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Chris Hyslop

Keeping Up With New Years' Resolutions

Gut check: 40 days into the new year—how are you doing?

Here we are, forty days into the new year, and we have to ask...have you kept up with your 2018 resolutions? Whether you planned to spend the year purging unwanted belongings, improving your posture or drinking less coffee, the question still remains: have you kept your promise to yourself? As with many other challenging tasks in life, the route to maintaining resolutions is littered with prerequisites. Understanding your situation, setting realistic goals, making significant changes, and ultimately doing the work. Developing a resolution is simple during the waning months of the old year and exhilarating in the first weeks of the new. Plans to lose weight are promised with holiday cookies in hand, and the declaration to drink more water seems so easy with your brand new BPA-free bottle sitting proudly on your desk. Things really seem to take a turn once the newness of the challenge has worn off and it’s the middle of February (and your fancy new bottle has found its way under the seat in your car). Devoting time and energy to maintaining resolutions can be further daunting when old habits creep back into the light, but there are plenty of ways to avoid the slip back into old habits. One way to avoid the slip? Plan accordingly. Another? Employ the necessary tools to keep your resolutions on track.

One of the resolutions we set for ourselves personally this year is to better manage time, workload and expectations at the office and beyond. 2018’s clean slate provided respite from the exciting end of year we had at ScanSource KBZ. A successful Global Partner Conference in our hometown, charitable functions during the holidays and the second half of FY2018 planning kept us on our toes and glued to our devices. The new year arrived quietly; on a Monday no less and gave us the chance to establish some new working techniques and plans for keeping our resolution intact. First, we evaluated what was keeping us from managing time, workload and expectations. Dozens of things came to mind, which brought us to our conclusion; we were managing too many different pieces! Spreadsheets, meeting notes, conference call codes, images, reports, you name it, we were trying to keep track of it. Next we identified how to better manage all of the various elements that we touched every day. Cisco Spark immediately came to mind as the tool for the job. Its management features were perfect for the task at hand. Then we took some time to get organized and set our plan into motion.

Cisco Spark brought all of our pieces together. Spark is a fully immersive tool because it has message, meet and call capabilities. Instead of toggling between multiple applications and calendars, everything needed to upload documents, schedule meetings, and conduct video calls are all on one platform creating a streamlined experience. Features like Instant Meetings, Content Sharing and the Spark Board made connecting, gathering and sharing simple. That simplicity helped us encourage others to follow suit-- and thus a strategy was born! The Instant Meetings saved us time by connecting us to the folks in our Spark space with the tap of a button; sometimes hopping on an ad-hoc conference call is the only way to get your ducks in a row. Real time meetings and instant problem solving without having to gather people into a room-- go figure! Promoting content sharing was an immediate game changer, especially when our team joined the cause. No more searching through email for attachments, no more wishing you had more information. Tackling the pieces that bogged us down before was so easy with screen sharing and collaborative white-boarding. Lastly we found even more ways to collaborate with our team through the Cisco Spark Board, the touch based, all-in-one collaboration device to share presentations and white-boarding in stunning 4k. Learn more about how the Spark board is transforming the modern day conference room here. Our resolutions around managing time, workload and expectations were met and maintained through our efforts on Spark and through those of our team. Saving time by being organized, managing workload by being more collaborative and managing expectations by being more transparent has changed the way we work and allowed for more time to be spent on doing more for our customers.

They say it takes 66 days for a behavior to become automatic, so we’re excited to see how this year’s resolution plays out into the later parts of 2018. We know we aren’t alone in our quest to improve productivity, many large organizations in fields like education and healthcare and even small business have similar goals. The good news and an added bonus for your small business clients? Spark allows smaller organizations to collaborate easier on a single platform that connects them with remote workers and eliminate the need for brick and mortar offices, thus reducing operating expenses.

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Upcoming Webinar

Join our upcoming webinar on Tuesday, February 13th at 1:30pm EST where we will be spreading the message together that there has never been a better time to become a Cisco partner and capture opportunities and revenue streams in the collaboration space. Attendees will also learn how to be entered for a chance to win a free 55" Spark Board. Don’t miss this opportunity to evolve your Cisco practice with the help of our experts, register here! We will be live-tweeting the webinar, so be sure to catch us on social media before and after the event!