This afternoon I was putting together some material for the Sametime Unified Telephony events that are taking place over the next two weeks. One of the slides covers how we used to work many years ago (i.e. you went to the office, really no other option) versus how we can work now given the improved and more accessible means of communication (the Internet playing a fairly big part) and the increased capabilities of technology solutions. To go with this slide, I needed an example of what this actually means and how it can manifest itself… and I only had to recall an example from earlier this week.
Regular readers of dadams.co.uk will know that I’ve been to Denmark this week. Every Wednesday at 17:00 UK time I have a call with some colleagues in the US and around Europe – normally not a problem, but this week I was handed a dilemma. 17:00 UK time equates to 18:00 in Denmark, so I was faced with the fact that the call wouldn’t end until 19:00. I didn’t know the implications of being in the Lyngby office at 19:00 – I could find myself locked in. Also, I’d been offered a lift back to the hotel at 17:00, thus avoiding another extortionate taxi fare. However, having a UK mobile phone in another country means an expensive international call.
But here’s where these converging aspects of communication and technology play their part. The hotel offered free Internet access. My laptop has Sametime Unified Telephony installed (and I had brought my Plantronics headset with me). So the simple solution was to use SUT to dial the US conference call number, thus being a local call for the SUT infrastructure… but as far as I was concerned I was just using the free Internet connection. And that’s it. SUT solved the problem. I said it was a simple story.