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After Two Years in the Cloud, New Paradigms Prevail

Co-written by Bryan Mobley, Director, IBSG Service Provider

The business world’s rise to the cloud has been dramatic and increasingly rapid. From an initial attitude of vague interest mixed with trepidation, organizations have begun to embrace the transition in a big way. Some are already realizing the expansive benefits in costs, efficiency, and innovation that come with this game-changing technology.

To keep with the pulse of cloud migration, Cisco initiated a series of roundtable discussions two years ago. The philosophy of each meeting was to bring together 10 to 20 decision makers from a variety of enterprises, midsized businesses, and government agencies. So far, we’ve held 15 of these discussions across North America. In addition to providing a unique opportunity to share our thought leadership, these sessions provide an ideal forum for hearing our customers’ thoughts on cloud: the benefits, the inhibitors, and even a few war stories. In the end, however, it is the advantages of cloud that spark the most contagious conversations.

Here are some of the key trends that have emerged from two years of discussions:

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Cisco Unified Conferencing Milestones

Cisco’s overarching objective is to create a unified user experience across our entire collaboration portfolio from IM to web conferencing to immersive TelePresence.  We want to deliver the highest quality and most consistent experience to all users.

Cisco’s portfolio of collaboration infrastructure includes call control, conferencing, enterprise edge and management; and we are consistently delivering advancements across all of these key areas.

Today I’d like to talk specifically about Cisco Unified Conferencing, a big step towards delivering a unified collaboration architecture.   Unified Conferencing brings together transcoding, switching and web-enabled conferencing under the orchestration of Cisco TelePresence Conductor.

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Unified Call Control: CUCM + VCS

Changes in the way we work are creating new challenges in business communications and collaboration. With the growing trend of a more dispersed workforce, organizations are looking to video technologies such as telepresence as the new standard for effective collaboration. To be productive, employees need to have access to the same communication services on any type of device, but organizations are finding it is not easy to deploy video for mobile workers.

Cisco’s call control solution brings together Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Cisco UCM) and Cisco Video Communications Server (Cisco VCS) to offer the same suite of feature-rich communication services regardless of device and location. With Cisco UCM and Cisco VCS, customers can easily collaborate using different devices, from anywhere, and with users within and outside of their organization.  The unified communications experience accelerates productivity across the mix of mobile and office and home-based workers.

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Cisco TelePresence MCU 5300 Series – new

We recognize it is critical that organizations with smaller video deployments or those starting small with plans to grow have access to video collaboration capabilities. One size does not fit all.

Cisco is excited to announce the industry’s first hardware stackable multipoint appliance, the Cisco TelePresence MCU 5300 Series.  Designed for entry level to mid-sized deployments, it allows you to scale at your own pace.  The MCU 5300 Series builds on the market-leading Cisco TelePresence MSE 8000, delivering the same comprehensive conferencing capabilities and core features.

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Broadband Down Under: Isolation Breeds Innovation

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

One of the plum assignments of my journalism career was co-authoring a report for CIO about IT in Australia. Ten days in Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne (with a weekend jaunt to Tasmania) brought out one key aspect of the Australian attitude toward technology: being isolated from most of the world, they have to be twice as creative.

At that time, in the late 90s, Australia had already deregulated its telecommunications industry (just a year after the U.S.) and developed a state-of-the-art $3 billion national fiber-optic network.

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