5 Tips For Choosing A Unified Communication Provider: Why We Trust Cisco


Today, everything is moving fast.

Employees are no longer chained to their desks. They are always on the go and expect to conduct business from any location. 

This is especially true at Baker Hughes, a GE Company, the world’s first and only fullstream provider of integrated oilfield products, services, and digital solutions.

As a member of the Network and Unified Collaboration team at Baker Hughes, a GE Company,  it’s my job to ensure all of our 70,000 global employees have the tools they need to be productive—whether they are working from their office or in an airport halfway around the world. 

Whether employees work from an office or halfway around the world, they need a way to be productive @CiscoCollab

Our previous collaboration technology was dated and siloed. Disparate technologies made it difficult for people working in remote locations, such as oil rigs, to communicate with others in the company. We couldn’t let poor communications put our employees’ safety at risk. 

Plus, our technology wasn’t always mobile-friendly. If someone wanted to join a conference call from their mobile device, they would need to know the number, dial in, and find the pin. But people often didn’t have this information and would miss calls. We all know how frustrating it is when we can’t log in to an important meeting. Missed meetings can lead to project delays—eventually causing us to lose revenue.  

Our lack of a unified collaboration suite also led to high travel costs and wasted time, as executives preferred to fly to meetings instead of using our video conferencing tools. 

We needed technology that would make it easier for our teams to collaborate while reducing our travel costs.  

Why Face Time Matters

We were already using Cisco products, so it was natural for me to choose the Unified Communications stack.

I attended Cisco Live and had the opportunity to speak with their technical team. You can research a product on a website, but it’s a completely different experience when you’re face-to-face with an expert. 

Missed meetings lead to more than frustration; it leads to lost revenue. @CiscoCollab

For example, a Cisco rep shared UC best practices with me. I thought that I was doing a good job but learned that I wasn’t applying any of these best practices. I had a long way to go!  

5 Things to Look for in a UC Solution 

Finding the right technology to improve your teams’ collaboration can be challenging. Here are five things you should look for in a UC solution:

1. Reduced costs. Your UC solution should provide you with immediate cost savings. For example, it might allow you to remove redundant technologies and streamline your communications. It should also help you reduce your travel costs, as employees can meet virtually instead of flying to meet each other face-to-face. 

Is your #UCsolution providing immediate savings? No? Might be time for a switch. @CiscoCollab @CiscoGateway

2. A single platform that supports multiple devices. Look for a solution that makes it easy for employees to collaborate—whether they are working from a laptop or a mobile device. 

3. IM chat. Many people prefer texts to emails or phone calls. They might let a voicemail go unanswered but respond to a text within seconds. An IM chat feature can shorten your response times and help you keep pace with changes in your business. You can still send an email, but is not immediate as an IM chat. 

4. Security. How well does your UC solution protect your company’s data? Look for technology that protects each endpoint, so you don’t introduce risks to your business.

5. Great support. Improving your communications is about more than just technology; it also requires responsive support. You don’t want to send your technician an email and wait days for a response. Cisco has provided us with great support—from our first conversation throughout implementation. 

Connecting 70,000 Global Employees

Cisco is helping our  employees increase their productivity. Their technology is flexible—allowing us to collaborate from any device and any location. 

The Cisco Collaboration tools are also intuitive, which helped us achieve company-wide adoption. Our employees didn’t have problems getting up and running, and we didn’t need to train them on how to use the tools so they can work remotely. People also don’t complain when we perform upgrades or the interface changes. 

In addition, Cisco’s Collaboration tools are reliable. For example, WebEx is 100% available, and we don’t need to worry about issues or outages.

The Future of Collaboration  

Simplifying our UC is an ongoing process.

We want to make it even easier for our global teams to conduct business. This will involve simplifying our technology and using a single tool that connects everything—without disrupting the service to the business.