For our Director of Managed Services, Shane Roberts, everything he does – at work, or at home – revolves around communication – email, instant messaging (IM), text messaging, and the telephone. Shane is what many might call a communications “power user”. He looks at the things that a technology will allow him to do, then figures out how to modify the technology to fit his needs.
I wanted to understand some of the techniques and tools that Shane uses to stay on top of things – and still get some sleep. So, I decided to follow him around for a day. Here’s what I learned.
6:30 a.m.: Shane arrives at the office. And while he’s downloading his email on his laptop, he’s scanning today’s news on his iPad. Shane likes the article he’s found on Cisco’s Nexus switch in the Wall Street Journal, so he shares it with colleagues and customers directly from his iPad. And, because Shane has “favorites” set up on his iPad email, he’s already responded to important customer or company email last night before he went to bed. Now, all he has to do is scan through what’s left, and respond only to messages that need his immediate attention.
7:00 a.m.: Shane checks his iPad calendar for the day and realizes that he’s got a full day ahead. A customer call, an onsite customer meeting, a company conference call, and the Nexus Open House.
To prepare for the customer call and meeting, Shane takes a quick look at each company’s web site. What’s been happening? Have they announced a new product or service? Has the company won any awards or have the products or services been mentioned in a newspaper or journal?
8:00 a.m.: Time to check in with the sales teams for the customer call and meeting. Shane uses his company IP phone to do two short video calls. Is there anything that he needs to know beforehand?
8:30 a.m.: Shane’s first customer call. Shane uses his laptop, IP Phone and Nexus’ Cisco Unified Communication Manager to share his desktop and a short presentation. I’m intrigued by the Bluetooth headset that Shane is using. With it, he can connect to, and switch between, his IP phones (Shane has two), laptop, iPhone and iPad with a single click. It makes me wonder if he’s actually listening to me during our telephone conversations, or if he is switching over to speak with someone else on another device. Hmmm….
10:00 a.m.: It’s time to run down the hall for the customer onsite. Instead of loading up his laptop, IP phone, cell phone, pen, and paper like I do, Shane just grabs his iPad. He uses Microsoft’s OneNote to take notes in the meeting. When he gets back to his office, he’ll just sync up his iPad to transfer the notes to his laptop.
Shane needs some files that are only on his laptop during the meeting. Does he panic? No way. He merely invokes the remote desktop app that he has on his iPad and accesses the files. I discover that Shane’s remote desktop app can access his laptop using our VPN and the Internet as well as the company wireless LAN.
I’d been noticing that Shane’s laptop never seemed to leave his office – yet he was still getting work done on the road and at home. Now I know how he does it!
11:30 a.m.: Lunch, but there’s no time to go out. Why that sneaky Shane! He has a flat panel TV installed in his office with a Sling Box. He’s catching up on the last episode of Sons of Anarchy while he gets a quick bite. Now I know how I can watch some Ryder Cup matches in a couple of weeks!
While Shane is watching – and eating – he’s also doing his expense report. How? Using Concur, he merely takes a picture of his receipts with his iPad, then forwards them in a message to Finance. Cool!
12:00 p.m.: Time for the company conference call. It’s a long one. During the call, one of our important customers calls Shane on his second IP phone. Shane uses his slick wireless headset to switch over to the customer, answer his question, then return to the conference call. No one even knew he was gone!
1:30 p.m.: Open house duty for Shane. Customers come by the booth and ask for status on their tickets. Shane whips out his trusty iPad and gives them updates from his Salesforce.com app. In between, he sends some quick IMs using his iPAD’s Cisco Jabber client. That’s when I notice something odd. When I open another app on my iPad from the Jabber client, I get disconnected from our Unified Communications Manager. Shane doesn’t. What’s going on here?
Shane’s been up to something again. He has done a “jailbreak” on his iPad. His iPad, unlike the standard one, can run multiple apps concurrently. Shane can switch from video or voice to Salesforce, to OneNote seamlessly. What a timesaver! I think Shane might have another iPad to work on very soon – MINE!
6:00 p.m.: It’s been a long day. Shane faced some tough questions today, and everyone seemed to want to speak with him at once. While I was grabbing a beverage, I look around and Shane isn’t around. Hmmmm… I head back to his office, and there he is. Hey! What’s that on his dual wide screen monitors? That looks like Need for Speed Hot Pursuit! It IS!
Shane’s in his office relaxing from a stressful day. O.k., but, I’m still wondering how he got the Xbox 360 in here without anyone knowing about it!
6:30 p.m.: Shane’s out the door – with his iPad.
So what did I learn during my day with Shane? That there are lots of ways to use communications and other technologies to help us get things done. And, that taking a break and having a little fun during the day, only helps to make us happier and more productive.
For Shane, his iPad is the hub that keeps him connected to all of his devices, applications, and most importantly to his customers and colleagues, friends and family. Shane’s iPad touchscreen definitely keeps him in touch – with everyone!