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Cisco WebEx Connect Proves Scalable for the Enterprise

For most Cisco employees, Cisco WebEx Connect is our primary tool for communicating with each other and with people outside the company and even more so with the Unified Communications integration with our Enterprise Social Software.

With WebEx Connect, I can connect to anyone across Cisco from one application on my PC. Their presence information tells me who’s available, then I can contact them using instant messaging (IM), click-to-call them with the soft phone, launch a video call, or set up instant meetings with Cisco WebEx Meeting Center. Together, these features save me at least 20 minutes every day and help me work more productively. It’s also easy to invite customers to online meetings using WebEx Connect, a feature that is especially appreciated by our sales force, which I mentioned in my last blog post.

The IM technology uses Jabber, which allows us to connect to people outside of Cisco. The click-to-call voice features are enabled through a Cisco Unified Communications Integration, which links telephony services with applications like WebEx Connect and Cisco Enterprise Social Software.

We support WebEx Connect for over 88,000 Cisco users worldwide, which is a hosted service on the WebEx cloud allowing us to easily and quickly scale our deployment. A hosted service also means that we don’t need to worry about operations and management tasks, such as sending upgrades to thousands of users.

Although the WebEx Connect soft phone is not offered in certain countries because of regulatory restrictions on voice over IP, employees still benefit from using IM, presence, and click-to-dial features of WebEx Connect for most of their communications.

With our internal deployment here at Cisco, it has been proven that WebEx Connect is a very scalable online collaboration platform that lets us connect to people at the right time, in the right way, and from a single client.

For more on what this experience actually looks like along with other Cisco collaboration offerings, take a look at our interactive collaboration experience for more info.

Cisco Data Center 2011-Texas: Cisco to Deploy IaaS in its New Texas Data Center

Of cloud computing’s three service models, software as a service (SaaS) is deployed most often. But that trend is shifting:  A recent Yankee Group survey revealed that 24 percent of U.S. enterprises with cloud experience are already using infrastructure as a service (IaaS), an additional 37 percent plan to adopt it, and planned deployments are accelerating.

Cisco, too, is seeking to benefit from dynamic cloud service models, using models that offer reduced provisioning times and usage-based chargeback systems. We’ve gotten started by deploying the same unified computing and virtualization solutions we recommend to Cisco customers in our own private IaaS cloud. We call our internal cloud Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services, or CITEIS.

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Collaboration is Hot … Very Hot: Video and Collaboration

We’re seeing a heightened interest from customers in using video inside the enterprise.  That’s because video is quickly becoming the most multi-faceted form of communication.  It can be used very effectively in a variety of ways:  as a tool to communicate with your own team, for executive leadership, company meetings, and for training in the areas of sales and new products, HR and new hires.

A video is worth a thousand words.  Read More »

Cisco Data Center 2011-Texas: Saving Power, Cooling, Space, and People

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.

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Working Together with Cisco WebEx Meeting Center

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.

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