Our recently announced Cisco Collaboration Cloud did not stop moving once we launched it on November 17. We’ve been pushing code into the cloud multiple times per day and have release several client updates since we launched. The great thing about this model is that we can be delivering new features constantly without waiting for a giant release. This also means that, when a feature doesn’t get done by a particular date, it’s not the end of the world. It doesn’t need to wait for a huge release 6-12 months later. It might come just a few weeks later.
This is exactly what has happened with an important security feature which we didn’t quite finish in time for Collaboration Summit – secure media (also known as Secure RTP or SRTP). The version of the application that we launched on November 17 did not utilize secure media in all clients. Given our focus on security this was obviously something we weren’t happy about. But, we knew that it was almost done and we would push it soon enough.
I’m pleased to report that we have indeed pushed secure media. All of our Project Squared clients – the Mac, Android, IOS and web clients send all media in encrypted form to our media servers. The media is secured using a flavor of SRTP known as DTLS-SRTP, which performs the key exchange inline with the media itself. SRTP is on by default and cannot be disabled. This is consistent with our general approach to security – to make it always there but invisible to end users. Neither our users nor our admins of the collaboration cloud need to do anything to make sure media is secure. It just is.
Of course – we’re not done yet! There is still a healthy backlog of features, including many more great security improvements, that we’re working on. Stay tuned, more stuff is coming. That’s because the cloud is software in motion.
Each week, we’ll highlight the most important Cisco Partner Ecosystem news and stories, as well as point you to important, Cisco-related partner content you may have missed along the way. Here’s what you might have missed this week:
Off the Top
This week saw the 10th annual Collaboration Summit kickoff and Richard McLeod was on hand as part of the Cisco team to participate in the event. Richard emceed the Partner Awards Ceremony on Sunday night where we honored 27 award winners in 11 different categories. Read Richard’s full recap of the awards ceremony.
Learn how TekLinks preserved the data for the Peoples Bank of Cullman, AL when a series of tornadoes ripped away part of its data center. You’ll also get TekLink’s thoughts on ransomware. Give it a look and let us know what you think! Read More »
Yesterday on stage at Cisco Collaboration Summit, I demonstrated an industry first – the first non-transcoded video call between a webRTC application and an existing video endpoint.
Why is this significant? WebRTC is an exciting new technology, enabling real-time voice and video calling natively in the browser. Up until now WebRTC-enabled applications have not been able to connect to existing video collaboration gear that companies may own, from room systems to desktop video endpoints.
Today, Cisco has broken the barriers that previously prevented browser-based collaboration from connecting with existing video hardware. Companies that have invested in video collaboration can now extend that collaboration to the browser, enabling their users to collaborate from anywhere, at any time.
Yesterday, Andreas Gal, the CTO of Mozilla, joined me on stage. He called a simple SIP URI on a Cisco video endpoint, which instantly rang my Project Squared client running in Firefox. By leveraging WebRTC and Cisco’s OpenH264 binary module integrated into Firefox, we had a great voice and video call, without plugins, complex and cumbersome browser downloads, or expensive transcoding gear in the cloud. Check out a demo of what we did onstage here:
Today at Collaboration Summit, we announced a bunch of really exciting stuff: the IX5000, the Project Squared client, and the Cisco Collaboration Cloud. This third announcement is a big one for me personally. Since my arrival at Cisco, I have invested a lot of my time and energy working on the Cisco Collaboration Cloud.
So, what exactly is it? Simply put, Cisco Collaboration Cloud is the server-side software that powers the Project Squared client. But, it’s also a whole lot more than that. We see the market going through a substantial transition around cloud and mobile. We knew this required us to place a big bet on the technology platform that would help us leapfrog through this market change. Cisco Collaboration Cloud, or C3 for short, is one of those big bets.
The first thing we needed was a software platform in the cloud that would deliver a fantastic user experience. More important, we needed to build a platform from which we could continuously evolve and improve the user experience. The reality is that it’s incredibly hard to just sit in a room, think about how the product should look, ship it to customers, and be completely right – on the first try. Unless you are Steve Jobs, you need to iterate based on feedback.
The best client experiences in the market today are powered by cloud platforms that iterate incredibly quickly, with new software pushes in the cloud on a daily basis. Doing that is hard. It requires software that is capable of hitless upgrades (meaning, no downtime when doing an upgrade). And it requires tons of automation for everything from testing to deployment.
So, we built all of that. Iteration is a key tenet of the Cisco Collaboration Cloud. But frankly, iteration is almost table-stakes in modern cloud software design.
It’s not that I don’t like my laptop. It’s just that I really love using my mobile device — for everything. My mobile is incredibly convenient, small, and functional. Let’s face it: we’re lucky to be in the era of the smartphone when one device can do almost everything. And best of all, I actually can run my business with just this device.
Two years ago, when I started at Cisco, it was not possible for me to run my business with a smartphone. Something was missing. I used email and SMS and voice/video on my phone, but it wasn’t quite enough. I realized that I needed one place to stay connected to the work we were doing and to stay connected to the people I needed to work with. And do it both in real-time, and non real-time.
That need is pretty obvious to other people too, as it now seems every week there is a new messaging app targeting mobile workers like me. What all of these apps are missing is a way to connect real-time collaboration with non real-time conversations. Most of these apps treat this problem as an afterthought, but we didn’t. So while everyone is running in one direction, we’re going a different way. A better way.
Today, I’m excited to tell you that Cisco has developed that very tool and we launched it today: Project Squared built on our new Cisco Collaboration Cloud.
Project Squared is our brand-new enterprise business collaboration application. Read More »