Those of you who follow my blog know that one of our mantras at Cisco IT is to bring a more consumer-like experience to all of our IT services.  We have made great strides in this area through our BYOD program that allows employees to bring their own mobile devices to work and with our productivity apps (EasyApps).

Today we leapt forward again with the global rollout of eStore for Mobile for all employees. Our eStore vision is to create a unified e-commerce storefront for ordering any type of IT service, including mobile apps. It’s our version of iTunes for the enterprise, a one-stop shop. This launch of eStore for Mobile is the culmination of a lot of hard work and partnership, consolidating two legacy mobile apps stores and creating a single place where all our employees can find the mobile apps they need to stay connected at Cisco. 

With Cisco eStore, where we are innovating by combining a traditional service catalogue with a mobile app store, employees can conveniently find all the IT services and apps that they need on any device. By using two Cisco products, Cisco Prime Service Catalog and Cisco Process Orchestrator as the foundation of our store, we’ve turned our vision into a simple, usable platform. In eStore for Mobile employees can now find over 55 mobile apps to enhance their productivity and we will fill the store with other IT services, including desktop software, over the next few quarters.  And, we are providing a desired consumer-like experience, just as one would expect when shopping on Amazon or eBay.

Our goal was to improve employee satisfaction, decrease support costs, and boost employee productivity.  By taking this step towards our vision and creating a single place for all mobile apps at Cisco we have saved nearly $500k in annual license and resources costs. We expect to see employee productivity savings of about $900k over the next year and a half. 

Here’s how this will simplify the typical salesperson’s daily routine:  s/he can start their day by checking the SalesMobile app (which combines non-standard deal approval, My Business Reports and Order Status, among other features).  As the day progresses (and meetings with customers bring success), then s/he can follow-up with My Commissions. At the end of the day, any outstanding requests from support team members can be authorized through My Approvals. And any expenses incurred through travel or taking the customer to lunch can be processed simply and quickly with MyExpenses (uploading photos of receipts).  

We know from internal surveys that employees crave simplicity in their administrative processes – usually the most time-consuming and least productive time in their day.  So, our ultimate goal was to  “keep it simple” at every turn. End-users should be able to navigate without any training. If we have to provide training, we have failed on our simplification objective. Take the guesswork out of using the store – it should just work.

With that in mind, it seems appropriate to conclude by quoting Steve Jobs, the ultimate user experience guru, who had this to say about simplicity: “Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Happy Collaborating!