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50 million Cisco IP phones, and Jabber Instant Messaging (IM) for everyone

In this post PC era, Cisco is taking another important step in advancing the collaborative workspace and making collaboration even more pervasive for customers around the world – regardless of device, application or operating system. Today we’re announcing that we are making presence and instant messaging (IM) capabilities and Cisco Jabber clients available to our Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) customers globally at no additional cost. Cisco believes that together presence, IM, voice and video call control provide the foundation for real-time communications.

For customers, with this development, Cisco is now providing a way to simply and cost effectively make presence and IM available to all users across a plethora of devices — including Windows, Mac, iPad, Cisco Cius, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android (later in 2012) — while also ensuring they’re deploying a unified communications client  that is BYOD-ready.  And let me emphasize, this isn’t just for those customers who happen to have a Cisco IP phone.  It’s for every employee in an organization.

For partners, this helps simplify and accelerate the deployment of presence, IM and mobile collaboration as part of a holistic, best-in-class, collaboration solution. Hence, presence and IM can easily become ubiquitous in the enterprise!

We feel presence and IM are the starting points of collaboration, not the final destination.

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Ivy League Colleges Reinvent Lectures

April 16, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

Classes just got a little more interesting at Harvard Law School, Columbia University and Sciences Po, an elite university in Paris.

A 65-student class dedicated to making students think critically about reimagining society, “Progressive Alternatives:  Institutional Reconstruction Today,” is using telepresence to create a discussion that transcends three campuses located in different parts of the world.

According to an article in The Harvard Crimson, the class is taught by Harvard Law School professor Roberto M. Unger and includes commentary from Columbia University professor Jeffrey D. Sachs and Laurence Tubiana, a professor from Sciences Po.

With its telepresence system, the instructors and class are able to interact in realtime. The first hour of the class is a lecture and comment from each professor and the remaining one hour allows times for questions and a lively discussion. Read More »

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Bring Your Own SaaS to Work (BYOS)

The popular trend to “bring your own device” (BYOD) to work is not surprising to those who are informed about the recent past. This phenomenon was preceded by savvy employees that would introduce useful consumer-grade software applications to the enterprise – without the approval of gatekeepers within the corporate IT organization.

The early adoption of online instant messaging, wiki and blog platforms are noteworthy examples of where many corporate IT departments have been slow to embrace online collaboration applications. Moreover, when the approved enterprise-grade vendor has been chosen and the “solution” is deployed, sometimes it’s inferior to the consumer-grade offering.

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Do Tablets Signal Extinction for Desk Phones?

April 12, 2012 at 10:47 am PST

I read an interesting post on No Jitter yesterday that poses the question, “The End of the Desk Phone?” The author suggests that the era of the desk phone is coming to a close. The gist is that tablets are essentially going to take over the known universe and send desk phones the way of the Studebaker.

Like a lot of people, the author is particularly fond of Apple iPads and positions them as the ideal phone eliminator. Once upon a time a lot of people said the same thing about microwave ovens vs. regular stoves. Didn’t happen. Sure, I can make popcorn with a lot less fuss and muss, but convenient though it may be, it’s not the tool for baking a chicken – or better yet, chocolate chip cookies. Read More »

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The New Virtual Workspace lands in Singapore!

I just returned from presenting at the Cisco Asia Pac 2012 Collaboration Summit in Singapore and I must say the Merlion was an excellent host.   Not only was Singapore beautiful and their people welcoming but the event itself was incredible.  I had the opportunity to share our Next Generation Virtual Workspace strategy to over 110 customers and analysts from across the Asia Pacific region.

Presenting the New Virtual Workspace Solution

In Singapore, I shared the newest addition to the Virtualized Collaboration Endpoint portfolio: Cisco’s Virtualization Experience Client (VXC) 6215, that brings voice and video to virtual desktops through one thin client solution.   Rich media has been a challenge in virtual desktop environments, and Cisco’s new Virtual Workspace solution has the “secret sauce” to finally make this work.

In the past, voice (and particularly video) worked in virtual desktops in a “good enough” manner. However, this isn’t good enough for wide scale enterprise deployments.  Leveraging years of experience and expertise in Unified Communications and Data Center, Cisco uses the Cisco Unified Communications architecture to separate the virtual desktop traffic from rich media in a way that provides a greater user experience at the virtual desktop.   High quality voice and video are now possible with our VXC endpoints and UC Infrastructure working in conjunction with our technology partners Citrix and VMware.

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