Improving workforce productivity is about more than telling employees to work harder, do more, and think faster. It’s about giving them the right resources and removing barriers so that they can do more.  One way Cisco is helping organizations improve productivity is by making our technology invisible to users.  We’re designing our products to be so intuitive that the complexity of the technology fades away and simply lets the end-users do what they need to do.  No training, no extra buttons to push, no fancy set ups, and no need to involve IT.   It’s a journey, but we are making progress.  A great example of this progress is Cisco Expressway, our advanced collaboration gateway.  It is the “invisibility cloak” for a variety of use cases including for mobile and remote workers.

Unknown to remote and mobile Cisco Jabber users, Cisco Expressway is behind the scenes doing the work to make their experiences secure and easy.  Employees simply log into Jabber and begin collaborating on their device of choice no matter where they are.  It’s Expressway’s firewall traversal technology working in the background that hides (eliminates) the need for the user to fire up a VPN. And with Expressway x8.5’s new single sign-on capabilities, employees do not need their user name and password every time they want to access a different application on Jabber.  It just works.

Similarly, Expressway is helping teleworkers by enabling VPN-less access for Cisco endpoints including Cisco TelePresence EX, MX, SX and C Series.  Other endpoints such as the Cisco 7800 and 8800 series as well as the DX Series desktop endpoints are targeted to support Expressway next calendar year. This is great news for employees — and for IT — as teleworkers no longer need special equipment or VPN technology at home to collaborate.

My co-worker recently did an analysis showing that a company with 1,000 users could save 4,150 productivity hours per year just by implementing single sign on*.  I think this number should be higher – especially if employees need VPN access.  In fact, many users may not use the application if it is too difficult. For example, logging in multiple times just to send a single instant message is a lot of effort. And if the required effort hinders usage, then you can’t realize the overall productivity benefits and ROI.  Clearly, the invisibility cloak of Expressway is needed!

See Cisco Expressway in action and understand the simplicity of the user experience for not only mobile and teleworkers but also for other users – such as those collaborating with customers, partners, and suppliers or even with those using 3rd party devices and systems.  Video demonstrations are available at http://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/unified-communications/expressway-series/set-your-business-apart.html.

*Calculation details:  Assumes an employee logs in 6 times per business day and each login takes 10 seconds. This equals one minute of lost productivity per day. If a company has 1,000 employees, logging in could cost 4,150 hours per year per application in productivity loss.


Patty Medberry

Senior Manager, Product Marketing

Cisco IoT