Tuesday, March 27, 2018

and now for a change of pace

It has been a while friends, hasn't it?
Much has changed since I last wrote - I have taken a Senior Unified Communications Engineer position in San Francisco at a little company that is responsible for the great sound and video in yoru music, movies and television. They also branched out into conference phones a while back and announced a video system add on at Enterprise Connect 2018.

The last two months have been filled with a major deployment here at work while also trying to figure out how to exist in two places. You see, since my family and I have been established in the Tacoma area and with a daughter in high school, I don't want to move everyone down to the most expensive area of the left coast just yet. So I am splitting my time about 80% in the bay and then home for the rest. It is not easy, but it is becoming more familiar.

So about the work.....
   We are a major partner with BlueJeans so I jumped into the deep end of the pool right away to move all of our conference phones straight onto a new BlueJeans software and connect all of our Cisco VCS-based video infrastructure to BlueJeans and their Relay services that enable One Button To Join on almost any standards-based-endpoint.
   The Cisco infrastructure and endpoints are in need of some TLC as well so I've started learning and exploring their configurations. It's fun to do this part because sometimes there are creative things you discover but more often I learn so much by wondering why someone did something. Manual phone books in TMS for example - I will never understand how that is a good idea!
   The cowboy in me wants to fix all the things right away but I am measuring myself because My philosophy has been throughout this blog to document all the things and leave things so the next person can pick up where you left off.

Leaving things....
    With a long story made short, I did not leave everything as I wanted at my former place of work. There simply was not time and as the sole person knowing a technology, as much as I tried to share info I was never sure if that information was received.
    I think IT Organizations should place greater emphasis on some repository of information. It doesn't have to be pretty, but that helps. One place where all passwords are stored and one place where people should keep notes about the things they do. This isn't tickets or change control... let it be free-form open notepads if that works, but start somewhere.
    At my new place, we use combinations of Sharepoint for communication outside our group, Confluence and Box (and Box Notes) for internal things and even some SmartSheets. Then a common but hard to manage online password storage tool. These seem to work but I think part of that is a constant push to keep things off your computer and to share info. Frankly, the less I keep on my computer the better but that same practice makes it easier to share data with those that need it.

I will try to expand on these more and talk about my experience with BlueJeans (short take: it is nice) in the coming days. Now that I have my own little room I should have more time to myself, but I'm also going to start on a Cisco CyberOps course next month.

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