People are demanding more from the tools and applications they have and use at work today. Being connected to teammates wherever they may be in the world is increasingly important, whether it be through chat, video or even, dare I say, both. Who isn’t frustrated switching from one application to the next just to get work done, or worse still using email as your primary solution? Don’t even get me started on all the passwords.
We’ve heard the question ‘Why should I launch Cisco Webex Teams?’ many times over the last year. Even internally at Sei Mani, we discussed switching off Slack in favour of it. So, I thought I would share the reasons why you should choose Webex teams and how we are trialling it internally.
Introducing Cisco Webex Teams
Webex Teams is an app that enables collaboration and teamwork through video meetings, group messaging, whiteboarding and file sharing. Webex Teams makes it easy to work anytime on any device with everyone all in one place, it’s a winner.
Stu explains in more detail here what is Webex Teams is.
Why I choose Webex Teams?
At Sei Mani, we’ve been trialling Webex Teams, formally known as Spark, for a while now. It’s slowly but steadily become part of our digital workplace stack because of its key integrations with Jive (our Internal document repository), its ease of use with our Cisco DX personal video devices and our ability to have company-wide video stand-ups at the click of a button.
I use Webex Teams to collaborate with my internal and external stakeholders across multiple time zones and companies, it’s become my collaboration tool of choice. The simple reason is, it makes work as easy a play.
My top 5 reasons for using Webex Teams
In no particular order
Many of the features in Webex Teams I could class as simple to do, but my favourite is how easy it is to start a video call. At Sei Mani we love a video call if there’s a choice between sending a message or a quick video chat. The video wins every time. Did you know that meetings using video finish 7 minutes earlier? Webex Teams make meeting with your colleagues effortless.
The mobility aspect is cool (never thought I would use that word to describe an app feature). You can easily join a call from your laptop then move it to your mobile or video device with literally two taps of your finger. Making Webex Teams a truly mobile and versatile app, give it a try it’s easy.
3. Creating invitations
With the calendar integration you can create invitations within Webex Teams in just a couple of clicks, and with the new ‘One Button To Push’, joining meetings have never been easier, it does exactly what it says on the tin. You can instantly create a meeting for everyone in your space prompting them to join.
4. A place for everything and everything in its place
A big bonus with Webex Teams is everything you need to get work done is all in one place. I like structure and order when working on projects, Webex Teams has everything I need all in one place, for example, I can chat, start and join video calls, upload and search for files on any of my devices at any time, making a happy Jo.
As Webex Teams is hosted in the cloud all its features are synchronised across all of your devices. Keeping you connected wherever you are, and on any device you happen to be using. We have had too many video calls to count with people on trains or in the back of a taxi getting work done.
Practical ways we used Webex Teams to deliver three global projects
This year we have used Webex Teams to run three major global projects, all have been really successful and have had great feedback from the clients. I could write about the projects all day, but let me summarise my thoughts on why I think Webex Teams helped us deliver.
Following the sun
The project team and stakeholders were dispersed across Europe, the US and Canada, so on any given day we only had a few hours together when time zones overlapped. This could have been seen as a barrier but as we were using Webex Teams it was easy, we could follow the sun. Because the conversation happens in one place, there is no need for lengthy handovers or working late, we could easily catch up and get on with our day.
Video calls using Webex Teams
Each day we had a reoccurring meeting which was created in Webex Teams. We all joined from wherever we were and on whatever device we had available at the time. Sometimes people were in the car joining from their mobiles, sometimes at home on their laptops or personal video device, or occasionally at the office in a conference room. It didn’t matter, we were together making decisions and getting work done.
Getting Expert help
At certain points in a project, there is always a need to bring in subject matter experts for specific advice or help, our three projects were no different. Within Webex Teams we were easily able to create individual spaces, include external experts, for hands-on advice and guidance on specific topics.
Chat at your fingertips
You shouldn’t underestimate the power of chat. In Webex Teams you can create different spaces for different topics or work streams, so everything is in its place. The only thing to watch out for in Webex Teams is the lack of threading and reactions, this can inhibit conversation that doesn’t happen in real-time. We have it on good authority that both features are coming soon – It can’t come quick enough for me!
I nearly forgot to mention one of the most important aspects that helped a great deal to deliver these projects on time. File sharing, as I have said we were all in different time zones so the feedback loop with the whole team could have been difficult with many versions flying around. But as we were using Webex Teams this wasn’t a problem, we were able to upload documents at the end of our day, overnight they were reviewed and ready for us again in the morning. This saved us a lot of time and was a great way to work, but I’d love to see more progress in co-editing and version control.
Don’t just take my word for it, this is what our clients thought about working in Webex Teams with Sei Mani:
” I’m 100% convinced that Webex Teams made working in different time zones a benefit, not a challenge. Our daily stand up calls on video allowed questions that may have been holding them up to be quickly answered, but more importantly – seeing the passion in the team as they shared work for review during US hours quickly made these my favourite meeting of the day. I just can’t imagine how we could make this transformation without the partnership of Sei Mani.” – Heidi Rhodes, Sr Manager, Global Customer Success Strategy and Development, Cisco
Some believe that just giving people new tools, like Webex Teams, is enough for them to get started and begin using it, but at Sei Mani we know this is not true. Its value needs to be communicated to everyone, explaining why people should change how they work, give them a reason to not only choose Webex Teams but to truly love it.