Yesterday I spent an entire day at a new client of ours in Fresno, Hinds Hospice. They moved into a new building and Telcion installed a new Cisco voice solution including network infrastructure, wireless, and server virtualization. Moving 100 people to a new facility is lot of work as it is, and installing a new network and voice system adds to the complexity of changes that are occurring and impacting users. It was a smooth transition, which can be credited to our experienced technical team.
I like to be onsite with our clients the day after a major cutover happens whenever I can. It’s fun to help people begin using new technology and adapting it to their day to day lives. Normally when I’m onsite, I find a room where I can hook up my laptop and be in communication with our engineering team so as minor changes are required, I can quickly communicate them and get them resolved. It’s important to have someone roaming around talking to people and providing extra training and having dedicated engineering support to resolve problems. It’s very difficult when it’s the same person. That’s where I come in.
This cutover was different for me. For the first time, I decided not to hook up my laptop, but instead to use just my iPad. It’s lighter, quick to get on and off, and makes it much easier to just pick up and move to the next place in the building, wherever that destination maybe. To make the iPad useful, it was important to have one major application running to give me the collaboration features I need to communicate: Jabber.
I launched Jabber on my iPad, and immediately I had instant messaging and presence status of everyone on my team and was able to easily communicate issues that I needed to get resolved for our client. In several instances where instant messaging was not enough, I just pushed the call button and initiated a voice call from my iPad, using Jabber, and had a voice conversation instead. I had plugged in a pair of ear buds to the iPad so my call was discreet. The real beauty of this was that the engineer I was talking to was working from his home office on a VPN phone. I didn’t have to be aware of this. Our Cisco system just put the call together and it worked.
All day long I was using my iPad to communicate. Instant messages. Email. Voice calls. Even some document sharing at one point from my iPad to a remote computer. In the building, and even while I was at lunch down the street. I mostly used the LTE broadband on my iPad, but was using our client’s wireless network for a while too. I could have done some video calling as well with the touch of a button, although I never found the need to in this case.
So what kind of technology did I have to make this work? In our office, we still have Cisco UC 9.x software running for Call Manager and Unity. We are using Jabber in the cloud for instant messaging and presence. I did have to initiate a VPN connection from my iPad to our office so I could talk to our voice servers. When we upgrade to 10.x, the VPN won’t be required any longer.
The point of my message is this: mobile collaboration is here. It works, and it works well. Don’t be afraid to embrace it. Empower your workforce to use it.
As always, contact us today to learn more about how to get your team’s mobile collaboration as effective and efficient as possible.