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High Energy This Year at Enterprise Connect

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.

I hope you will make time to see my colleague, OJ Winge, deliver the Cisco keynote on March 27th at 10am Eastern time (7am Pacific). You can also watch it live on nojitter.com.

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Service Providers Continue to See Value of Hosted Unified Communications and Collaboration Services

If there was ever a doubt that our service provider customers did not see the market opportunity to leverage the cloud and deliver enterprise collaboration services to their business customers, that uncertainty continues to decline.

Today, AT&T announced the availability of its Unified Communications Service, a new way for its business subscribers to offer a complete collaboration suite of features to employees in a secure and cost effective way. At the heart of AT&T’s enterprise collaboration solution is Cisco’s own Hosted Collaboration Solution, the foundation that many other providers such as Verizon and Orange have turned to, in helping them offer the best customized collaboration solution to their enterprise customers. Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution gives partners, including service providers and integrators, the ability to deploy multiple collaboration applications on one server in a virtualized environment and then host those applications for multiple client organizations. The solution is designed to be run from partner data centers. Read More »

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How Are Large Enterprises Utilizing Collaboration in the Cloud?

Today, we ‘re featuring a guest post from Brian Blatnik, a senior manager within Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group:

In the month since our CloudVerse announcement the notion of a world of many clouds – public, private, and hybrid – has resonated with our customers, partners, and industry analysts. I’d like to share some perspective on how those types of clouds address different customers in the collaboration cloud services market. Since last month’s announcement highlighted our private cloud model in that market, Hosted Collaboration Solution for Large Enterprises, I’ll focus on that model. As a reminder, the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution gives partners, including service providers and integrators, the ability to deploy multiple collaboration applications on one server in a virtualized environment and then host those applications for multiple client organizations. The solution is designed to be run from partner data centers.

I’m often asked, “Haven’t enterprise voice and other UC services always been delivered from what we now call a private cloud?” It’s true that IP PBXs and other UC servers, like their PBX predecessors, provide services to users from a remote room or facility via a network. But there are two ways in which today’s cloud service delivery differs. First, there is the efficiency of pooling computing, network, and storage resources across multiple locations and services. Second, the services can be delivered in an on-demand fashion with elastic scaling.

The financial and strategic benefits deriving from these two factors are leading many businesses to consider consuming collaboration services in a utility model from Cisco’s partners in the Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS). But the same drivers can result in substantial benefits to businesses that aren’t looking for services from a third party’s public cloud. Read More »

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HCS: Now bringing flexible customer collaboration to an SMB near you

I’m pleased to announce that customer collaboration solutions are becoming available in the cloud with the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution for Contact Center (HCS) in early 2012. These solutions are optimized for companies with 500-1,000 agents, with emphasis on scalability, simplicity, flexibility, and speed.

Scalability allows the technology to be deployed to a wide range of customers. Thus, powerful customer collaboration solutions can scale based on the specific size and makeup of the customer. Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all contact center solutions; now if you’re a small to medium-sized business you can cater to your customers’ needs and concerns with the same tools as a large one, and at vastly accelerated speed.

Midsize businesses often do not have the resources to deal with complex IT systems, which is why simplicity is paramount. With the simplified management of a cloud-based contact center solution, SMB’s IT departments can focus their time on more urgent matters.

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Connect to your colleagues through the cloud, no matter where you are

Most of us cannot imagine our lives without our smartphones. When it comes to business, it’s no secret that most employees consider their smartphone their alternative to access work resources when away from their laptop or desktop. With this in mind, Cisco extends a number of additional services through HCS including one of the more popular collaboration features, enterprise dial, through something we’ve just added to our HCS portfolio called IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) integration.

Through this network integration of fixed to mobile, service providers offering our HCS portfolio can leverage their own infrastructure to differentiate and drive fixed mobile convergence and thus extend enterprise dial to its customers’ end users.

So what does this all mean?

Mobile Service Providers will now be enabled to deliver business call features onto all mobile devices, without being dependent upon the device being ‘smart’ or ‘client enabled’.  These features include, single number reach, seamless call transfer and mid call transfer.

Another valuable benefit from IMS integration is that it facilitates access of multimedia and voice applications from wireless and wireline terminals. For example, this means if you are a smartphone and traditional mobile phone user away on business in China, and someone rings your desk-line, the call will now transcend through the network seamlessly and reach your mobile. Read More »

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