At Cisco, there are two factors that drive strategic decision making – technology transitions that promise to re-shape industries, and feedback from our customers.
Those factors lead us into new markets, to make acquisitions, and to invest in creating new technologies. The positive disruption represented by the cloud computing transition was what led us to introduce a Cisco hosted email product in November 2009. Customers told us they were interested in divesting responsibility for managing email on-premise in much the same way as they outsourced conferencing to Cisco via our SaaS WebEx Conferencing service.
In the thirteen months since, we’ve been market testing Cisco Mail via a controlled release. The product has been well received, but we’ve since learned that customers have come to view their email as a mature and commoditized tool versus a long-term differentiated element of their collaboration strategy. We’ve also heard that customers are eager to embrace emerging collaboration tools such as social software and video.
That was the key factor in the decision, which we shared with customers today, to discontinue investment in Cisco Mail. As you would expect, we will assist our current trial customers with their transition to other email alternatives and support them for the length of their contract. Cisco will also continue to integrate to other email systems to protect our customers’ legacy communications investments.
The talented Cisco employees who built and supported the Cisco Mail product will be reassigned to other collaboration products and services that customers view as more strategic.
It should go without saying that Cisco remains very committed to the collaboration technology market opportunity overall. We will continue to listen to our customers and we will take appropriate risks to ensure that our collaboration architecture continues to position Cisco to lead in this $38 billion market.