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Cisco’s Collaboration Imperative: The Next Market Adjacency

In a recent Q&A our Chairman and CEO John Chambers reflected on Cisco’s future growth, sharing a “Back to the Future” moment with the financial and industry analyst community:

“We believe that we are very well positioned in the industry from a vision, differentiated strategy, and execution perspective. We believe we are entering the next phase of the Internet as growth and productivity will center on collaboration enabled by networked Web 2.0 technologies. We are going to attempt to execute a strategy over the next decade that is similar to what we did in the early 90s and as we’ve said before, it powered our growth for the next decade.”

During the first wave the Internet, Cisco capitalized on an Internet Business Solutions model powered by our own networking technologies. This second wave, a new business and operating model powered by our collaborative technologies, is driving our next growth push, allowing us to enter a range of new market adjacencies. Our movement into the emerging collaboration technology market comes with the same focus and conviction as our 10-year push into Unified Communications market, where we went from niche entrant building gateways to save transport costs to the market leader in a diversified and highly competitive marketplace. Thus it might be worthwhile to review some key milestones in the critical technology segments that underpin communications and collaboration.As part of our leadership position in Unified Communications, we are the first technology company in history to achieve 30% share in the Enterprise Voice market, with over 100,000 customers worldwide, including 85% using our solution through their PCs, mobile devices as well as the 23M+ IP Phones that we have shipped. Key leadership milestones Cisco has hit in the Collaboration journey include: • #1 position in Overall PBX Line Shipments (source: Dell’Oro)• #1 in Web Conferencing (source: Intellicom Analytics)• #1 in Audio Conferencing (source: Intellicom Analytics)• #2 in IP Contact Center (source: Gartner)• #2 in Unified Messaging (source: Intellicom Analytics)Cisco’s position in collaboration is not limited to premise-based offerings. The WebEx component of our collaboration solution is one of the largest software-as-service (SaaS) offerings in the world. As of May 2009, we have over 3 million registered users, over 90% of the Fortune 500 using WebEx on a daily basis. Other key milestones include: * Over 10 million participants in WebEx meetings every month * Over 200,000 WebEx meetings on an average day * Participants from over 150 countries * Over 100,000 downloads of the WebEx Meeting Center iPhone application has been downloaded in 62 countriesOver time, we see people using services from both the cloud and premise in a seamless and powerful experience.Finally, one of the newest leadership categories for business collaboration market is our push into Telepresence, which revolutionized how video is used in the Enterprise: with over 350 customers and over 2000 systems sold, Cisco is the clear innovation leader. Some of our first-to-market achievements include: • First switched multipoint, • Intercompany calling, • Vertical applications such as HealthPresence, • Recording solution, and • Public suites.These technology achievements also have witnessed distinct market strength in finance, retail, service provider, CPG, government and other sectors.Video is what changes everything. As the market leader in Telepresence, we have revolutionized the marketplace through the Cisco TelePresence Exchanges that allow companies to collaborate across company boundaries. These inter-company capabilities are offered today by several global, market leading carrier partners of Cisco, including ATT and BT. Other partners such as Tata have democratized the use of Cisco TelePresence through the deployment of public suites. In addition, unlike other players in the market, our Telepresence offering was built on top of our UC platform, allowing for seamless integration into our Collaboration portfolio — and like all of collaboration offerings in this area, a range of opportunities for customization and interoperability that spawned a large partner ecosystem on the path to providing customer solutions.In evaluating a company’s ability to penetrate an emerging market, it is important to understand its existing beachheads. Or as Lord Kelvin noted: “mathematics is the only good metaphysics.”

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3 Comments.


  1. It makes me think that when it comes to the big change be it internet enabled services or collaborative innovation, the biggies like Cisco has a role to play, not doing so can delay the benefits to general public. Glad that Cisco is on board.http://collaboratetoinnovate.blogspot.com/

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  2. Great article Alan. It’s pleasing to follow the success of CISCO.

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  3. Mary Gorges

    Great post Alan …really useful –and great — stats on TP and WebEx

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