Cisco Blogs

How I Manage a $4B Business from my Phone

November 17, 2014 - 6 Comments

I don’t use my laptop to run my business.

It’s not that I don’t like my laptop. It’s just that I really love using my mobile device — for everything. My mobile is incredibly convenient, small, and functional. Let’s face it: we’re lucky to be in the era of the smartphone when one device can do almost everything. And best of all, I actually can run my business with just this device.

Two years ago, when I started at Cisco, it was not possible for me to run my business with a smartphone. Something was missing. I used email and SMS and voice/video on my phone, but it wasn’t quite enough. I realized that I needed one place to stay connected to the work we were doing and to stay connected to the people I needed to work with. And do it both in real-time, and non real-time.

That need is pretty obvious to other people too, as it now seems every week there is a new messaging app targeting mobile workers like me. What all of these apps are missing is a way to connect real-time collaboration with non real-time conversations. Most of these apps treat this problem as an afterthought, but we didn’t. So while everyone is running in one direction, we’re going a different way. A better way.

Today, I’m excited to tell you that Cisco has developed that very tool and we launched it today: Project Squared built on our new Cisco Collaboration Cloud.

Project Squared is our brand-new enterprise business collaboration application. With it, I can better connect with teams and individuals – reduce email threads, improve meeting requests, and stay connected to the projects, ideas, and content that matter most. It lets me chat, talk, and meet live – via real-time video calling to individuals and groups. And the rooms in which we meet never go away, even when I log out.

I can connect in a way I’ve never been able to before, virtually. It’s simple, fast, intuitive, and fun. It’s a new way to work in a new world. Project Squared lets me work the way I want to work – mobile-first and agile. I can manage projects, provide input, and make business decisions from anywhere, at any time.

I can preview documents right in the app without downloading. Teams now share their desktop so I can see real-time edits, and I can provide real-time approvals. I easily connect right into WebEx conferencing from my virtual rooms to meet with all the right people – no meeting invites, no calendaring issues – instant, fast, and integrated.

Project Squared lets me get the job done faster, better, on my device of choice—which is pretty great. But it has enabled something more, which is to connect me to conversations that I may never have been part of before.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not dissing laptops or even the existing business tools out there. Quite the opposite – I’m a huge proponent of using the right tool for the right job. And that’s exactly why we’ve integrated Project Squared with existing business tools like calendars, Active Directory, WebEx, and Box… and yes, if you are so inclined, even your laptop inside a modern browser like Firefox or Chrome.

I know that Project Squared is the best tool for me, given how I now prefer to work. And I believe Project Squared is the best tool for the way everyone is beginning to work today: agile and fast, with small teams, juggling lots of concurrent projects, and with very short cycles.

Don’t take my word for it. Go download Project Squared for your mobile phone right now. See my keynote from Collaboration Summit, watch this overview from my team or join me… Get Squared today.

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  1. What is the key differentiator between Project Squared and other products such as Google’s Collaboration offering ? Also, Microsoft along with its integration with Yammer can do all of the above – Team, Document Collaboration, Instant Meetings from Yammer via Mobile and Desktop. I am not sure about IBM but similar things can probably be achieved with their IBMConnections Mobile app.

    Without clarity and differentiation factor, it will be difficult to sell this to Enterprises. Sounds exciting in theory but would be great if we get more clarity and direction on this product. Thanks.

    • The key differentiator will be the deep hardware and software integration where the Squared experience will seamlessly tie into the Cisco video portfolio.

      I.e. Start a call on Squared, and as you walk into a room, Squared detects you have better collaboration capabilities on a larger screen and automatically prompts whether you want to move the video.

      Squared sits at the intersection of asynchronouos and synchronous communications. The idea is that collaboration seamlessly crosses between Squared “virtual rooms” and “physical rooms”. You extend the best experience between: document/content sharing, messaging, and voice/video whether on a mobile device, browser, desktop, or in a room.

      Compare this experience to a ChromeBox or Lync Room System, which are essentially servers running Hangouts/Lync software + bring your own peripherals (camera/mic, etc.). They are essentially taking a desktop/mobile experience into a room, and swapping an embeded PC cam with an external 3rd party consumer grade camera. Compare that with a Cisco room experience, which is composed of high quality purpose built hardware meant to optimize voice/video/content sharing in an in-person experience.

  2. It is a full copy-paste of the Circuit by Unify (Project Ansible). Why should we choose this product?

  3. Great post, very interesting way of doing things but I have to agree with Vipin the battery life is the biggest problem.

  4. Great product in making. One of the biggest challenge with smart phone is the battery life…
    In 2 minutes of demo by Matt I observed that 2 points of battery was consumed (38% to 36%)…
    Cisco needs to focus really hard on battery consumed by squared…
    I am sure Cisco will make it happen….

    • Vipin,

      I’ve been using Squared internally for a few months now, and I can tell you it is better than a lot of other apps, including Cisco Jabber! On pretty much any smartphone the screen being on outweighs anything the app is doing, so the thing which really matters is background energy usage when the phone screen is off / squared is not focused. It is really good at this, I have no problem leaving squared signed in on my phone 24/7; for some other apps I only sign in when I want to use them or I’m not near my laptop etc.