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Enhancing Collaboration with New Integrated Audio Accessories

Today, I am pleased to post a guest blog from Cisco partner, Jabra, authored by Chris Briglin, Vice President of Strategic Alliances at Jabra. 

One of my favorite quotes in the technology business is: ”The next big thing is whatever makes the last big thing usable.” To me this really speaks to the importance of a great user experience in driving the widespread adoption and deployment of technology solutions. While there are lots of business problems out there and many technology-based solutions created to address those needs, solutions that address business needs through a superior user experience are typically the ones that thrive.

As noted in Cisco’s announcement last week, Jabra partnered with Cisco to co-develop audio devices that enhance the collaboration experience on Cisco Jabber for virtual environments. By combining Jabra’s expertise in audio engineering, product design and software integration with Cisco’s leadership in unified communications, we created two audio devices –- the JabraSpeak 450 for Cisco speaker and the Jabra Handset 450 for Cisco wireless handset — that enhance the collaboration experience for virtual desktop users resulting in increased productivity.

What’s special about these two new accessories is that they are an extension of the Cisco Unified Communications solution. When you plug the accessories into a virtual desk client that has Cisco Virtualization Experience Engine (VXME) running on it, they are automatically set-up and configured with call-control capability right on the device. These new audio devices allow users to have the familiar experience of picking up a handset to answer a call or push a button on a speaker — even when a phone is longer on their desk, because the phone capability is delivered virtually through Cisco Jabber. The industrial design of the devices is meant to reflect the familiar design of Cisco Unified IP Phones — they look like they are part of the Cisco collaboration workspace.

It’s interesting to note that the biggest market for these solutions is for people I’ll call “non-users”. That is to say that most people are not yet aware of the need for high-quality audio devices to complete their collaboration experience. It’s important to note that these “non-users” see their audio devices as part of the collaboration experience. As personal communication devices which they will wear and use for extended periods of time –- their devices have to be comfortable and be visually appealing (design matters). And of course, their devices must enhance the audio experience of the collaboration solution.

Jabra devices coupled with Cisco collaboration solutions address the specific needs of different users in different environments such as executives collaborating via conference call in closed offices, knowledge workers wirelessly multitasking in noisy, open offices, healthcare/retail/manufacturing employees connecting via a common workstation and remote workers participating from home or on-the-road. In order to address these and other important use cases, Jabra is working to ensure that the entire Jabra portfolio works with Cisco Jabber for virtual environments and also extended to Cisco Jabber running locally on Windows PCs .

To learn more about Cisco’s desktop virtualization strategy and see a demonstration of Cisco Jabber for virtual environments with the integrated Jabber accessories, I invite you to watch the Cisco Collaboration Announcement Webcast and join the discussion.

Grace

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