I was bored on the weekend while mowing the lawn. Because I’m slack, the grass was so long that the three podcasts I’d lined up to listen to had finished so I got to thinking. I counted up the number of jobs I had and thought about each one a bit. I must be a bit more boring than I realised because I ended up thinking about each of my desks then tried to remember each phone I’d had on each desk.
I couldn’t remember the phones (thankfully) but I counted 8 jobs/desks. Now since I moved into unified communications about 6 years ago I know that I’ve had about 9 different desk phones – add this to the other 7 jobs and assume one phone per job then you get 16 phones. What’s I find funny is that until I got to the world of IP Telephony and UC, I didn’t know how to drive my desk phone. I could answer calls, make calls and check voicemail. Sometimes I could transfer but no guarantee that the other end wouldn’t be accidentally disconnected. When I distill it down, the problem was training and care factor. I knew what I needed to do my role but wasn’t trained to be more useful to the organization as a whole – I couldn’t transfer a call! The care factor for me was low though – I could do what I needed.
Using a softphone for me has been a revelation because I can be more productive to the organization – without training. The intuitive drag and drop nature of the Microsoft Lync client I use is great. People’s icons are red is they are not available or green if they are – and I see a picture of them which is great to increase and foster collaboration and team work.
Now not everyone will like using a softphone but everyone will like being more able to work, more often, more effectively. Keep that desk phone if you like but be more capable – use it in combination with a tool like Microsoft Lync to make your day a little better.