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Being Productive AND Hands-Free

As of September 2011, “Hands-Free” laws limiting mobile phones while driving to hands-free use only will be in effect in 8 Canadian provinces: Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Manitoba and Newfoundland/Labrador. For business people on the go the question is – how do you maintain productivity under the new legislation?

When I was first faced with using hands-free technology only in the car, I definitely found it was a limiting to my productivity. Yes, I could receive calls and make them – but the ability to quickly check email or send a text message while stopped at a light was now gone. Granted – this change has led to better driving skills – but I longed to get back to having full access to communications available to me on my smartphone.

Enter my savior – One-X Speech.

One of the greatest benefits of working for a collaboration company is the great technology that I have access to every day. One-X speech has grown to be my favorite UC application.

Often overlooked, One-X speech gives you a huge amount of control over your email, voicemail, scheduling, conferencing and calling using nothing by your voice – a perfect match for areas that have instilled hands free laws.

How does it work? All I do is dial a number that provides me with speech access to our communication server. Once I’m logged in (which I have set up to happen automatically when I shout out a very cheesy “Call Avaya Voice” – which makes my coworkers and family groan :-) – the system asks me what I’d like it to do. Options include reading my voicemail, reading my email, making a call or reading my calendar.

Check out a Demo Featuring Allan Mendelsohn, Here:

The best benefit for me? The ability to return a call from a voicemail. At the start and end of the day, I review all the non-urgent messages (more on how to manage voicemails in a future post) and ask the system to call the sender. It immediately connects me with the person who sent me the voicemail and I can cover off or reply to their request during my commute. This saves me on average 20 minutes a day – and I get to arrive in my office without the red light lit on my phone – a small victory on a busy day!

The ability to make a call and have the system look up anyone in the corporate directory is also a life saver – as is the ability to conference in multiple parties using only your voice.

The best benefit for the company? Cost savings. Since the switch is now handling all of the calls and voice traffic, all long distance calls are placed through the company dial planning, resulting in significant monthly savings.

If you already have communication manager installed, I highly suggest you check out this application. After two years of using it every day, there is no way that I could go back to the old way of being hands free.

Note – if you are interested in a post on more tips / tricks on how to use this product, please let me know!

Rob Daleman is National Marketing Manager for Avaya Canada. He focuses on providing a unique Canadian perspective on emerging telecom trends, with a view to helping small and medium business leaders gain an understanding of today’s productivity-enhancing technologies. Before joining Avaya, Rob led mid-market strategy for Dell Canada. He is especially interested in the direction and pace of technological convergence as it relates to mobility, telephony, PC, and cloud applications. Rob holds an MBA from the Schulich School of Business. more

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