Most data centers are challenged with the same cost control problems of power, cooling, space, and people. Illustrating that one x86 server can cost more than US$400 a year in just energy consumption, a 2009 Gartner study concluded that IT managers can combat rising costs by reviewing their data center strategies and proactively looking to consolidation, use of energy saving solutions, and strategic deployment of IT labor. Our online chronicle, Cisco Data Center 2011-Texas, provides an inside look at how Cisco IT is tackling these challenges with a strategy that is reflected in our new facility, Texas Data Center 2.
What if you went into your office and all of the meeting rooms were empty? Yet when you looked around, you could see work being done, ideas being shared, and deadlines being met.
More and more at Cisco, this is how a normal workday looks for many of our employees. Through the capabilities of Cisco WebEx Meeting Center, Cisco employees now work together virtually more often.
We use WebEx Meeting Center in several ways. Work teams that have members located around the world use it for audio or video conferences, or for online collaboration sessions, where they share presentations, documents, and desktop applications. Because it is easy to start a WebEx session, I can collaborate with my team at any moment.
We also use WebEx Event Center to hold large, virtual meetings, such as our annual global sales conference that involved 19,000 participants worldwide. And because users can access the WebEx Meeting Center service over the Internet, we have gained a simple, cost-effective way to communicate for business continuity during a pandemic, a natural disaster, or other situation when employees can’t go to work in a Cisco office.
WebEx Meeting Center is deployed as a hosted service on the WebEx collaboration cloud. This means we no longer need to maintain the network infrastructure for online collaboration, we don’t have to worry about supporting peak traffic loads, and users can access new features as soon as they are available.
Usage levels have exploded as WebEx Meeting Center has proven to be very popular among Cisco employees. That popularity is producing great value for our business, especially for cutting our travel budget in half. But it may make Cisco’s meeting rooms very lonely places to be.
For a closer look at how we use WebEx at Cisco, take a look at our interactive collaboration experience here.
The Value of Collaboration
In conversations with customers, I am consistently asked about the business value and return on investment with regard to collaboration.
Here’s how we define value at Cisco: productivity, growth and innovation.
With the collaboration launch this week, Cisco’s call control infrastructure is now the single platform for both voice and video, creating a simpler approach to integrated solutions and an increase in the overall business value derived from these technologies.
Taking a step back, Cisco is effectively doing the same with video as we did with voice several years ago, and continuing to pave the way for enterprise-wide business communications.
The Cisco Unified Communications Manager brings together video and voice endpoints from Cisco, including endpoints from the Tandberg acquisition.
Alongside this integration, Cisco is introducing two telepresence endpoints at a lower, more affordable price, with smaller footprints, higher quality WebEx video conferencing, and a new service creation platform for service providers that extends telepresence to their organizations and customers.
Video is huge, and we are seeing continued focus and advancement in this space.
Also among the collaboration launch, Cisco emphasizes IT transformation with desktop virtualization, which is a larger-scale investment for IT. Cisco’s new Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) solution, for the first time, enables the integration of desktop virtualization and the rich collaboration features of video. The solution includes two new desktop virtualization clients and support for Cisco’s Cius on a mobile VXI client.
Exciting times, my friends!
More than technology, collaboration is about process and culture
Today I’d like to talk about how you sustain a collaboration effort and keep it moving forward inside your organization.
Collaboration is much more than an IT capability – it is also about process and culture. At Cisco, we recognized this point and realized we needed to create an active, engaged internal collaboration and communications board to drive our process internally.