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Cisco Products Receive Highest Scores in 3 of 4 Gartner Critical Capabilities for Unified Communications

The evaluation is complete. And we think Cisco Unified Communications scored well. Very well, in fact. Just released, the 2015 Gartner Critical Capabilities for Unified Communications is a product-centric overview of UC vendors.

The report digs deeper into the vendors represented in the 2015 Magic Quadrant for UC. In Gartner’s words, it’s “intended to help organizations define their requirements and select specific products that match their needs as aligned with one of the use cases.”

In the report, Gartner evaluates the effectiveness of vendors in addressing user needs in four primary use cases. Cisco received the highest product score in three out of the four:

  • Full UCC with Strong Telephony Requirement
  • Full UCC with Strong CollaborationRequirement
  • Ability to Offer Hybrid Solutions

Not to worry, Cisco UC scored third highest in “Ability to Work with Complementary Vendors.”

gartner telephony image 8_2015 Read More »

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Cisco Named as a Leader in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications 2015

Cisco Unified Communications Delivers a Full Experience

As I read the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications by Bern Elliot and Steve Blood, August 10, 2015, one word stood out: full.

full:  adjective – not lacking or omitting anything; complete

It’s a word that Gartner mentions when describing leaders.

“Leaders have a full UC offering and strong market presence, and demonstrate success in the field. They have a strong presence in related markets to expand their footprint in UC. These vendors and their channel partners have experience delivering UC to a broad range of enterprise types and into most geographic regions.”

We believe our position as a leader for unified communications in this year’s report reflects that fullness. This is especially evident in our position as furthest to the right for “Completeness of Vision.”

cisco UC MQ blog - thomas mccafferty 8_2015 Read More »

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Cisco Delivers Improved Lync Interoperability

Did you know that Lync is a fully supported client in Cisco Collaboration Meeting Room (Cisco CMR) meetings.

When we say interoperability we mean it. Even when that means supporting proprietary protocols. For instance, to ensure that Microsoft Lync and Skype for Business users can fully experience the power of Cisco conferencing.

IDC released the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Unified Communications and Collaboration 2015 Vendor Assessment last month. In it, Rich Costello notes that Cisco is “perennially the worldwide market share leader in enterprise IP telephony solutions, as well as advanced capabilities such as telepresence, Web conferencing services, and enterprise session border control (SBC).” (Thank you IDC.)

That doesn’t mean we’re the only option. People sometimes need to use third-party endpoints and applications to connect to Cisco meetings. We’ve enabled Lync users to participate in Cisco conferences with high-quality voice and video for years. Now we’ve enhanced that experience by enabling them to also fully share and view content.  Read More »

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Cisco Receives “Best of InfoComm” Awards from rAVe

Last week I wrote about how much we enjoyed talking with everyone who came to see us at Cisco Live as well as InfoComm, a conference with thousands of products from hundreds of exhibitors and more than 39,2015 attendees.  It was great to learn how our video solutions are adding value to your businesses. We’re very honored that rAVe awarded us Best of InfoComm awards in two categories.

Best New Videoconferencing Product: Cisco SX80 Codec

The SX80 codec is a powerful audio and video platform that enables integrators to incorporate high-definition video collaboration applications into large and purpose-built meeting rooms. In addition to its technical capabilities, the SX80 is also a standout on aesthetic merits having received the Red Dot design award last year.

More details about the SX80 here:

Read More »

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World, Meet Thor – a Project to Hammer Out a Royalty Free Video Codec

Video codecs remain an area of active research and development. The current generation video codec is H.264 – in widespread usage on the Internet. Cisco has actively worked towards making H.264 the foundation of real-time communications on the web. The next generation codecs are just beginning to emerge. There are two of note – Google’s proprietary VP9 codec, and the industry standard H.265 (HEVC) codec, which is the successor to H.264 (AVC).

Unfortunately, the patent licensing situation for H.265 has recently taken a turn for the worse. Two distinct patent licensing pools have formed so far, and many license holders are not represented in either. There is just one license pool for H.264. The total costs to license H.265 from these two pools is up to sixteen times more expensive than H.264, per unit. H.264 had an upper bound on yearly licensing costs, whereas H.265 has no such upper limit.

These licensing terms preclude usage of H.265 in any kind of open source or freely distributed software application, such as web browsers. They also preclude its usage in freemium products – like WebEx or Cisco Spark – which have versions that users can use for free. Thus, while H.265 is still a good fit for hardware products like our telepresence room systems, it is not something that can serve as a universal video codec across hardware and software. Thus, we believe the industry needs a high quality, next-generation codec that can be used everywhere. Read More »

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