The Digital Workplace – Where Exactly Is It?
The digital workplace is more than a place – it’s a strategy – and a method of being able to work almost anywhere while using a variety of technology devices. The purpose is to be able to increase employee engagement, improve team collaboration and create an environment where communication is easy, productive and streamlined.
The trouble is, many collaboration tools available today AREN’T intuitive or easy to set up, or lack interoperability with other platforms which can be discouraging and frustrating to users. The result is that it’s driving them back to old methods that hinder creativity, slows down work team success and creates a bottleneck in workflows. A digital workplace should strive to help both individuals and teams work more flexibly and productively in an environment that’s motivating – not intimidating. When technology takes longer to set up and manage, then it starts to become more of a burden than an advantage.
The digital workplace includes:
- Desktop Devices
- Mobile Devices (smartphones, tablets)
- Web-based Applications
- Conference Rooms and Huddle Spaces
The applications being used should have a familiar look and feel, similar to social media and other apps that we use every day. This will encourage employees to maximize use of the digital workplace for both formal and informal meetings, sharing content, viewing documents in real-time and allowing participants to share and connect wherever they are. On premise or cloud-based communications should enable individuals and teams to interact any time they like. When it comes to communication, everyone has their preference as to how they want to work. The digital workplace offers workers the flexibility they require to motivate them and encourage participation.
Of course, there’s always a push-pull when technology is involved. Workers want greater flexibility and mobility in the workplace (even possibly using their own personal devices), while IT is interested in security, standardization of processes and compliance. The digital workplace is designed to be as safe and secure as the company network, with processes in place to protect users and the organization as a whole. Access, permissions, and internal standards keep it a safe place to work.
Cisco Webex Teams
Webex Teams (formerly Cisco Spark)- is a great example of a collaboration tool that lets workers communicate effectively in the digital workplace. Webex Teams offers users the ability to:
- Communicate via group chats, group messaging, video calls
- Arrange group chats within teams or spaces
- Route calls through a Cisco phone system; devices can even be switched during a call
- Brainstorm using a built-in whiteboard app
- Choose the OS (Android, iOS, Windows)
You can learn more about Webex Teams in our previous blog.
Here are 4 tips for success in your new workplace:
- Give employees the flexibility to choose how they want to work in the digital workplace (from the office computer, or their personal smartphone, maybe even a tablet when they’re on the go.)
- Provide the right tools to express and create, store and share documents, communicate by text or messaging, all in real time.
- Encourage video collaboration on the fly, keeping projects moving and scheduling to a minimum.
- Secure your digital workplace. Partner with an expert who can take you through the process, step-by-step, to automate security across physical, virtual and cloud.
- Proactively provide training and support to staff.
At Yorktel, we understand the complexities of the digital workplace, and offer the tools and expertise to ensure smooth deployment and integration. From installation and training, to user adoption and technical roadmapping, we are your partner from end to end, and into the future. For more information on what you need to build the digital workplace of your dreams, contact us today.
In April, Cisco announced the coming together of its Cisco Spark and WebEx platforms into a whole new team-centered solution. This new meetings app, called Webex Teams, is designed for teamwork collaboration — complete with video, online meetings, white-boarding, content sharing and more. It combines the communication features in Cisco Spark with features based on the WebEx conferencing platform; providing greater flexibility to project teams because teamwork and discussions can conveniently take place regardless of whether or not the team is together.
Webex Teams is more than just a re-brand.
Substantial work has been put into the convergence of the Spark and WebEx platforms. If you are already familiar with both brands, you probably know that if you had Spark you couldn’t join a WebEx meeting with Spark, and vice versa. And for those that were tech savvy and figured out a work around, they soon realized that not all the features were accessible.
For many users, it was difficult to tell the difference between the two products, but the big push for Spark left many more wondering if WebEx was eventually going to fade into the distance. Certainly, these brands go great together, with Spark being the motivation for teams to be more successful, and WebEx being a common household name when it comes to maximizing the value of meetings.
With the creation of a single experience for users, now all WebEx meetings can be accessed from Webex Teams and Webex Teams supports WebEx team meetings. All still a super secure and user-friendly way to collaborate.
Check out a few of Webex Teams’ features:
- Communicate via group chats, group messaging, video calls
- Group chats can be arranged within teams or spaces
- Calls are routed through Cisco phone systems; devices can be switched during a call
- A built-in whiteboard app encourages brainstorming
- OS flexibility for Android, iOS, Windows
The aspect of teamwork has never been simpler or more secure with the convergence of WebEx and Spark. This means video meetings are simple to host, meeting face-to-face wherever you are! The ability to have all the tools you need, all the time, makes teams more motivated to connect.
Speaking of teams, the simplicity of Webex works well with the concept of Cisco Simple IT, and continues simplify tasks and management with Cisco’s Meraki line.
Who is Meraki?
Meraki, a Cisco company, is known for their expertise in cloud networking. The technology is designed for difficult environments that struggle to achieve reliable network connectivity. These can range from small branch offices up to distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, healthcare environments and more.
Meraki Product Offerings
- Wi-Fi / Access Points
- Security Cameras
- Mobile Device Management
Scalable Design for Future Growth
If you’re a mid-market company with plenty of growth potential, Cisco Meraki products would be a great fit because they are scalable; this not only results in greater flexibility as needs change, but it’s also a cost-efficient way to accommodate growth. With limited IT staff, the ability to navigate a network makes it a no-brainer to deploy and manage (on a centralized cloud network). The result? Less time troubleshooting and more time to focus on other priorities of the business.
The Cisco Meraki Advantage
Meraki prides itself on designing products that not only offer flexibility and user-friendly operation, but they also strive to make them low-maintenance for IT. The ability to manage a bunch of different user devices (based on BYOD policies) can be a huge challenge and absorb a ton of resource. Two features that help make IT life easier include:
- Systems Management in the Cloud – provisioning, tracking and security made easy when it comes to protecting mobile devices and data. All can be managed remotely, with some features configured to operate automatically to conserve resources.
- Web-Based Dashboard – whether you’re on-boarding new devices, updating security policies or simply managing a large fleet of devices or security cameras, the dashboard offers convenience and flexibility with custom-configured snapshots of critical data you need to manage on a daily basis. Supported devices include iOS, Chrome, Android, Windows and more.
We often recommend Meraki to our customers based on the fact that Meraki solutions are customizable, easy to deploy and even easier to operate, which makes them an efficient, money-saving choice.
For more information on Webex Teams or Meraki solutions, please contact us at email@example.com.