Sunday, October 13, 2013

Protect, Grow, Transform

It's been a while since I wrote something in this blog. Long holiday season, moving house, multiple projects in neighbor country, were really occupying my time the past several months.

Yesterday I flew 16 hours from Dubai to San Francisco, had to queue 2 hours, and drove about 1 hour to San Jose for some company meeting in Cisco Head Quarter office. Now it's early morning here and I can't really sleep due to 11 hours time zone difference with Dubai, so I guess it's the right time to post new blog.

Last month I was moved to Architecture group for the new Intelligent Infrastructure Center of Excellence team for EMEAR region, focusing on IP NGN and Network Programmability. My current role as Solution Architect is not only to lead complex NGN projects, something that I've been doing for many years, but as well as to grow Cisco Advanced Services business in those focused technologies within the region.

One strategy that we just came up recently is to define the objectives of this new team. We classify the objectives using Protect, Grow, Transform terminology. For example, Protect by focusing on renewal business and ensuring the quality of project delivery, Grow by moving into architecture based solution and enabling field engineers for any new technology, Transform by opening new business opportunity with Software Defined Network and Internet of Everything.

From technical perspective, Protect means to ensure our NGN design skills and extensive experiences with current platform such as Cisco CRS, ASR9K etc are maintained and well documented hence can be re-used by field engineers to optimize the project delivery, Grow means to go to Cross Architecture collaboration and solution like FMC, unified access, IPv6, IP Optical, and new platform such as NCS family, and Transform means to enable ourselves with the comprehensive Cisco ONE solution.

While creating this strategy, I could see the same Protect, Grow, Transform can be applied for technical skill development plan for individuals. For example, for someone who works in Service Provider market he can "Protect" his relevancy with the market by keep improving his technical skills. If we relate this with Cisco certification it's almost mandatory for this individual to take CCIE SP and perhaps CCDE. He can "Grow" skills in Data Center to expand his horizon and to have end-to-end solution based knowledge, and he may even take CCIE DC certification. And to "Transform" himself for the upcoming Network Programmability, he should start getting adequate programming skills with Python or Java, and start looking at leading edge SDN solution such as Cisco OnePK and XNC.

Just like any organization, the only way to be successful as individual in this industry is by having a clear strategy to continuously developing the skill, by executing the strategy, and by preparing for any upcoming changes in the industry. 

How about you? What will be your Protect, Grow, Transform?

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