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Key Components of the Cisco Collaboration Core Infrastructure

So, you’ve decided to introduce a collaboration solution to your organization. You’ve thought about the benefits you want it deliver: flexibility, expandability, and interoperability. And you want the user experience to be easy enough for everyone to use — not just the engineers or executives.

Great. You are on the right path. But what next? Now it’s time to become familiar with the components that make it all work.

Cisco has created a collaboration core infrastructure that provides the intelligence behind the experience. It powers the industry’s leading collaboration portfolio, which includes flexible cloud services and endpoints to fit any need or budget.

The Cisco Collaboration core infrastructure has four key components:

  • Call control and session management
  • Conferencing
  • Collaboration gateways
  • Unified management

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#DigitalTransformation Fueling the Need for Workforce Transformation

Digital disruption is transforming virtually every role in every industry. Every day I see how the proliferation of online, mobile, and social interactions has created the need for completely new marketing strategies—and completely new skillsets for marketing professionals. We can see this same disruption across industries, as the Internet of Everything (IoE) creates fundamental transformation through the networked connection of people, process, data, and things.

For example, we recently published a new report that shows a global oil and gas (O&G) industry awash with disruption, and primed for digital transformation. Low oil prices have upended the sector, spurring an urgent rethinking of strategy by oil and gas executives—and accelerating the adoption of IoE.

This disruption is one of many factors impacting the oil and gas workforce today—from field workers all the way to the executive suite. Not only will new skills be required in an industry transformed by IoE, but new digital processes will also be needed to transfer knowledge, collaborate to solve problems in real time, and capture insights from a torrent of digital data.

To become agile enough to compete in the IoE Era, the oil and gas workforce must possess a mix of technical skills, industry knowledge, and business acumen. With talent shortages due to massive numbers of professionals retiring over the next few years—and a lack of necessary digital skills among those who remain— O&G firms need to make bold moves to transform their workforce strategy.

  1. Extend the reach of existing expertise –Video-based collaboration can help bridge the expected talent gap by making the most of professional expertise that is spread too thin, as well as providing ongoing training throughout the organization. Video and web collaboration can effectively bring remote experts to any location, without the need for travel. For example, Saipem, an Italian oilfield services company, has employed high-definition video conferencing to cut travel costs, boost productivity, and provide subject-matter expertise throughout the company and with partners.

Real-time collaboration tools are increasingly important for far-flung oil and gas organizations.

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Making Teamwork Simpler

I thought I’d spend a few moments to share a little about what we’re working on in the Cloud Collaboration Technology Group at Cisco. Simplifying collaboration has been top of mind. But it’s been evident that we needed to think about it differently this time.

There is a new type of worker that has emerged that requires collaboration at any place and at any time. They stay constantly in touch with their colleagues and rapidly create and share new ideas, concepts and documents. They fuel shorter project cycles and juggle more projects at one time.  They are not bound by hierarchies that say who they can and should work with: they simply find the right people the need to work with to get their jobs done, and get to it.  They are agile, work in small teams and they are moving fast.  Does this sound familiar to you?

So when we think about what’s next, we believe there is a tremendous opportunity to create a new class of collaboration tool that is specifically targeted to these types of workers, and here’s what we think is needed: Read More »

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Rewarding Partner Summit 2015 Delivers New Collaboration Offers and More

Every year an incredible amount of preparation goes into my presentation and one-on-ones for Partner Summit. We had 11 or so Spark rooms of various teams coming together to make decisions about demos, graphic design, scripting, statistics, offers, and so on. Lots of hard work (made easier with Spark), but all that effort culminates in a few days that are both rewarding and inspiring. First, we got to hang out with more than 2200 of you in the lovely city of Montreal (while 6000 others tuned in virtually) and hear some great talks from our top leaders.

The second reward I got from all the weeks leading up to Summit where my team was heads down doing research and crunching numbers was gaining a buttoned-up set of facts that support the message I wanted you to walk away with – that disruption creates an opportunity to thrive. The partner trends we uncovered are compelling.

I want to make sure you have those facts and figures at your fingertips. We’ve created a Cisco Worldwide Partner Summit 2015 Collaboration Offers and Announcements page where you can find all the details on our new partner announcements and offers as well as the presentations. I think you’ll find the offers very rewarding, and if you didn’t get a chance to hear Rowan announce them on main stage and in the breakout session, you can find the recordings on the Cisco Virtual Partner Summit site.

Let’s also do a quick recap here of the three big areas you can focus on to seize that window of opportunity we talked about: Read More »

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Tropo

Cisco has been on a mission to make collaboration super-simple. From our video devices that require no user’s manual, to our cameras that sense and automatically adjust when the speaker suddenly stands and walks to the white board, we’re paying attention to the details; we’re making collaborating less frustrating and providing a better user experience—so we can all get great work done.

With our laser focus on simplicity, it should come as no surprise that we’ve given lots of thought to real-time embedded communications. Given the market transitions of mobility, cloud, and the Internet of Everything, companies are seeking simpler and faster ways to communicate—both internally and externally—from any device in real-time through the cloud. The need for next-generation communications and collaboration platforms with modern, easy-to-use APIs is more important than ever. To address this growing need, Cisco is pleased to announce its intent to acquire Tropo, a privately held company providing a cloud API platform that makes it simple for customers and developers to embed real-time communications within their applications.

Helping people connect, engage and innovate on any device, Cisco and Tropo will provide a collaboration platform-as-a-service, which allows our customers and developers to create and sell new communications services with minimal development effort.

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