As noted in my last blog, Cisco is continuing to see an explosion of personal smart phones and tablets coming into the enterprise, with now more than 50,000 personal devices in use. Additionally, employees want to do more and more on their phones with new applications. That’s not surprising – there is a massive burst of killer apps!
As a result, Cisco IT is planning a centralized app store for our employees. We are really, really excited about launching our Cisco Enterprise Store experience. We want to take this further than just simple application downloads. As employees download an app, we also want to set up everything in the background to make it work. So if you download Cisco Jabber, our Cisco Unified Communication Manager is automatically configured with all the right settings ready for the employee to connect. No one does this today – so it’s a big challenge for our team.
We also want to provide users with the ability to download apps that suit their specific device and suit their role at the company, helping to make them more productive. A big part of our app store will be to provide an outstanding experience by offering a simple storefront and easy access which gives a better result. Additionally, once we have our enterprise store, we will allow our employees to personalize their experience by device (on average, each Cisco employee has 1.7 devices). So we can have easy and intuitive “yes/no” type of applications on smart phones, and heavier computing applications on desktops.
Of course, when you bring employees’ personal mobile devices into the workplace, you have to have an excellent support capability. At Cisco we offer support to employees who use their own devices at work through our IT Mobility Services site, a community in Quad – Cisco’s collaboration platform. Prior to our shift to BYOD, it was difficult for IT to support multiple devices. Then, as we became less involved in device selection and certification, we came to view ourselves as device facilitators. What I mean by this is that we began facilitating support through forums and wikis. Now, through our Mobility Community we offer a more robust, user-friendly, self-support platform.
Our Mobility Community is the second largest community in IWE – our Mobility service is the most utilized and sought after. This is partially because users are looking for support at any time, and partially because the community forum provides great information in the form of user guides and a complete knowledge base – not only from IT professionals but also from non-IT users who offer comments and suggestions. This open dialogue is tremendously popular with our employees.
I’ll talk next time about how we’re addressing security with mobile devices. Until then, Happy Collaborating!