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August 18, 2011

The Adventures of Cisco's IT Hero: Ike Theodore Willis

By Rich Steeves, TMCnet Copy Editor

There is a new hero in town. He does not wear a cape, or a suit of armor, or carry a shield or a hammer (though occasionally he is known to put on a Viking helmet). He is none other than Ike Theodore Willis, Cisco’s (News - Alert) new IT champion.

Ike is the main character in a series of cartoon videos produced by Cisco. A skinny young man with a love of Pringle-like potato chips, Hawaiian shirts and yes, Viking helmets, Ike is a good natured and competent IT professional who just happens to use his computer skills to save the day, when necessary.

In the first episode, Ike is tasked with installing important new financial software in an all-nighter. This is an easy job for him but, as fate would have it, while he is waiting on the install, an unscrupulous burglar attempts to break into the building and only Ike can stop him.

Using his skills to thwart the burglar’s hacking attempts, Ike then changes the building’s environmental parameters in an effort to freeze the crook out. Next, as the criminal chases Ike around, the plucky computer jockey uses his desktop virtualization skills to move control of the system from desktop to desktop, then to his tablet and even his smartphone. I won’t spoil the end. Watch for yourself:

In his second adventure, Ike is taking a much-needed vacation in Hawaii. While being treated for a surfing injury, the IT hero is once again called upon to save the day. After a slight medical mishap, Ike must take control of his doctor’s computer system to reconnect to a telemedicine conference with another healthcare professional. He orchestrates changes in the connection speed and video parameters in order to get the health medical records he needs. Once again, I’ll leave it to you to watch and see if the gutsy fellow really can save the day.

Let’s face it; some of the technology produced by Cisco can be a little dry and boring to the average person. But IT Willis – Ike to his friends – is a fun and entertaining guy, like a cousin to Linguini from Ratatouille (but without the hyperintelligent rat to guide him. Ike is on his own). The videos are fun and fast paced, with strong animation, plenty of humor, and a great score. And, guess what? You learn a little something about Cisco’s products and capabilities in the three or four minutes it takes you to watch them. All in all, a neat and entertaining idea from Cisco’s marketing department. Here’s hoping we see more of Ike in the future. Maybe he can come by and diagnose why my browser keeps freezing…

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.


Rich Steeves is a TMCnet copy editor. He taught writing for nine years. He has also worked as an editorial assistant at Penny Publications. He has written short stories, newspaper columns, blogs and recently published his first novel. He attended The George Washington University where he received his bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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