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Making interoperability work in unified communications and collaboration

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.

This is what customers want.

What the industry needs to do:

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Enterprise Connect 2012 Here We Come

March 25, 2012 at 11:46 am PST

We’re on the move again and this time we’re headed to Enterprise Connect 2012!

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.

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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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Collaboration Maestro...Bravo! Here We Come

CIOs around the world are at the center of technology trends such as cloud, social media, consumerization of IT, and mobility. This is the third blog in a four-part series (Read Part I) (Read Part II) exploring and sharing how CIOs around the world are responding to these trends and creating new ways to innovate, grow, and deliver superior customer experience.

Back in 2006, Gartner Research predicted that no company would be able to build or sustain a competitive advantage over the next few years unless it capitalized on the combined power of individualized workers and social dynamics. The “Future Worker of 2015,” Gartner said, would collaborate more, work alone less in order to be successful. Read More »

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Three Drivers of Collaboration

March 21, 2012 at 9:46 am PST

In my last blog, I asked the question “Is Collaboration Worth It? Every day, customers tell us collaboration is critical to their ability to compete—something top of mind right now. Why does collaboration matter? From our research and interviews with business leaders, we attribute the growing importance of collaboration to three fundamental trends:

  1. Competition comes from anywhere and everywhere. The barriers to entry are lower than ever, and you cannot predict who will enter your market next. It might be a startup in India, China, Africa or Eastern Europe—or competition from another industry. How do you stay ahead when you don’t know which organizations you’ll compete with next month or next year? Read More »

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