Seriously. There’s an iOS app for Cisco Technical Support. It’s an official app published by Cisco, it’s free, and it allows you to do some useful things. I tested version 2.1 b2146 of the app on a 3rd-generation iPad. Here’s what the app let me do.
- Manage cases. If you have an open case, you can interact with TAC about it through the app. For example, you can see case status, add notes, attach photos, and request status update or case closure. You can also e-mail or call the TAC engineer assigned to your case directly from the app. You can’t actually open a case from the app yet. You can’t do case searches yet, either. If you’d like to be able to open a case or search your cases with this app, please explain “why” in the comments, and I’ll send that info off to the product manager for this app to help him justify those feature additions to the development team.
- Interact with Support Communities. This gives you an iOS view into the online support forums, and the functionality appears full. You can add new posts, reply to existing ones, search, etc. When I hit the “My Activities” button, it brought up threads I’d started years ago.
- Watch Support Videos. You get access to the techie webcasts, and can watch them full screen. There’s also a search function, so I could look for “ASA” and get back a whole list of ASA related videos. These videos are actually useful, IMO, because the iPad is the sort of platform on which I’d like to consume that sort of content. How good the content itself is depends on your point of view.
- Browse Feeds. This is a handy gateway to all of the Cisco blogs and newsfeeds. If you tap on an article title, the displayed article is kept inside the app. The app does not launch an external instance of Safari. I tend to use RSS in news aggregators like Feedly to read this content, but it doesn’t hurt to have the feeds available in the app.
- Listen to Podcasts. Cisco has a couple of podcast feeds, and the app gateways you through to them. I mean, the content is no Packet Pushers, but it’s okay. I guess.
- Monitor Leaderboards. There is, apparently, a rating for Cisco users that interact with the online community. I personally couldn’t care less about such a score, but if you’re really into answering other people’s Cisco questions, maybe the leaderboard would be a sweet feature for you.
In conclusion, if you interact with the Cisco technical support world frequently and you’re an iOS user, then this app is worth exploring. I didn’t use it heavily, and I only opened one dummy case just to explore the case management functionality. You might get into it and find it lacking in some way. Or maybe you love it…either way, write up your love/hate story in the comments. I’m going to make the product manager aware of this post so that he can use it to get some additional feedback from the end-user community if he’d like to.