As we kick off this year’s Enterprise Connect conference, one subject I am discussing a lot with customers is interoperability. This topic is always evolving, but our customers’ need for interoperability has remained the same. So what are the customers telling us about their interoperability requirements and concerns within unified communications and collaboration, and what is Cisco’s approach to addressing those?
What customers want:
At its heart, interoperability is about enabling the free flow of communication across boundaries – whether those boundaries are geographical, across firewalls between businesses and their ecosystems or customers. Customers want to be able to share information quickly and easily across different systems from multiple vendors.
Customers also stress the need for protecting their investments in existing systems and extending their capabilities to new types of work scenarios. These systems include infrastructure (such as Active Directory or Exchange or Notes), voice and video systems (such as Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager and TelePresence and competitive products from other vendors), and desktop or enterprise productivity applications (such as Microsoft Office, IBM Lotus, SAP, Salesforce.com and others). They must work within heterogeneous environments and accommodate new solutions as they come to market.
But that two systems work together is not enough. They must come together as seamlessly as possible to ensure an uncompromised user experience
Finally, this all needs to happen across platforms and devices, particularly as we move toward a post-PC era of many different devices -- from smartphones and tablets in the field to desktop computers and immersive room-based systems. These devices need to be blended into customers’ existing collaboration environments while providing a consistent and compelling user experience.
Sometimes as B2B technology marketers, we experience a little tunnel vision when it comes to our target audience. There’s a tendency to think that there is a hard line dividing business buyers from consumers; that the marketing methods we must use to reach our intended audience are so unique that they are unrelated to consumer marketing techniques and that practices from consumer-oriented marketing can’t possibly be applied to B2B buyers. As it turns out, IT decision makers have a lot in common with personal technology buyers when it comes to online behavior, media consumption and brand reception.
Consider these similarities noted from a recent TechTarget report and their implications for marketing:
The show is taking place March 26-29th at The Gaylord Palms in Orlando, FL.
If you’re attending Enterprise Connect, visit the Cisco booth #1001 where you can see firsthand all of the exciting new solutions being announced by the Cisco TelePresence, Collaboration and Enterprise Video teams.
In addition to our booth activities, Cisco is participating in a number of speaking sessions and our very own OJ Winge, SVP and General Manager, Collaboration Endpoints, will deliver the keynote on Tuesday, March 27th at 10 am EDT. Follow these links for the full list of Cisco booth activities and speaking sessions. To sign up for mobile alerts on Cisco activities during the show, simply text “CISCO” to 66937.
It’s that time of year again. Spring in Orlando where the industry will gather for Enterprise Connect, and the Cisco team will be there in full force.
So get ready for a whole new set of statistics demonstrating the health of our industry and the pace of change in the post-PC era. For example:
Between 2011 and 2016, mobile data traffic is expected to increase 1800%
Video traffic is expected to make up 70% of that mobile data in 2016 and more than 90% of network traffic
Cloud services, which are being accelerated by the adoption of tablets and smartphones, will drive a second wave of IT consumerization. Software as a service, which is already disrupting more than 25% of the enterprise application space, will go on to change the way we collaborate globally
(Sources: Cisco Visual Networking Index Feb 2012, “Which Software Markets Will SaaS Disrupt?” Forrester Research, January 2011)
At Enterprise Connect, we at Cisco want to hear how these changes are affecting your businesses today – and how you are planning for tomorrow. Video, cloud collaboration services, mobility, and customer collaboration are some of the themes we look forward to discussing.
The Connected Life Exchange (CLE) Blog is not just another Cisco blog that talks about the company’s products and services. It’s a collection of stories, including a new documentary series, “The Network Effect,” that illustrates how service provider innovation of the “largest and most reliable machine on the planet”—the telecom network—drives economic development and improves quality of life, especially in developing regions.
A little more than a year old, this blog has one of the best visitor retention rates of all Cisco corporate blogs (as measured by ‘bounce rate,’ and ‘time on site’). On March 20th, BtoB Magazine recognized the Connected Life Exchange at the Social Media Marketing Awards, remarking:
“The whole package is refreshingly non-promotional and often fascinating. Cisco continues to innovate in the suddenly red-hot field of content marketing with an approach to thought leadership that emphasizes actual thinking.”
Watch this video highlighting The Network Effect to get a little taste of what this award-winning blog is all about: