Here’s the scene:
Tuesday, 14 June, 2011.
San Francisco, California.
A phone meeting with HR partner in Amsterdam is about to start
There are several challenges in this scene. 1. It’s 7 a.m. and after a dinner with co-workers last night at a nearby microbrewery, I am not thinking as clearly as I might perhaps be otherwise. 2. I’m in a hotel. It probably costs $15.00 per minute to use the phone in the room. 3. My cell phone doesn’t have an international plan. 4. Even if I used the hotel phone or my phone, international calls are sort of tricky if you’re not used to dialing country codes. I’m not, so…
One of the things I recently installed on my Intel laptop was the Cisco SoftPhone.
It’s basically a phone on your laptop. If you have an internet connection, you have a phone.
Intel has an internal phone network. That is, you can dial anyone in the company anywhere in the world simply by dialing their phone extension. You don’t even have to dial the entire phone number. In my job, phone calls are crucial because I regularly work with employees around the world. This internal phone network is super handy and makes it easy to collaborate.
So, back to the hotel situation. Before the SoftPhone, I would have had to figure out the international dialing or dialed through to the Intel operator and asked to be transferred to an international number or incur a substantial cost on my cell phone or hotel room bill.
Instead, I launched the SoftPhone and dialed five numbers – that’s right, just five (5) numbers – and a few seconds later, my co-worker in Amsterdam picked up her phone. Awesome.
There are a bunch of little things that make Intel a great place to work for me. I’ve mentioned some in this blog in the past, but as new things come up, I have to share them. This new SoftPhone is off the hook.