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Know It, Use It, Sell It: One VAR’s Journey with Cisco HCS

January 31, 2012 at 11:33 am PST

Would you buy a car from a dealership where none of the salesmen knew how to drive? Or order prime rib at a restaurant where the chef was a strict vegetarian? What about when it comes to your customer’s network? Are you willing to risk installing products that you don’t have firsthand experience with? I’m guessing the answer is “no.”

When making purchases, big or small, customers want to have confidence that the company they partner with has in-depth knowledge and can stand behind the products they sell. Consider Amy Smith, Director of Collaboration at Nexus IS and a Cisco Gold Certified Partner. She’s committed to live by her company’s marketing motto: “Know it, use it, sell it.”

This was the case when Nexus IS decided to add Cisco’s Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) — an offering that allows partners to provide a wide range of Cisco collaboration applications to their customers as a subscriber-based service—to its portfolio. Their first step was to go the wholesale route and participate in Neutral Tandem’s proof-of-concept trial. This was an easy decision, since Nexus IS always tests new products on its own network before installing them on a customer’s network. It’s all about fully understanding, embracing, and discovering best practices of a product before offering it for sale.

Think HCS would be a great addition to your list of offerings?
Learn about Nexus IS’ trial experience and why the timing is right for the HCS market. Read More »

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Digital Britain: The Relationship Economy

December 15, 2011 at 7:00 pm PST

When does a new business relationship need to move from being a virtual (online) experience to a physical (in-person) experience?  That question was a topic of discussion with a couple of friends, over a beer after a recent TechHub event.  Moreover, I have been pondering this issue since I participated in the pilot of an International Investment Forum.

How much of our business conversations need to be face-to-face? With all the electronic communication options that are at our disposal today, does it really matter?

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Connect to your colleagues through the cloud, no matter where you are

Most of us cannot imagine our lives without our smartphones. When it comes to business, it’s no secret that most employees consider their smartphone their alternative to access work resources when away from their laptop or desktop. With this in mind, Cisco extends a number of additional services through HCS including one of the more popular collaboration features, enterprise dial, through something we’ve just added to our HCS portfolio called IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) integration.

Through this network integration of fixed to mobile, service providers offering our HCS portfolio can leverage their own infrastructure to differentiate and drive fixed mobile convergence and thus extend enterprise dial to its customers’ end users.

So what does this all mean?

Mobile Service Providers will now be enabled to deliver business call features onto all mobile devices, without being dependent upon the device being ‘smart’ or ‘client enabled’.  These features include, single number reach, seamless call transfer and mid call transfer.

Another valuable benefit from IMS integration is that it facilitates access of multimedia and voice applications from wireless and wireline terminals. For example, this means if you are a smartphone and traditional mobile phone user away on business in China, and someone rings your desk-line, the call will now transcend through the network seamlessly and reach your mobile. Read More »

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CloudVerse: How Does Cisco Collaboration in the Cloud Tie In?

Today, Cisco introduced CloudVerse, an end-to-end solution to build, manage and connect clouds. Cisco revealed how it sees the cloud: one in which it enables the world to operate more simply not just from one collective cloud but rather a world of many clouds where the organizations can choose how their cloud solutions are developed whether it’s a highly secure private cloud, a more open public cloud or a hybrid. Within these various cloud environments, IT is delivered as a service and end users can collaborate dynamically and consume content on-demand.

With Cisco’s network based cloud solutions serving as the foundation, Cisco also introduced new enhancements and functionalities to its ever growing Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS). The Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution gives partners, including service providers and integrators, the ability to deploy multiple collaboration applications on one server in a virtualized environment and then host those applications for multiple client organizations. The solution is designed to be run from partner data centers.  Just last week, Fujitsu’s Andy Stevenson, executive director of their hosting and network services group discussed how they’ve combined their experience and expansive network to develop anew hosted offer, the Fujitsu Cloud Connect service.. Fujitsu’s new service helps employees collaborate more efficiently on any device using a uniform suite of Cisco collaboration technology available on demand.

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Collaboration in the Cloud: Here to Stay

This certainly has been a monumental year for Cisco’s Hosted Collaboration Solutions (HCS), as many service providers such as Verizon and Orange Business Services, embraced the cloud and the potential services that can come with it. In the case of  their business customers, these service providers now offer them a slew of unified communications tools (such as video conferencing and mobility solutions ) through the cloud to allow  their employees to communicate and collaborate wherever they are and on whatever device.

Even our partners are seeing the value that collaboration via the cloud can offer its customers; as one of our channel partners, Neutral Tandem, announced yesterday. As an expert in operating and managing IP networks, Neutral Tandem introduced the first cloud-based collaboration service in the United States specifically developed to be resold by Cisco’s Value-Added Reseller (VAR) community and System Integrators (SIs). The service, based on Cisco’s HCS, will enable VARs/SIs to deliver a full suite of unified communications and collaboration applications.

I guess you can say that cloud collaboration is in full swing as it continues to gain traction steadily in the market. Read More »

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