We’ve had an exciting year across the Collaboration portfolio, particularly as it relates to our endpoint products. Just one proof point: We shipped our 1 millionth 7800 Series IP phone last month, less than one year since its launch. A million units is not just a major milestone, but it’s the fastest ramp-up we have ever experienced for a new IP phone. And we’ve been shipping IP phones for more than 15 years.
But what’s even more exciting to me is how our technology is helping people. As adoption of voice and video collaboration technology continues, we’re evolving our portfolio to provide the flexibility and choice they need. Read More »
In the same year Cisco was founded, Kate Bush recorded the hypnotic Cloudbusting,one of her most iconic songs and music videos. Conceived by Terry Gilliam and featuring Donald Sutherland, there is a strikingly poignant moment in the video where Bush’s character is ‘cloudbusting’ with her father and she first realizes that adults are fallible.
Particular songs often come to mind when I’m thinking about certain words. It’s usually a 1:1 relationship of song to word, but the mental jukebox for champions seems to vary between Queen’s “We Are the Champions” and “Gonna Fly Now,” also known as the theme from “Rocky.”
Voice and video communications over IP have become ubiquitous over the last decade, pervasive across desktop apps, mobile apps, IP phones, video conferencing endpoints, and more. One big barrier remains: users can’t collaborate directly from their web browser without downloading cumbersome plugins for different applications. WebRTC – a set of extensions to HTML5 – can change that and enable collaboration from any browser. However, one of the major stumbling blocks in adoption of this technology is a common codec for real-time video.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) have been working jointly to standardize on the right video codec for WebRTC. Cisco and many others have been strong proponents of the H.264 industry standard codec. In support of this, almost a year ago Cisco announced that we would be open sourcing our H.264 codec and providing the source code, as well as a binary module that can be downloaded for free from the Internet. Perhaps most importantly, we announced that we would not pass on our MPEG-LA licensing costs for this binary module, making it effectively free for applications to download the module and communicate with the millions of other H.264 devices. At that time, Mozilla announced its plans to add H.264 support to Firefox using OpenH264.
Since then, we’ve made enormous progress in delivering on that promise. We open sourced the code, set up a community and website to maintain it, delivered improvements and fixes, published the binary module, and have made it available to all. This code has attracted a community of developers that helped improve Read More »
Cisco’s Collaboration team thinks a lot about the future—not just about how we’ll get around and get our drinks, but about how we’ll connect and collaborate. We’re passionate about the future of collaboration, about giving the world collaboration tools that are every bit as smart as those self-driving cars and whiskey-pouring robots.
Where we’re at: today’s challenges
Before we talk more about the future, let’s talk about where the industry is right now. Over the years, various vendors have given us audio conferencing, web conferencing, and video conferencing. Each of these technologies were introduced at different times, and have matured at different paces—with audio being the tried-and-true veteran, video conferencing the relative newcomer and web being the thing that came somewhere in-between.