Video is a cool technology. It’s a fun way to communicate. It looks neat. But what’s the real business value around video? What does video give us that other forms of communication don’t? How can a particular video solution help your company achieve x or solve y? These are questions that all companies rolling out a video strategy should consider.
A lot of our employees, especially salespeople, seem to work everywhere except at their desks. Reaching them used to mean making multiple calls to multiple numbers, and leaving messages at each one. And waiting for an important phone call sometimes meant that you were tied to your desk until it came through.
Now, with Single Number Reach (SNR) — a feature of Cisco Unified Mobility — I can receive business calls wherever I want to be reached at the moment--at my desk, at home, or on my mobile phone. And if I can’t answer, Cisco Unified Mobility gets all my messages sent to a single voicemail box. There’s also a Mobility feature that lets me transfer calls from my office phone to my mobile phone, and back again – without anyone on the other end knowing I’ve changed phones. This helps when I pick up an important call at my desk, but need to take care of something that takes me away from the desk phone. Sometimes I’ve got to get in the car and can use my Bluetooth headset to finish the conversation.
My current SNR profile is configured to route calls to my mobile inside of normal working hours, and then to push them to voicemail on weekends. I even have an access control list (ACL) to allow my manager’s calls to pass through to the mobile number at any day/hour. He does respect normal work hours but we do know emergencies happen from time to time and it is important to be accessible.
All of these Cisco Unified Mobility features were made available to 80,000 phones in our company, by activating them on in our eighteen production Unified Communications server clusters around the world. The truly impressive thing about the Cisco Unified Mobility service is that it can scale to companies of any size. The benefits to the individual user apply no matter if you are an 8 or 80,000 person company. Mobility benefits the individual most.
From our deployment activity, we learned valuable lessons for our customers about implementation decisions, feature adoption by users, and the resulting business benefits.
In my recent blog, From Cairo to Nairobi- Eye to Eye at the Touch of a Button, I explained how we are achieving massive cost savings and efficiencies at Cisco as a global organisation and more recently across the continent of Africa, thanks to immersive TelePresence.
In fact the vast majority of our sales force in Africa, 7 out of 10 employees, now have access to this flagship communication and collaboration tool at their local Cisco office. This means they can meet face to face in a life-size virtual meeting with colleagues, customers and partners across the globe without the need to travel, as if they were sat in the same meeting room just across the table from one another. So what are we doing for the remaining 30% of employees on the continent who do not have access to this capability?
Collaboration is Hot … Very Hot (How Collaboration at Cisco Resulted in Email Reduction – A Case Study)
Picking up on my blog last week about how Cisco’s own collaboration solution, our Integrated Workforce Experience or IWE, is showing tangible results of business value, I’d like to talk today about another great example at Cisco. This particular case shows how IWE significantly cut down email volumes.
In my last blog, “Africa – Connected Continent – At last”, I described how the arrival of affordable internet bandwidth in Africa is enabling companies to use technology to transform how they do business. Today at Cisco we have realised huge efficiencies in how we conduct our business internally and we have fundamentally changed how we communicate and collaborate with customers and partners, thanks to TelePresence.
TelePresence allow people to meet face to face over the network without the need to travel. Participants enjoy a high definition, high quality, life-size video experience and can share rich media content. We can now bring in subject matter experts from over one thousand Cisco TelePresence rooms across the globe and put them together with the vast majority of our workforce in Africa as if they were sat just across the table from each another; all at the touch of a button. In fact we can connect Cisco’s TelePresence rooms with any customer or partner TelePresence room, provided they have a B2B exchange with Cisco, so the possibilities are huge.