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Insights from the Cisco Product Management Team

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Savita Kini
Director of Product Management, Speech and Video AI
AI/ML by definition requires a decent foundational understanding for AI/ML/Deep Learning Concepts, trends in industry, tools and methodologies to be able to work with engineering in defining solutions to customer /user problems. For the forseeable future, I would say that most AI/ML product manag...more
Savita Kini
Director of Product Management, Speech and Video AI
Seek to understand and clarify first before assuming you have learnt everything that is to know and propose solutions.  I see there are lot of online courses, documentation, articles -- you can do a lot of reading online to educate yourself about the complexities of model development, data gathe...more
Savita Kini
Director of Product Management, Speech and Video AI
This is not a simple question. There is no such thing as a "traditional PM" because PM roles and responsibilities differ by industry segment. There are substantial differences in PM roles from consumer app to enterprise app to hardware and enterprise infrastructure.  Fundamentally the role of th...more
Savita Kini
Director of Product Management, Speech and Video AI
Excellent question. Hard/technical skills are absolutely critical to be a successful AI product manager. As I mention in my other answers -- PMs bring domain knowledge, and customer perspectives to seek solutions. In AI/ML product development, we apply all the same foundational technical knowledg...more
Savita Kini
Director of Product Management, Speech and Video AI
Key traits for AI PM is no different from other PM roles -- empathy for customer issues, ability craft / create / articulate problems and how we might approach the solution, industry and domain experience, and collaborative leadership to work with engineering. Willingness to learn or prior experi...more
Savita Kini
Director of Product Management, Speech and Video AI
Metrics are an interesting question. This really depends on the type of product we are building that leverages ML. Since ML can be use for example in electronic records, sales workflows, computer vision type use cases or speech / audio use cases some of which I am familiar with -- we can break it...more
Savita Kini
Director of Product Management, Speech and Video AI
A strong software engineering and product development background is a good foundation to transition to a PM role. AI is a very broad field, and one can apply AI in many different applications and use-cases. Just as you would with any job search and transition -- take some foundational courses in...more
D Matthew Landry
VP Product Management, Networking and Security
Honestly, the first product manager for a company is probably not ready to establish a prioritization framework. The first PM probably needs to focus on customer discovery, market discovery, MVP intuition, and experimentation. Until you have established product-market fit with enthusiastic custom...more
D Matthew Landry
VP Product Management, Networking and Security
Rule of thumb: don't build before they buy. If this whale wants something specific, they should put skin the game, either through a services/customization contract or a purchase contract contingent on a feature delivery. Of course, there's a lot of nuance to a situation like this.  Maybe there'...more
D Matthew Landry
VP Product Management, Networking and Security
Taking for granted a baseline of solid product management fundamentals and team simpatico, I feel the following play an outsize role in determining success in the enterprise: * Skeptical curiosity * Strong opinions, weakly held * Speaking and presentation skills, in front of senior execs & au...more
Cisco Product Management Leaders
Savita Kini
Savita Kini
Director of Product Management, Speech and Video AI
D Matthew Landry
D Matthew Landry
VP Product Management, Networking and Security