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Collaboration is Hot … Bringing Productivity Services and Apps into the Enterprise

May 15, 2012 - 0 Comments

As you all know, Cisco has defined collaboration as four key pillars:  Social, Mobile, Visual (Video) and Virtual. We all have been experiencing these pillars – each one of them is critical and is moving into the enterprise. And what is particularly exciting is their convergence and rate of speed.

From a consumer standpoint, this convergence is already happening. An iPhone is the perfect example: mobile, social, virtual (business applications) and video are all converging with greater capabilities and apps being added daily which enriches the overall experience.

Cisco is developing our technologies and solutions portfolio so that we have products and solutions offerings in each pillar. These include:

  • Social–Quad, Jabber, WebEx
  • Mobile –AnyConnect, ISE and Mobile Device Management
  • Visual–This category includes all things video: TelePresence, Show and Share, WebEx video, and Jabber video.
  • Virtual–This includes desktop virtualization (VDI/VXI), virtual content and virtual apps. 

It is our virtual apps that I’d like to discuss in my new series of blogs. Why the focus on productivity services and apps?  Because they tie directly to our overall company goals of simplification and ease of doing business.

Today we have over 100 productivity services and apps deployed in our Integrated Workforce Experience or IWE  (Cisco’s collaboration solution) powered by Cisco Quad.  To name a few, they include My Approvals, Global Hotel Directory and My Timecards.  Additionally, employees can access My Paid Time Off (PTO) on mobile devices (Blackberry, iPhone, iPad and Cius).  Let’s talk a minute about these apps.

Before the introduction of the PTO app on IWE, employees had to first find the PTO link, figure out what pay period they planned to be out of the office, and then click through 12 steps before they were finished.  Not a fun experience!  Now with My PTO, it is a simple, user-friendly four clicks to log and submit PTO. We’ve had tremendous positive response just from this one app.

We believe we’ve also greatly simplified the expense reimbursement process at Cisco with the introduction of My Expenses.  With My Expenses, preparing travel expenses for a typical two-day trip can be completed in significantly less time, providing increased productivity for employees.

Additionally, once My Expenses for mobile devices launches globally, sales and other employees can take pictures of their receipts while traveling and once back in the office, they can easily upload this data into the My Expenses app.  My Expenses for mobile devices greatly reduces employees’ administrative time in front of the computer.

But I am most excited about our recently enhanced My Approvals app, available on IWE powered by Cisco Quad and coming soon to mobile devices. Using this app, today you can approve purchase orders and managers can authorize 14 HR-related transactions and training requests.  By the end of this calendar year, almost all HR approvals will be in one central location. 

Our newest app – launched this month in the U.S. – is My Timecards. My Timecards provides non-exempt and hourly employees with a simple, user-friendly means to manage their timecard.  Users can easily submit, view and modify timecard entries and view approval status and accrual information, saving time and increasing productivity.

It is very exciting to see these new apps enter the workforce and significantly simplify our required business processes. So I plan to keep you updated on the latest apps in this space.

Stay tuned – I’ll be sharing more news with you each month. I’d love to hear how these business apps are helping you save time during your workday.



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