There’s been a lot of buzz in the news and social media this week about working in the office vs. working remotely. While each company has to make decisions that are most appropriate for their own organization, Cisco has a very clear point of view on how and where employees can work – we support employees who work remotely or in the office. Central to this philosophy is our own technology which enables our global team to connect, communicate, collaborate and learn from wherever we are around the world – be it Japan, India, France, Canada and almost 200 other countries.
My laptop PC recently took on a new role: As a tool for centrally managing the different phones that I use in my work. The new Cisco Jabber for Windows client allows me to control the Cisco 9971 desk phone that’s in my Cisco office and the Cisco 7961 phone I have in my home office. But I can also use the Jabber client as a soft phone on my laptop, both answering and dialing calls as if I was at my hardware phone.
This flexibility means that I’m easier to reach and I can use the best phone that’s available to me at any given moment. Even better, I can use the Jabber client for more than just phone calls because it integrates features for instant messaging (IM), presence, audio and web conferencing, and visual voicemail.
I find the client’s IM and presence capabilities especially helpful. These features often allow me to answer those “got a second?” information requests from a customer, partner, or member of my team without needing to make a return call or play phone tag. It also means I don’t have to wait until I’m back in my office or at home to take care of it.
Whether I’m at my desk, working from home with my laptop, or walking out of a meeting, I don’t worry about missing an important message thanks to our Cisco Unity Visual Voicemail service.
Visual Voicemail provides me a list of all waiting messages and it is one of the first things I check at work every day: in the display on my Cisco Unified IP desk phone, on the Cisco Unity Web portal, or in the Cisco Jabber client on my laptop or smartphone. Scrolling through the message list, it’s easy to prioritize which calls I need to return right away, which messages I can delete or forward, and which ones I can deal with later.
Visual Voicemail helps me be more responsive to my colleagues, partners or stakeholders and it’s a big timesaver. To illustrate my point, a study we conducted showed that 62 percent of our ACE Network users save at least five minutes each day. They tell me that it keeps them from having to check multiple voice mailboxes and playing phone tag. If the entire Cisco sales force adopted Visual Voicemail capabilities, the potential productivity benefits to Cisco could be worth US $44 million per year – and that’s for Visual Voicemail alone!
It used to be that a video call meant going to a special room for a high-end video conference or putting up with the small webcam image on a laptop. Today, nearly all of the calls I handle at my desk are video calls because of the mid-range but very portable video meeting experience in the Cisco Jabber client.
Cisco Jabber Clients use the same video engine from Cisco Jabber Video for TelePresence (Movi). I use Cisco Jabber on our internal ACE network, where Cisco IT has been testing it as a new product before supporting it in production.
Being able to join a high-definition video call instantly, without having to schedule and wait, is more than just a convenience. It is becoming a necessity to conduct business these days and sometimes it’s the only way you can reach some people.
Keeping more than 20,000 Cisco salespeople in 87 countries up to date on our hundreds of products and solutions is a critical and challenging task. Just ask members of the Global Virtual Team Program. They are responsible for bringing SMEs from various business units together to provide product and related training directly to the salesforce, which is mostly done through WebEx conference calls, webinars, recorded content on shared topics, hands-on labs, and live events at Cisco’s San Jose campus. Read More »