When the ACE pilot network began inside Cisco, it supported a much smaller audience. In those days we only had around 1000 users, and for the most part these were very technically savvy people. Mostly they were power users, who could use tools normally provided to our engineering group with ease. As our ACE “service introduction” network has grown to support over 13,000 users, we are now reaching a much wider audience that still wants to use leading-edge, first-deployment services; yet, with production-level support and ease of use. To keep up with the needs of our evolving user base, we needed to reduce the amount of time our team was spending on routine provisioning and support tasks – which can take up a lot of time.
For the 10,000 users on our ACE service introduction network, the new WebEx-enabled TelePresence Meeting capabilities mean everyone gets to enjoy seamless two-way video, audio, and data sharing between Cisco TelePresence and Cisco WebEx Conferencing. Users no longer have to ask, “Do I have my meetings via TelePresence or WebEx?”
The host easily schedules the WebEx-enabled TelePresence meeting using the WebEx Productivity Tool in Outlook or the Smart Scheduler Web Portal. The TelePresence video bridge information will be populated automatically, eliminating the need to manage separate invitations for WebEx and TelePresence users – it is all one click away.
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.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or VDI is getting a lot of attention these days. It allows companies to replace high-cost laptops with a lower-cost, secure device. It also allows employees to access a secure, cloud-based desktop from any device across the Internet.
Desktop virtualization has been popular among the Cisco salespeople who are ACE users because they can access the same centrally stored applications and content wherever they have an Internet connection and whether they are using a laptop or tablet. The faster startup time for the tablet client compared to booting-up a laptop may be one reason for this popularity, because it helps salespeople get information quickly, especially when they are talking with a customer.