Which tool is more important: a stud finder or a hex wrench? You don’t need to be terribly tool-savvy to know there’s a place and a time for each to shine; a stud finder would come in handy to hang a heavy shelf but be useless when adjusting a bike derailleur.
When it comes to employee collaboration, the “go-to tools” are multiplying as the workspace is changing. Some employees still do the bulk of their work from behind a desk at company headquarters; others split their time between the office and more on-the-go locales; still others need “full mobility” with access to the best software collaboration offerings available so work can happen in coffee shops, airplanes, hotel rooms—wherever. To support these shifts in the way work gets done, Cisco announced some big changes to its unified communications licensing scheme this week at its virtual sales conference, GSX.
With today’s announcement, Cisco is now:
- offering software-only licensing. Prior to this, getting Cisco unified communications meant acquiring a license and a Cisco phone. No more; now, Cisco’s UC offerings can be managed and deployed as a true software platform. While many will still choose to start with a hardware phone, others will choose another device, like a PC, a tablet or even a smartphone as their main communication and collaboration tool. It is now up to you.
- making licensing easier to order, deploy, and track. All new customers can get Cisco’s new—and free—Enterprise Licensing Manager (ELM), an application that gives customers and partners better visibility of licensing usage. With ELM, customers can easily move, change, and remove existing licenses and order new ones, while keeping an eye on user requirements so that as the way people work changes, licensing can change too.
- simplifying the structure of our license offerings and packing more collaboration tools than ever into each offering. Cisco now has three levels of UC licensing (Standard for mainstream information workers; Enhanced/Enhanced+ for mobile workers; and Professional for power users that need it all) and each of those levels has more social-networking tools than ever before. For instance, now users at all levels have access to Cisco Jabber and the Professional level now includes WebEx Social (formerly known as Quad) at no extra cost.
Cisco understands that the way people work is changing, and the collaboration tools they may need are changing as well. With today’s announcement, Cisco is adding to their offerings, and ensuring that Cisco’s customers to have access to the right tool for the job.
The toolbox is full; the time to collaborate is now.