Meet Tobi from Cisco Insider Advocates

Our clients are the center and soul of all the pieces we do at Cisco and every one in every of them has an attention-grabbing story to inform! Our Q&A collection permits us to shine a highlight on a few of our most passionate buyer advocates as we be taught extra about their tales and backgrounds.

Cisco’s advocacy neighborhood, Cisco Insider Advocates, brings our clients collectively and offers a method for them to make highly effective connections, broaden their skilled and private networks, and be taught from high specialists of their area. One among our targets with our advocacy neighborhood is to deepen {our relationships} with our clients and at the moment, we have now one of many friendliest faces locally becoming a member of us for a chat. I’m excited to welcome Tobias Baader from BASF.

Welcome, Tobi! Let’s kick issues off by speaking about what you needed to be while you have been 16 years outdated?

Thanks, Rashik, for having me! After I was 16, the web was nonetheless in its infancy. We linked with a modem. I additionally bear in mind utilizing Web Relay Chat (IRC). At the moment, networking was extensively unknown to me till associates and I bought our first NICs (10BASE2) to have the ability to meet and play iconic video video games with one another like Age of Empires, Quake, CounterStrike, and Starcraft. I truthfully didn’t suppose my skilled profession would take me down the IT route. As a substitute, I needed to hitch the police.

That’s attention-grabbing, you and I had the identical LAN experiences rising up. We additionally performed Warcraft, along with the titles you talked about above! The place did you begin your profession, and what skilled determination or alternative helped lead you to your present function?

Alright, I counsel you sit and get comfy!

After passing my A-Ranges, I ditched my plans to turn into a police officer, although not solely attributable to failing the sports activities screening take a look at, hahaha! I then began classes on the College of Mannheim within the area of Technical Pc Science. Nonetheless, after I heard Vodafone was hiring, I made a decision to go away. I utilized and began an thrilling apprenticeship as a system electronics technician with a concentrate on cell communications. Right here I received hands-on expertise with my first Cisco {hardware}. One among my first experiences was configuring static routes for the administration of a Base station, together with a colleague. Following the apprenticeship, I made a decision to proceed my studying by way of a cooperative examine with Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State College in Enterprise Pc Science on the insurance coverage firm Mannheimer Versicherung (now a part of Continentale).

After graduating, I began as a community administrator in an SMB-sized managed service supplier. Right here is the place I actually received my toes on the bottom! I rapidly realized the foundations of networking from scratch, together with expertise working with service desk, troubleshooting, and first-level help roles. I realized how one can configure switches, routers, firewalls, and rather more. I imagine I did all of the doable networking duties at the least as soon as throughout this expertise!

I then transitioned into the consulting and structure staff, which I see as the muse for my present function. From SMB and MSP, I moved to the client facet in an enterprise phase. I labored first as a senior architect at Heidelberg Cement after which moved to an analogous function at BASF. Though I don’t imagine in destiny, I used to be lucky that nice alternatives have been introduced to me and I really feel fortunate to have capitalized on them.

What a wealthy and in depth background, Tobi. I like that your expertise with networking was so hands-on, and your function as an apprentice sounds invaluable. On to the following query, how has partnering with Cisco helped you in your function?

Partnering with Cisco made the distinction! I used to be in a position to vastly broaden my networking information after turning into licensed in CCNA, R&S, and now I’m certified within the CCNP Enterprise observe. The connections I made helped me community with different clients by way of the Cisco account staff. I bear in mind my first Cisco Expo in Berlin again in 2012 or 2013. Throughout a dinner organized by a Cisco account supervisor on the day earlier than the occasion, I met colleagues from Heidelberg Cement. A pair years later, this turned useful after I received my function there.

You touched on one of many large worth add’s from partnering with Cisco, specifically, the occasions we arrange for patrons and companions that assist them community with different professionals within the trade. What’s been your largest problem in your organization not too long ago, and the way did you overcome it?

In January of 2022, I used to be promoted to my present function as product proprietor for our firm’s Huge Space Community. Earlier than this, I used to be a WAN architect. Altering to a leadership-oriented function and supporting an agile digital transformation has to date been my largest problem. I’m nonetheless studying, day by day, together with my staff.

