Feature Story

People@Cisco: Roger Dickinson

by Kirsten Chiala

capt cloud

Cloud and cartoons. A Technical Solutions Architect shares his journey of evolution at Cisco.

Long before most companies were pondering their cloud strategy, Roger Dickinson was dreaming up ways to tell stories about the cloud.

Several years ago, when data center was all about hardware, Roger entered an internal Cisco competition in the UK. The goal was to elevate the conversation around data center and cloud, to build new cloud messaging. Roger's team developed a video animation for the contest. In the video, the protagonist falls asleep and ends up in a cartoon, where he meets Captain Cloud, who tells him how to navigate this new world of cloud.

After the competition, which his team won, the Captain Cloud character became a regular fixture, and then somewhat of a celebrity in his own right. He makes appearances to rally folks at the company's biggest trade show- Cisco Live, and at other company events. He has his own Twitter handle and blog site, and you can find him on laptop stickers and even as a cuddly toy.

Just like Cisco, and Roger himself, Captain Cloud's journey has been one of evolution. The mascot now represents multicloud, and as Cisco transitions into more of a software and services company, Roger's role as a Technical Solutions Architect has evolved as well.

Most recently, he spends time working with enterprise customers helping them navigate their cloud strategies. He brings to the table blend of technical expertise, design thinking, and a talent for listening to customer needs and qualifying where Cisco's Multicloud solutions can add value.

As for Captain Cloud, his family has grown. He has a twin brother named Carl, who represents a typical IT Ops guy who has to learn new skills for the cloud and infrastructure programmability journey. The Captain also has a new sidekick named API Girl, who represents DevNet, a part of Cisco set up for Developers and IT professionals to write applications and develop integrations to Cisco products, solutions and APIs. Roger says API girl is starting to get a lot of attention and is becoming just as popular as Captain Cloud.

Roger says he's constantly finding new ways to engage customers in the most effective way for them. His cartoon characters are just one way he tells the Cisco story. His characters have adapted and changed along with Cisco's growing cloud software portfolio.

As customers embrace multicloud, Cisco is providing cloud solutions to solve some of the new challenges and complexities it brings. Things like cloud networking, security, analytics and business insights, all designed to take away much of the pain and ensure success. As for his journey at Cisco, what he appreciates most is the culture."At Cisco, you aren't micromanaged, you are given a lot of latitude to explore and shape the role into what customers need and what you like to be doing. "Other companies don't have what we have at Cisco."

In the summer Roger will be taking his Cloud expertise and cartoon characters to a new job as a Developer Evangelist, tackling the world of APIs and programmability.

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