Having worked a number of years in Riverbed, it has dawned on me that I've taken for granted a lot of the productivity tools that I use daily. I've grown so accustomed to them that I don't even give it a second thought when I use them. For example, just like every Riverbed employee, my Macbook is equipped with a copy of Steelhead Mobile. Some of my peers would rather have it on their Lenovo machine. And what Steelhead Mobile does is to transform the work experience so that email, file and application access becomes almost instantaneous and LAN-like regardless whether we're working from the airport or some other remote location that's far away from the servers in the data center.
And I was reminded just what a big impact Steelhead Mobile has on work productivity. Speaking to a seasoned IT professional (let's nickname him Ollie) today at our Lock and Loaded Conference in Phuket , Ollie told me that he was trying to make a case for Steelhead Mobile to his executives. And to get their attention, Ollie installed a trial version of Steelhead Mobile on the laptops of 30 of his top company executives. Over a five week period, Ollie would turn Steelhead Mobile on for one week, then turn if off the next week before repeating the sequence for five weeks. Ollie's plan was to record the "experience satisfaction" quotient of the executives and get some real world feedback on the effectives of Steelhead Mobile. While Ollie was doing this one day when he had just turned off Steelhead Mobile, he approached the key executive (the project approver) to get his feedback ... then it happened. The unexpected. The unusual. The unforeseen. With a scowl on his face and with fingers tapped in irritation on the keyboard, the key executive spun round in his chair just as Ollie was walking up. With a deepening scowl the key executive shouted,"Turn on Steelhead Mobile RIGHT NOW!".
Stunned, Ollie didn't even have to ask the key executive what he thought of his user experience without Steelhead Mobile. He didn't need to. He already had the response. As it turns out, the key executive was frustrated that what took seconds to complete with Steelhead Mobile instead took long minutes to complete when Steelhead Mobile was turned off. Ollie smiled to himself. And it's no surprise that Ollie got the approval of this key executive to sign off and approve the Steelhead Mobile project. But that not all Ollie got. He got a "high-five" from his management. He also got the admiration of his colleagues who saw just how easy it was to get the crusty key executive to sign off the project. And in record time. And that's Ollie's story as he enthused to me about Steelhead Mobile.
And so Ollie once again reminded me also of just how important it is to have an effective mobile acceleration solution like Steelhead Mobile to make enterprise collaboration easier, to improve personal productivity and one's quality of life. As I mentioned at the onset of this article, every Riverbed employee with a laptop is equipped with Steelhead Mobile. And even if we take it for granted, we still use it daily and we get to complete our sales and operations task much more efficiently.
We also use it for live customer demos over the Internet and 3G. It's quite simple showing customers the before and after experience of Steelhead Mobile just by turning on and off Steelhead Mobile on our laptops, and showing the customers the BIG difference in user experience. So for those of you who are road warriors or work from some remote location ... and who scowl while your fingers tap on your keyboard with irritation while working on your mobile device, there is an answer. If you do not already have a solution to give you LAN-like application access when you're on the move, ask your local Riverbed representative to show you how Steelhead Mobile can transform your work experience. And get on the Steelhead Mobile bandwagon today. And remember, all you have to do is get your executives to trial and use Steelhead Mobile. And then turn it off ... and wait for the unexpected, unusual, unforeseen moment when you smile to yourself.