Truth is that football fans still have a long way to go before they can return to packed stadiums and sing along to football chants with their fellow supporters. But just because things can’t be ‘normal’, doesn’t mean they have to be bad.
To this end, Cisco recently partnered with the City Football Group, the first time it has done so with a football organization. The group, which includes Manchester City, New York City and Melbourne City football clubs, decided that instead of just accepting an inferior fate, they were going do something about it.
So, as part of our shared mantra, ‘better than being there’ we share the belief that no enterprise can afford to wait for things to go back to normal. Instead, like a player on the other end of a dodgy pass, all we can do is try and make the best out of the situations we’re in – but technology makes for a great wingman.
In this spirit, we’re working with the group to enhance the clubs’ connectivity and bring a range of new digital experiences to fans to hopefully bring them closer than ever before to the game they love.
Adjusting to the times
The spirit behind the phrase, ‘better than being there’ is not unique to our sports partnerships – it’s a mindset we at Cisco are bringing to everything. And it’s one that every business, big or small, needs to start embracing.
Because the events of 2020 have sent shockwaves through every industry. And after months of lockdown, large swathes of the world’s working population have had the time to evolve from budding remote working novices into hardened home working veterans.
And this seismic shift will have a significant effect on working habits long after coronavirus falls from the front page.
So, future-thinking business leaders need to first accept the hard truth that offices will never be the same again. Be it video-chat, virtual collaboration or secure remote networking, these have become permanent elements of doing business now. And it won’t matter if you belong to a huge conglomerate or a tiny mom-and-pop operation.
It is this truth that has inspired us to combine low cost, easy to deploy and manage on premise infrastructure like the Meraki Go portfolio with Cisco Webex to brings all the nessesary capabilities together, helping small businesses getting a handle on the new office-scape, and make working from home better than being there for workers.
Before this year’s crisis, flexible working was perceived as a perk reserved for higher ups at larger companies. This was in part a cultural quirk – until recently, many employers had concerns around productivity levels if all employees worked from home.
A lot of those concerns have since been dispelled over the last few months. However, a much more tangible barrier that has hindered many small businesses from jumping on the flexible working train has been whether they had an IT team capable of managing its technical demands.
And this is why we’ve seen the potential to combine our slimmer, simpler, small business solution, Meraki Go with our latest iteration of Webex: Webex Work.
Meraki Go was made to be deployed by your average joe who’s comfortable with technology, but by no means an IT professional.
And Webex Work, aside from being able to also host meetings, has a bunch of features made for remote workforces such as whiteboard collaborating and even a cloud-based calling, including physical phones and instant messaging. It even has a virtual receptionist!
Together, these two parts of our portfolio allow smaller businesses to achieve several things that were once out of reach.
Leveling the playing field
Here’s a simple example of a simple solution at work:
When you visit a larger business’ office building, you will often be presented with a guest Wi-Fi network. While this is a common perk, it denotes a level of capability as it’s not easy to safely set one up without an IT professional.
With Meraki Go, a guest Wi-Fi network can be created at the click of a button. It will even assist you to create a QR code, providing hustle free connectivity to your customers, while at the same it will protect your internal network, preserve your limited bandwidth and even stop any guest from accessing unwanted material, while on your premises.
And all this from a simple app on your phone.
This means that even if you’ve never deployed a piece of software in your life, you’ll be able to appear as technically proficient to your customers and partners as any of your larger competitors.
Small businesses rule the world
Our attempts to shrink the capabilities gap between large and small business comes from the fact that we know how important small businesses are. More than 99% of all businesses are small businesses and they contribute about 50% of global GDP.
But we also know it’s an uncertain time for small enterprises. So, even though Meraki Go and Webex are still enterprise-level capable pieces of technology, with features that you would expect in a more expensive, professionally set up installation, we’ve worked to make them priced for small businesses.
And by combining connectivity and collaboration in an easy-to-deploy, intuitive, secure and well-priced solution, we believe we’ve made remote working almost as good as working with people in the same room.
If not better.
To discover more solutions and resources Cisco has to offer for your small business, visit our dedicated page here.