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In the 1990s, before heading back to school to earn an MBA, Lisanne Powers worked for the State of New York’s cable television channel, NY-SCAN, a localized version of C-Span. After graduating in 1999, Powers was hired by AT&T just as the Internet took off and she was trained to help manage AT&T’s Business DSL Services. Over the years, as technology changed, so did Powers’ role.
Currently, Powers is Lead Marketing Communications Manager for AT&T’s Unified Communications offerings, including AT&T Connect and AT&T Telepresence Solution. It’s a line of work she enjoys because Powers is a true believer that Unified Communications (UC) is the next big thing.
“Conferencing, voice, web, and video are tools that everyone can use,” she says. “And now you can access them from one device or transition between devices.” The ability to conference and collaborate “is so available and so mobile that your office is wherever you are,” explains Powers. “That’s business-changing. That’s paradigm-shifting.” As the technology improves and devices become more powerful, more depth and functionality will be added today’s already remarkable solutions. Being away from the office won’t be a hindrance. Your office will be wherever you are.
Powers is located in New Jersey, but she collaborates with colleagues across the country and the globe. One of her Unified Communications’ team members is located in London, England. While they have to work around a five-hour time difference, the two collaborate often. Powers’ “world team,” as she calls it, uses web conferencing to meet, look at documents, share applications and brainstorm. “It’s so much easier when you’re able to see documents together, talk together, and make edits together,” Powers says.
She considers telepresence a game-changer as well. “It doesn’t replace relationship building,” she says, “it enhances it.” Telepresence saves time and money and it’s just down right cool. “You can get work done wherever you or your colleagues are,” Powers says. “It’s productive and it reduces costs.”
There is a downside, though. “It would be fun to do a team-building trip in London,” Powers notes. But thanks to Unified Communications, such a trip—and the cost of the flights, the hotel, the eating out—isn’t necessary. Darn.