By Dragana Beara
Yesterday would have been exceptionally stressful if it had happened two years ago. I was awakened at 5 a.m. by my three-year-old, who was running a mild fever, and just as I settled her back to sleep at 6 a.m. my phone sounded a new meeting invite.
There was no way I was going back to sleep so I decided it was time to start my day. The invitation was for a customer meeting today that was to end at the exact starting time for my daughter’s doctor appointment. Scheduling this customer meeting had been in-progress over the past several days, and due to the out-of-town customer participants there was no option to reschedule. I had been planning to work from home that day because of the doctor appointment, but this meeting required a face-to-face presence.
“Stressful situation” would be an understatement—if it had been two years ago. In the present, we have the Microsoft Lync and Polycom video collaboration environment in place at our office as well as on my laptop and mobile device. Happy that I was up early enough to see the meeting invitation right away, I located an available video conferencing room at the office and emailed the organizer requesting the change of location, providing the Lync conferencing information. It took me less than two minutes to check the availability of the Polycom video room and to book it through my Outlook calendar.
There was still time to get ready for the meeting. I could see on my Lync client that a colleague who was the presenter at the meeting was also up early prepping for it. I instant-messaged him to see if he needed help, and he was happy to take me up on my offer. With a click of a button we transitioned our IM session into a PC-to-PC voice call with desktop sharing. We went over a few contended slides and agreed on the best approach.
But there was a question the two of us couldn’t answer. A colleague who could help us was in transit to the office, as we could see from his presence status, so we decided to bring him into our ad hoc conference call via his mobile phone instead of IM’ing him. With another click of a button the two of us on our laptops, and our colleague on his mobile device in his car, were in conference. He quickly answered our question. We let our driving friend check out to focus on traffic.
Our final task was to check on the customer’s attendee list, which we were to include on one of our slides. Since our clients were travelling and it was early morning, we didn’t want to call their mobile phones. Fortunately our Lync platform allows us to communicate externally with partners and customers, so I IM’d one of the customer admin assistants who was already at her desk. She quickly confirmed all the names.
The meeting content was ready to go.
I dressed and did my routine at the mirror so I would look professional on camera—easily done in the time that was left since I didn’t have to drive this morning.
The presentation went well. Being remotely face to face with the people in the meeting room didn’t take anything away from the reality of the experience. As usual, it was interesting that some of the people, whom I have known over the phone for many months now, didn’t actually look as I had imagined them. One even had a very different demeanor in person than over the phone. Also, it was great to follow a multi-person meeting and always know exactly who said what because I could see them on my screen; phone conferences were never that way before, especially if the other participants were in a meeting room together.
When we were 45 minutes into our conference, it was time for me to leave for the doctor’s office with my daughter. But because I knew that the last 15 minutes of the conference were going to be Q&A time, I didn’t feel any disadvantage when I transitioned the call to audio on my mobile device—also done with a click of a button. By the time we arrived at the doctor’s office the call was finished. All attendees were pleased with the outcome.
My daughter was happy to have me take her to the doctor, and to have a little lunch with her mom while we waited for her antibiotic prescription to be filled. Thankfully, it was just a minor ear infection. What could have been a high-stress day had turned into a very effective work-from-home experience, thanks to my visionary employer for putting these tools at my disposal. Without my company’s unified communications technology I couldn’t have made all this happen in one day: taking care of my sick child, helping to stage a successful meeting, closing a client we have been pursuing for some time, and getting caught up on my email while watching Dora the Explorer.
HP has just announced new offerings that help organizations quickly deploy the kind of revolutionary capabilities I’ve described here, including HP AppSystem for Microsoft Lync, and the HP and Polycom Rich Media Communications (RMC) solution. Read more in the press release.
Learn more about HP AppSystem for Microsoft Lync.
Learn more from other HP unified communications experts.
Watch a short video that tells how the University of the West of England partnered with HP to provide students a modern, transformed IT environment.
Compressing the Deployment Timeline for Microsoft Lync: HP AppSystem for Microsoft Lync The fast track to unified communications
An Addiction That Supports the Way I Work: HP AppSystem for Microsoft Lync A look at what HP AppSystem for Microsoft Lync can do for communication and productivity
3 steps to help users adopt video collaboration faster in your business Exploring the impact of video on enterprise networks.
5 Ways Networks Can Make or Break Your Video Rollout A view of the role networking plays in successful rich media deployment.
Dragana Beara is a Virtual Workplace Solutions Portfolio Manager. Dragana started her career at HP in 1996 as a recent graduate of the University of Waterloo, where she earned her B.A.Sc. degree in Systems Design Engineering. Over the past 15 years she has had opportunities to enhance her skills and bring new insights and increased value to her clients through varied experiences in product management, account management, consulting sales and most recently as a Global Virtual Workplace Portfolio Manager. She lives in Toronto, Canada, with her husband and two young children.
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