Learning Uruguay

Every day brings ????


Posted by urufish on September 22, 2007


Dont know if that’s a real word, but it gets the point across…

When you’re telecommuting from a place like Uruguay and you’re NOT stuck in a pod like Ant, you can get into trouble very quickly if there’s a major crisis back at the office.

A couple of years ago, I was in the Geant, at the rear of the store in the electronics section.  My phone rang.  I couldn’t make heads or tails of the call because Movistar, in the electronics section of Geant sucks.  I thought it was one of my staff, so I ran out to the parking lot and called the office.  It was one of my staff.  She was hysterical.  She had just uploaded something and it wiped out a large section of our processing facilities.

The fix required myself, her and a few other people, all in the Toronto office. Together, with them altogether at head office and me in the parking lot of the Geant, we got everything back up in a half hour. 

Today, we’re spread over a much wider area.  So what happens the next time a crisis comes along?  Blackberry is what.  Blackberry has a conference function in chat mode, just like MSM, Yahoo, etc.  When something requires more than 2 heads to collaborate on, we initiate a group chat and we ticktack type back and forth until we get agreement on something.  Of course, if it doesn’t lend itself to ticktacking, we can always set up a conference call… but most of these things are better done on a white board so to speak.. 

I had a chance to use this a couple of days ago…  Very kool…  


12 Responses to “Telecollaboration”

  1. Ant said

    A pod??

    One more post about your blackberry and I think RIM can start paying you for publicity. 🙂

  2. urufish said

    A cubicle.. a modular work desk. I figured you’re in one of those offices, where everyone has their own, personal working space. When Zonamerica took me on tour, to see the different offices, most of them were setup modularly.

    It’s not in my nature to promote something.. a technology or a product. I’m the kind of person who sees the flaws in things… I’m well known for pointing out what’s wrong with something.. not what’s right with it.

    The Blackberry is probably the only thing I’ve ever used that I dont see the flaws in.

  3. Ant said

    Aah.. A cubicle… Ive never heard it being called a ‘pod’ before.

    Although I havent used it myself, Most of my clients and friends who do, swear by it.

  4. gaberoo said

    Ant in a Pod? I must admit it sounds humorous (sorry Ant). Oh c’mon Fish, admit it…how much is RIM paying you as their spokesperson?

  5. Ant said

    I know! I thought he meant something else with the “ant in a pod” comment.

  6. urufish said

    I think my fascination with Blackberries goes back to when we got email at the office. Within a few months, I became the only person I know anywhere in a medium sized and up company (in my company or elsewhere), without voicemail. To me it was like an epiphany.

    When you called my extension, it either rang endlessly or it was busy.. There was no way out. Still isn’t to this day.

    I always had a pager.. got my first one in 1st year university. A short while after we got email, I could see that one day, the pager would become an email device. I guess I wasn’t the only one because some guys next door in Watleroo, Ontario, started work on what became a portable email device.. The Blackberry.

    I am compulsive about responding immediately… within seconds, to a staff request. Voicemail, for me, was impossible. First of all, people ramble on and on, frequently making no sense – not to me anyway. There was no practical way – not with my patience level – to review 30-40 voicemails to decide which should be dealt with immediately and the order in which the rest should be dealt with. The responses were frequently loquacious, just like the caller.

    With email and even moreso with Blackberry, responses are short, to the point and logged so you can retrieve something important later on.

    Add to this that with a Blackberry, it works in almost every country on the planet. When I took the jumper flights to Uruguay, I picked up messages 2-3 times along the way. The Buquebus is great. After 10-11 hours in the air, messages build up. You pick them all up on the BA side. Answer them enroute to Montevideo…. 15-20 minutes outside Montevideo, you get service again and they’re all sent before you hit shore.

    Add to that the Spanish/English dictionary. All my passwords, tons of notes where I keep silly things like LD access numbers and codes in all possible places you could possibly land in South America. I was never a fan of a Palm or any of those other ‘storage’ devices. Unless something is networked, connected to the rest of the planet, I want nothing to do with it.

  7. gaberoo said

    Must be a great device otherwise why would it be so darn popular among businesses. My boss has one. I currently have no use for one, but if it could double for my pager, I’d rather have it than the pager (unfortunately, my work will pay for a pager, even a fancy one, but not a Blackberry device). Also, the pager is not very glamourous so there’s much less chance of anyone being tempted to steal it, whereas the Blackberry…well, it’s an open invitation to theft (talking about locker rooms in gyms and car). Still, I’d much rather have it than have to carry both cellphone and pager.

  8. urufish said

    Never thought about someone stealing a Blackberry… Never heard of it happening in Toronto.. Maybe it’s happening now. I put a message on my desktop (which is password protected).. says call (tel #) for big reward. So far I haven’t had to use it 🙂

    When I decided to rebuild the service department, we had pagers and trunked radios.
    I looked at where were we were losing efficiency and where customer service sucked.

    I put them on blackberries because
    a) we could send the service ticket to the tech – with all the details on it without having to retype or say it.

    b) the tech would message in when he was on site, so we knew where he was, without cost

    c) when the tech finished, BEFORE he left the site, he’d type in what he did. When we got it, it would immediately go into the customer record. When Mr or Mrs Jones got home and wanted to know what happened, instead of us paging the tech, waiting for him to call him, explain it to us, then we call the customer, we just read it off the record…

    d) techs no longer had to come to the office after work and submit worksheets which a night shift person would enter into the system…
    We saved enough money on C&D alone to offset the blackberry purchase.

    (BTW, that’s not why I’m a fan of them… saving money isn’t why I love them.. for me it’s saving time.. time is priceless)

  9. gaberoo said

    No doubt time is money (or rather “priceless”). I think people will steal just about anything they think they can re-sell whether they know this for a fact or not (they steal and ask questions later). But hands down I’d get one if it meant not carrying around two separate devices (I have to make sure both are charged at all times, that I carry both, and to watch out for both lest one fall off, get stolen, etc.). Domestic Blackberry service is not expensive here and international is not that expensive either from what I’ve heard (20$ versus 40$? per month on top of your usual cell phone providers fees according to call plan). Since I don’t have your needs, a Blackberry for me would probably be just a nice convenience as opposed to a time-saving, must-have device.

  10. Ant said

    Looks like RIMs come up with a product like the Samsung one I was talking about…


  11. Anonymous said

    Hey Ant… was great meeting you yesterday… first night I sat out front of the house… quite an experience… 🙂

    When I was up in Toronto in August, I saw it, but I didn’t know it had WiFi on board. I tried to buy it because it was so cool looking.. even if the price was a little uncomfortable…. but I could not find one unlocked from the factory.

    A few weeks ago, I was crusing around the web looking for something else and I came across a site that sells Blackberry’s completely open… so I could use my Movistar chip or my Canadian chip. I’m so happy with the Movistar unit now dont think I’ll give it up. This is first Blackberry (and I had most models), that seems to be totally bugfree. It has not hiccupped or rebooted (like the others that followed the original). One of the models I had was nasty. It would shut off and you wouldn’t know unless you looked at it. People who were getting called and emailed several times an hour was no big deal. But I wasnt that busy. I could go 30-45 minutes without anything.

    Anyway, thanks for pointing it out. We’ll get together again when I get a new toy here 🙂

  12. Ant said

    Yeah.. It was fun.

    mm… gadgets.. 🙂

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