Online Listening & Response Case Study

NetApp-Cisco-VMware FlexPod Infrastructure


After jointly releasing its first iteration of the FlexPod Converged Infrastructure Solution with Cisco and VMware, NetApp wanted to gain a better understanding of online conversations happening around stack vs. best of breed solutions. Additionally, as these conversations arose, NetApp wanted to turn them favorably toward best of breed solutions.

Our Solution

Kevin York led a team charged with developing an online listening and response system. The most difficult challenge facing the team was that the engineers and product managers, who were the individuals the online community wanted to hear from, had limited time to engage in the project.

To address these time constraints, Kevin's team developed a process for monitoring and response, which they called LTE Alerts. 

Every day, Kevin's team would send an LTE Alert email to a small tiger team comprised of specialists from NetApp, Cisco, and VMware. The email consisted of any piece of content relevant to FlexPod or stack vs. best of breed discussions - blog posts, tweets, LinkedIn Group discussions, YouTube videos, etc. Each piece of content was presented in three parts:

  • Listen - a link to the content along with a one-two sentence overview
  • Think - a few sentences explaining why the content was important and relevant
  • Engage - a response recommendation from Kevin's team; sometimes the recommendation would guide the response, while other times it would provide the actual response that a member of the tiger team could copy and paste

Each LTE Alert was divided by person, so the tiger team members could quickly review and determine which content was applicable to them personally. 






The LTE Alerts worked very well, resulting in a 97% rate of conversion on the recommendations. This showed that not only was the LTE Alert process successful at inserting the FlexPod group into online discussions, but also that Kevin's team was able to very quickly get up to speed on the subject matter at a depth that proved valuable to the technical people involved in the project.

Additionally, the FlexPod group saw its online share of voice steadily increase throughout the duration of the LTE Alert campaign, showing that its increased participation resulted in others talking about FlexPod and best of breed solutions more often.

This project was completed before collaboration tools such as Slack existed, so it was built around a daily email. If it were to be completed today, we could execute it in a much more efficient manner using currently available technology. 


*Though this project was completed by a Kevin York led team prior to him forming Kevin York Communications, it is indicative of the work Kevin York Communications can perform.