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How Cisco IT Delivers Teleworker Services

What does it actually take to enable the 89 percent of Cisco employees who do at least some of their work remotely? For Cisco IT, this challenge means supporting products and services on both sides of the connection: in the teleworker’s home (and on their mobile devices) and in the Cisco corporate network.

Cisco Teleworkers Solutions in Employee Homes

We currently support three solutions to meet the teleworking needs of our mobile and remote employees:

  • Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client: Installed on the employee’s laptop or mobile device, this software client provides a secure VPN connection to the Cisco network. It is available to any Cisco employee and we currently support 30,000 users.
  • Cisco OfficeExtend: This solution includes a wireless access point that secures connectivity for the employee’s laptop and Cisco Unified IP Phone 9971 over a home network while reducing congestion, wireless interference, and security risks from other devices. We use this solution primarily for contact center agents, contractors, and employees who don’t require the HD-quality video of Cisco TelePresence for their work.
  • Cisco Virtual Office: This solution uses a Cisco 881 Integrated Services Router in the home to connect an employee’s laptop and Cisco Unified IP Phone 9971 to the Cisco network over an encrypted VPN. It also delivers HD video for the Cisco Jabber Video for TelePresence client or a separate Cisco EX 90 personal video endpoint. Cisco Virtual Office is used by employees who telework extensively and we currently support over 26,000 users.

The diagram below shows how these solutions connect to the Cisco network via the employee’s residential broadband Internet access service.

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Telework: A Manager’s Perspective

The benefits of teleworking—better work/life balance and more flexibility—sure sound great from an employee’s point of view. But from a manager’s perspective, is telework really successful for getting work done? Can a team really be effective if many of the members never work together in person?

Yes, if you create the right policies and environment and give employees the tools they need in order to work productively and be full contributors to their team. Read More »

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Video: Diving Into the Technology Behind Cisco Telecommuting

March 27, 2012 at 6:26 am PST

For any tech buffs wanting to know the details behind Cisco’s telecommuting (telepresence) technology this latest video is for you! Jawahar Sivasankaran, one of our distinguished engineers, recently sat down with David Iacobacci, lead architect for Cisco Virtual Office. He provides a deep dive into the architecture and technical components of a large scale, global deployment of telecommuting with a focus on management and security, and describes how Cisco Virtual Office technology is leading us into the new mobile era.  Check out the short video.

Telecommuting — Architecture and Technology

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Teleworking with Cisco Virtual Office: What’s New

In my last blog I described how Cisco employees have adopted teleworking, using either a software VPN client, or a hardware VPN solution called Cisco Virtual Office (CVO).  Cisco employees who telework on a regular basis prefer CVO over software VPN because the connection tends to be more stable and Cisco Virtual Office saves them the trouble of constantly logging back in. In addition, CVO provides QoS (quality of service) for voice and video which is critical to a high quality audio and video experience.

The preference for CVO is reflected in the fact that our employees who use the software VPN client work a little over 1 day per week from home while the 21,000 employees who use CVO report that they telework an average 2.5 days per week.

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What We’ve Learned About Telework at Cisco

In late September 2010, a Cisco employee somewhere in the world became the 20,000th to begin using Cisco Virtual Office at home.  Cisco Virtual Office, which combines a small business router and IP phone, extends the enterprise wired and wireless network right into our homes. Telework is optional in most cases at Cisco, so the 20,000 milestone underscores the fact that our workforce and the company see the value of telework, and that we have the tools to make it work.

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