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Cisco Delivers Improved Lync Interoperability

Did you know that Lync is a fully supported client in Cisco Collaboration Meeting Room (Cisco CMR) meetings.

When we say interoperability we mean it. Even when that means supporting proprietary protocols. For instance, to ensure that Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business users can fully experience the power of Cisco conferencing.

IDC released the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Unified Communications and Collaboration 2015 Vendor Assessment last month. In it, Rich Costello notes that Cisco is “perennially the worldwide market share leader in enterprise IP telephony solutions, as well as advanced capabilities such as telepresence, Web conferencing services, and enterprise session border control (SBC).” (Thank you IDC.)

That doesn’t mean we’re the only option. People sometimes need to use third-party endpoints and applications to connect to Cisco meetings. We’ve enabled Lync users to participate in Cisco conferences with high-quality voice and video for years. Now we’ve enhanced that experience by enabling them to also fully share and view content.  Read More »

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Cisco Receives “Best of InfoComm” Awards from rAVe

Last week I wrote about how much we enjoyed talking with everyone who came to see us at Cisco Live as well as InfoComm, a conference with thousands of products from hundreds of exhibitors and more than 39,2015 attendees.  It was great to learn how our video solutions are adding value to your businesses. We’re very honored that rAVe awarded us Best of InfoComm awards in two categories.

Best New Videoconferencing Product: Cisco SX80 Codec

The SX80 codec is a powerful audio and video platform that enables integrators to incorporate high-definition video collaboration applications into large and purpose-built meeting rooms. In addition to its technical capabilities, the SX80 is also a standout on aesthetic merits having received the Red Dot design award last year.

More details about the SX80 here:

Read More »

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World, Meet Thor – a Project to Hammer Out a Royalty Free Video Codec

Video codecs remain an area of active research and development. The current generation video codec is H.264 – in widespread usage on the Internet. Cisco has actively worked towards making H.264 the foundation of real-time communications on the web. The next generation codecs are just beginning to emerge. There are two of note – Google’s proprietary VP9 codec, and the industry standard H.265 (HEVC) codec, which is the successor to H.264 (AVC).

Unfortunately, the patent licensing situation for H.265 has recently taken a turn for the worse. Two distinct patent licensing pools have formed so far, and many license holders are not represented in either. There is just one license pool for H.264. The total costs to license H.265 from these two pools is up to sixteen times more expensive than H.264, per unit. H.264 had an upper bound on yearly licensing costs, whereas H.265 has no such upper limit.

These licensing terms preclude usage of H.265 in any kind of open source or freely distributed software application, such as web browsers. They also preclude its usage in freemium products – like WebEx or Cisco Spark – which have versions that users can use for free. Thus, while H.265 is still a good fit for hardware products like our telepresence room systems, it is not something that can serve as a universal video codec across hardware and software. Thus, we believe the industry needs a high quality, next-generation codec that can be used everywhere. Read More »

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What Happens When You Put Cisco Spark on a Bus?

What happens when more than 100 entrepreneurs embark on a 72-hour bus journey to concept, design and pitch the next big tech thing?

With the right flow, pretty much anything they can imagine.

StartupBus is one of the most unusual startup competitions around. In a nutshell, the competition invites the best “Hackers” (programmers and coders), “Hustlers” (business and marketing minds) and “Hipsters” (designers and other creatives) to board a bus and form teams to conceptualize and design a tech-focused prototype or app with all of their hard work culminating in epic pitches to StartupBus judges and investors.

And they only have 72 hours to do it.

Earlier this summer, five buses in North America were a flurry of activity as “Buspreneurs” neglected sleep, overcame motion sickness, and tapped into strong competitive spirits to embrace the intense collaborative energy needed to perfect their pitches. The buses, originating from five regions (Mexico, Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and West Coast) headed to Nashville for Accelerate, the ultimate “unconference” where the Buspreneurs would make their pitches.

Read More »

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The Best Service Humanly Possible

Sitting in traffic the other day, I tuned off my Peter Frampton Spotify channel and started to listen to New York area local AM radio. The president of a mortgage business came on in an advertisement. He ended his pitch with the tag line “I promise you the best service humanly possible”.

This caught my attention. At one time I would have viewed this as a very positive statement. But is this still the case?

Consumers consistently cite the “indifference of one person” as a key reason they leave a supplier relationship. (Source: TARP).

The contact center industry has long counted on non-human software applications to attempt to emulate human interaction. This could be as simple as “if-then” routing schemes to sophisticated avatars which emulate human engagement (just “Ask Jenn” at Alaska Airlines – Read More »

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