Cisco ushers in people-centric collaboration

Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) is attempting to anticipate another market transition with its people-centric collaboration strategy. The networking giant made three product announcements to support its latest bet on visual collaboration solutions.

At the Enterprise Connect trade show in Orlando, Fla., the company released a new desktop and mobile Jabber application, and a more consumer-focused TelePresence offering.

The bring your own device (BYOD) trend and companies embracing video-conferencing solutions were just two factors for Cisco making this type of bet in the marketplace.

Richard McLeod, Cisco’s senior director of business development, told CDN that 90 per cent of enterprises have begun or are planning BYOD initiatives. And, by 2015, 200 million workers globally will take advantage of the company-supplied desktop video-conferencing solutions.

“The old PC model is changing dramatically. BYOD, smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks are massively changing our world. We think the stranglehold on the desktop is changing to a mobile environment,” McLeod said.

He added that social media is also factor in Cisco’s people-centric collaboration approach. “Social media is moving from the consumer to the enterprise, and video will be everywhere,” he said.

Cisco’s people-centric collaboration solution consists of its unified communications, collaboration applications and telepresence offerings. The goal is to move from instant messaging to voice to video with the click of a button, McLeod said.

Jabber will now be available on the iPad and Windows. It already supported Blackberry, Android, Mac and iOS. Jabber enables users to access high quality video, voice and messaging either on premise or in the cloud. Jabber for Windows will have a unified client so that users just have one place to access all communications options. It’s also integrated into Office, Outlook and Exchange.

The channel play for Jabber is that the collaboration applications can include WebEx and Quad social software. Those clients can be in the same interface and there will be added services opportunity for solution providers.

“There will be no need to upgrade Office or ERP and CRM. It’s integrated with Gmail, Google Apps, SAP. The Jabber SDK can tie it to the back end,” McLeod said.

The third piece to Cisco people-centric collaboration strategy is an updated, more consumer-friendly Telepresence. The company released a three-screen Telepresence offering called the TX9000. McLeod suggests that the TX9000 will be a more immersive experience for users because of its content sharing capabilities.

The TX9000 takes the best of Cisco Telepresence and Tandberg and will feature 1080p, 60 frames per second (fps), while data sharing capabilities support 1080p, 30 fps. It also incorporates WebEx and it has full touchpad capabilities with Jabber.

According to McLeod, the TX9000 drives down the total cost of ownership of bandwidth by 20 per cent. Channel partners have a more streamlined deployment because it does not require purpose-built room. This reduces installation time by 30 to 50 per cent.

The price has not changed for this product. It stays at $299,900.

McLeod anticipates the TX9000 will drive new demand for network upgrades and the push for an integrated line of business applications. “This can be a five to six time multiplier for partners with professional services,” McLeod said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Former editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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