Thanks for sharing among the challenges you confronted since shifting right into a management function. Let’s transfer on to our buyer advocacy neighborhood. How would you describe it to these aren’t accustomed to it?

Group describes it very nicely! Furthermore, you may even name it household!

The Cisco Insider Advocates neighborhood is a world, various and open-minded collective of pros who come collectively to share passions and pursuits. You get entry to nice insights, priceless info, and an enormous community of extremely expert friends—paired with plenty of enjoyable stuff!

We actually are a household. You’re one in every of our neighborhood “Rockstars.” What made you need to be a part of, and the way has being a part of this neighborhood impacted you each professionally and personally?

The primary time I turned accustomed to “The Gateway” (the earlier identify for Cisco Insider Advocates) was at Cisco Stay 2017 in Berlin. I bear in mind the circle brand, and on the second or third day I began some pleasant conversations with the staff on the sales space. After that, I used to be in!

On knowledgeable stage, I get pleasure from that the neighborhood offers me with a single-entry level to the world of Cisco. Through the years, the content material inside the neighborhood pointed to so many alternative subjects—webinars, trade insights, weblog posts, and services choices—all of which I’d not have come throughout so readily with out being locally. This content material has helped me to suppose exterior the field for my very own function.

We’d like to know extra about your expertise at Cisco Stay in Amsterdam this previous February. Should you might describe your expertise in a single phrase, what wouldn’t it be? How did it examine to earlier Cisco Stay conferences you’ve attended?

Overwhelming! To start with, it was truthfully nice to be again at my first Cisco Stay in three years. The environment and power of this occasion is nothing a digital occasion can recreate, and I’ve heard from different Cisco clients that they share this viewpoint.

This yr, Cisco Stay felt very particular to me! Beforehand, I’d attend with my colleagues, nevertheless I used to be travelling by myself this time. This meant I might spend high quality time with former colleagues, friends, and the Cisco International Buyer Advertising and marketing and Advocacy staff. On a technical {and professional} stage, this yr was actually totally different. Usually, I spend plenty of time on the “World of Options” to find new issues. This yr, nevertheless, I centered on Cisco SD-WAN.

You talked about you had an opportunity to satisfy for the primary time or reconnect with friends from the Cisco Insider Advocates neighborhood in addition to a few of my colleagues from Cisco’s International Advocacy staff. How did you get pleasure from that reconnection?

That reconnection was the gamechanger in my relationship with the neighborhood. It was the primary time I met plenty of the individuals in individual, and it was additionally the primary yr I attended Cisco Stay as a “Rockstar” from the Cisco Insider Advocates neighborhood. By the second day, the expertise felt extra like “coming house” then “going there.” Once more, many because of Cisco’s International Buyer Advertising and marketing and Advocacy staff for making my time at Cisco Stay a tremendous expertise.

I’m glad to listen to that, Tobi! What would you say to those that are on the fence about going to a Cisco Stay convention, based mostly in your expertise this yr?

Don’t hesitate!

Earlier than attending Cisco Stay in Berlin all these years in the past, as I discussed, I had attended Cisco Expo and Cisco Join, which have been additionally nice occasions. However, as a result of they have been smaller, these occasions lacked among the technical depth you discover at Cisco Stay. I additionally actually like that attendees can create customized agendas, based mostly on what we need to see and be taught.

We’re nearly on the finish of the interview and we’d love to complete with three issues you may’t dwell with out?

  1. Pasta
  2. Household
  3. Pals

I don’t suppose many individuals can argue with pasta being on that checklist! It’s been a pleasure, Tobi, thanks once more for becoming a member of us!

You might be welcome, Rashik!

Learn extra advocate interviews

You may get pleasure from this interview with Rik Aragoza.  

Be part of us!

For our clients who’ve already joined our Cisco Insider Advocates neighborhood, say hiya to Tobi if you happen to haven’t met one another but. And for these Cisco clients who haven’t but joined, take into account doing so. You’ll be capable of:

  • Join with friends in a gamified, on-line neighborhood
  • Have a chance to satisfy with Cisco’s executives
  • Share your suggestions, questions, and finest practices
  • Get entry to ‘insider’ content material and assets
  • Develop your skilled and private model
  • Amplify your organization’s success story with Cisco expertise

Able to get began?

Head over to the Cisco Insider Advocates Group and say hiya!

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