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Collaboration

Every time I have the opportunity to discuss technology investments with a CxO I hear these 2 requests over and over again: 1) reduce my cost of ownership (acquisition, operation and maintenance); and 2) protect and leverage my current investments.

It is straight-forward to see that with Cisco Unified Communications Release 9.0’s new assisted service capabilities such as native call queuing and one button to record, we’re further reducing total cost of ownership (TCO) and offering more value to our solutions. But if we look beyond new features and capabilities there are other factors in play, and the quality of the experience is becoming a very common theme of these conversations.

Don’t get me wrong, CxOs still want investment protection, and they still want the best TCO. But they ALSO want to make sure that their company is investing in the best platform to drive better collaboration experiences, in-house AND out, for the short AND long term.

It occurred to me that as more and more executives realize the great value that the collaboration tools provide, they’ve also grown more and more concerned about having the right platform for them. From employee productivity to better customer service, there is at least one collaborative action that touches every internal and external interaction. I believe that with Cisco Unified Communications 9.0, Cisco is empowering those interactions and adding more value, more options, and better tools to help companies to succeed.

For example, with Cisco UC 9.0 Cisco is paving the way for video across the entire enterprise by providing expanded video support on the platform, enabling email-style addressing as a way to contact any user (in addition to traditional telephone numbers), enhancing the security of all video communications, and providing tools for call admission control (CAC) which provides intelligent management of the video traffic on the network, delivering great experiences. Transparently. All in the same platform. How is that for leveraging investments while enabling new collaboration experiences?

In the age of the mobile worker, the ability to provide better collaboration capabilities, services and support to mobile users in a single collaboration platform is critical. Cisco UC 9.0 responds to this challenge by offering smart options to enable fixed mobile convergence (FMC). FMC allows companies to extend enterprise telephony capabilities such as enterprise caller-ID, single number reach, seamless transition of active calls between mobile, desk or softphone, single voice mailbox across multiple phone numbers, and more to ANY mobile phone, without the need to install any kind of client on the device, and without requiring a data plan on the device. Cisco UC 9.0 allows companies to leverage their investments on devices, network and service contracts while creating new opportunities for better collaboration. All in the same platform!

Last but not least. Bring your own device (BYOD) is teaching us again what the web taught us before: for most people the best service is actually self-service. Cisco UC 9.0 offers better self-service options for all users. A new, simplified user-centric administration tool, focused on tasks and users (not devices), simplifies the management of most personal options for every user, out-tasking the job of managing preferences to the user, and freeing up time for IT to concentrate on innovating and improving all other services. And it comes included, at no extra cost!

In summary, I believe Cisco Unified Communications 9.0 provides plenty of new options to foster new and better collaboration experiences, while keeping the cost low, the administration simple, and the investment protected. What do you think?

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