Switching from PC to MAC and from Microsoft to Cisco

As some of you may have noticed I have had a recent lull in activity both here on VoIPNorm and on Twitter. I was going through somewhat of a techie rebirth. I know that sounds a little hippie but it is the best way I could think to describe it. Let’s put it this way for a least a while my head was spinning and I wasn’t sure if it was just going to pop off with all the gyrations. With all the head spinning though when I informally announced my move to Cisco on LinkedIn through a profile update I got lots of questions and congrats. I know I haven't responded to everyone directly but hopefully this blog post will help do that.

Switching from PC to MAC 

Out of all the things I have done in my career this was one of the most frustrating weeks of my life but its not all that it seems. After 14 years or so of working on a Windows machine, I was switching my work PC to a MAC in my first week at a new job at a new company. This is not something I would recommend to everyone but in the end a lot of my frustration was mainly self inflicted by not asking for help.

This is what I have learnt about the MAC. Microsoft Office on the MAC or more to the point Outlook is no where even close to the Windows version. PowerPoint and Word are just fine for what I need but I really don’t like Outlook. The Windows version is better but it’s a Microsoft product on a Apple platform so I can’t say that I am all that surprised. So I am in search of a better mail client I just don’t know what that is yet. The native client has been suggested to me but I am going to do some digging before I make a change.

OneNote which I used heavily previously is not available on the MAC. I really like OneNote so I was bummed there was no MAC version, but a great alternative is Evernote. It is a little less organized in its layout compared to OneNote but I like the way it syncs across my MAC and other devices without needing to put anything on SkyDrive. I noticed some folks running a Windows VM on the MAC but that just didn’t seem attractive to me. I would rather find alternative applications if needed.

My last frustration came down to my lack of MAC knowledge which was the track pad. Two finger tap is a right mouse click dummy. It took a coworker to help me solve that puzzle. If I had just asked for help earlier!

In the end it was a combination of a lack of MAC knowledge and finding substitutes for applications causing most of my frustration, most of which I have remediated. Overall though I am impressed with the stability and usability of the MAC. I have had to reboot for updates once or twice but that’s been it, the MAC is super stable. Obviously MAC presents less hardware choices which leads to a more stable platform but the design of the MAC hardware is pretty impressive.

So I am sticking with my MAC and marching forward. Everyday gets a little easier for this 14 year PC veteran.

Switching from Microsoft to Cisco

Of course this probably came as a huge surprise to a lot of people and something at one stage I may have never considered but change is good. There are a lot of similarities but also a lot of differences between the two companies. This was never “its greener on the other side of the fence” type situation but something I looked on as a personal growth opportunity.

Lync presents a great software solution but as anyone in the industry knows it takes more than great software to build a communications solution. Cisco offered me a chance to get a better insight into an end to end solution that is unrivaled in the industry for completeness of vision. I will be the first to admit that both companies face unique challenges in todays UC market. This makes for an exciting transition with moving to Cisco and seeing the challenges from both sides now.

In my opinion there is nothing more challenging than understanding a completely different perspective than the one you have today. It has certainly opened my eyes to a whole new way to look at UC which  only serves to benefit the companies I am trying to help succeed with Cisco UC. I really did enjoy my 4 years at Microsoft but am looking forward to new success at Cisco.