Like most of the country, the Pacific Northwest is seeing a bit more snow than usual. In Redmond, we fear snow. For the greater part of the year we have very moderate weather and so most folks here don’t know how to drive on snow and ice. Today is particularly bad because the quantity of snow makes driving a Herculean task even for those accustomed to it.
I’d guess that at least 20,000 of the 30,000+ folks who work at Microsoft in Redmond are working from home today and that is an unexpected challenge for our VPN servers not to mention the local DSL/cable networks. Things are slower than usual but still working. If you can avoid doing a VPN connection, it’s a wise idea.
Here comes the obligatory plug for OCS ;-) I’m not using VPN for the most part. I don’t need it for Outlook and can do e-mail, share files, schedule meetings, etc. just fine. I don’t need it for OC and so I’ve been in meetings all day long using VoIP and application sharing in our soon-to-be-released R2 product. Alas there are some internal tools and web sites which I can’t completely avoid and so I dip my toes into the VPN waters occasionally. What I’m finding though is that set is shrinking over time.
Working remotely is becoming a more frequent occurrence for me (aside from the odd weather around here) and I’ve become addicted to this flexibility. I’ve done IM from Maui, international calls from San Francisco, working meetings in my PJs, and even full day workshops remotely. It’s not a perfect experience, but what I miss most are things we are actively working on. Next time I get snowed in, I will probably enjoy it ;-)
… the UC technology is soooo delightful. OK, it’s cheesy as you can get, but very true. The weather forecast