal helped Cisco build a site that is faster, more stable and more flexible, and that has a much friendlier user interface, Haider says.