In meeting with customers and partners, I hear repeatedly how key market transitions – mobility fueled by the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, cloud as a delivery model and the pervasive use of video – are dramatically shifting how organizations communicate and collaborate, both internally and externally. They want to collaborate from anywhere, at anytime, and on any device — with a superior user experience. For maximum business benefit, they want to accelerate collaboration services across their organization. They want options and they need agility.
Today, Cisco unveiled multiple enhancements to our Cisco Collaboration portfolio — delivered via public, private, hosted/managed cloud models — that provide customers access to an expanded set of market-leading collaboration offerings. Customers have greater choice in how they deploy collaboration offerings based on their specific needs or requirements. They also have new options for accelerating collaboration across their business quickly, securely, and reliably.
Advancements to our Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) capabilities span Cisco Unified Communications, TelePresence, and Customer Collaboration (contact center). With these developments, Cisco HCS partners — service providers, systems integrators, wholesalers and resellers — can deliver an even more robust unified collaboration experience to their customers as an “as-a-service” cloud-based model. This is good news for customers who want an integrated collaboration experience, and prefer to work with partners to get it. Customers can enjoy greater flexibility, new capabilities and a level of customization that matches their needs. These advancements come at a time when Cisco HCS continues to gain traction in the market. In the past year, the number of certified Cisco HCS partners has grown more than 100%, providing global customers with an even broader choice of providers offering comprehensive collaboration offerings.
So what are these enhancements you ask?
- Customers can now get faster deployment and ROI from Cisco TelePresence through the new Cisco TelePresence-as-a-Service (TPaaS). With this hosted service, customers can now connect multiple locations simultaneously and simply buy or lease endpoints without investing in the back-end technology. Additionally, customers can now conduct telepresence meetings at any time rather than having to make a meeting reservation.
- Contact center customers that want to simplify operations can now have a certified Cisco HCS partner manage multiple contact centers for them. Additionally, agents will be able to provide faster, better and more accurate service when they use the new highly-customizable web 2.0 collaboration desktop that pulls the relevant information they need together into a single, modifiable cockpit.
- Rounding out the Cisco HCS enhancements are advancements in Cisco Unified Communications. In June, Cisco announced Cisco Unified Communications Release 9.0 and now, just months later, that rich functionality is available through HCS. In simple terms, we offer feature parity for UC, on premises or from the cloud.
Cisco WebEx Web Conferencing continues to experience tremendous growth and adoption. The number of WebEx meetings held through the public Cisco WebEx Cloud increased a staggering 38% year over year for a total of 9.6 million meetings and 1.8 billion meeting minutes! Fueling that growth is the popularity of our mobile WebEx Meetings client which has been downloaded more than 2.7 million times on iOS and Android devices.
With today’s announcement of Cisco WebEx Meetings Server, customers can now get that same rich WebEx user experience and functionality on the device of their choice but from an on-premises deployment, hosted in their own data centers where they have full control. They also will benefit from integration with Cisco Unified Communications that spans IP telephony to conferencing. At the beginning of next year, that integration will also include new seamless escalation from a Cisco Jabber IM session to a full Cisco WebEx meeting directly from a Jabber client.
I encourage you to learn more about today’s announcement by reading the press release and watching a live keynote by OJ Winge, SVP and GM of the Cisco Collaboration Technology Group, today at 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time (replay available at 11 a.m. PT) in our Cisco Collaboration Virtual Experience. You’ll also learn how Cloud Collaboration is an integral piece of Cisco’s Collaboration strategy. Learn more now.