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Announcing the MSI on Cisco Jabber (Part 1)

July 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm PST

Cisco recently announced the availability of the Cisco Jabber for Windows client which now supports the Cisco Media Services Interface (MSI). This is Cisco Jabber’s first step towards integration into the medianet architecture and along with similar support within the WebEx meeting client will have a profound effect on how customers can manage Quality of Service (QoS) for desktop video enabled applications.

Today, one of the most common issues which prevent a wide scale deployment of desktop video clients is the lack of visibility and control that the network administrators have over these deployments. Unlike video conferencing or telepresence units that are invariably in the same place, desktop clients by their very nature move around and can pop up just about anywhere: Inside and outside of the enterprise, connected via VPN or wireless and, of course, they are mobile enough to appear in different offices unannounced. Given that network administrators are charged with delivering acceptable application performance across their network infrastructure, the uncontrolled deployment of desktop video can be a real nightmare. Is the network ready to support the potentially large numbers of concurrent desktop video sessions? What happens if too many sessions are concentrated in a site with limited or oversubscribed bandwidth? How do I protect my existing revenue generating applications from the impact of bandwidth hungry video applications? It is no wonder that it is the network administrator who typically ends up being the roadblock to deployment, given the lack of tools by which to do capacity planning, performance monitoring/management, and, of course, traffic engineering to protect the experience.

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The Post-PC Era and Collaboration in a mobile world: An Asia Pacific POV

Sometime yesterday, Cisco Jabber for the iPad went “live” on the iTunes App store. Normally, we don’t attach much fanfare around a B2B app but I believe we should take a moment to understand the importance of this milestone for the Post-PC era.

Cisco Jabber has been around for a while, enabling end-users the freedom to IM, conference and make video calls from a multitude of devices. Cisco Jabber for iPad now brings that capability to not only the market-leading tablet device but also to a platform where the HD video capabilities of Jabber really comes to life.

If you are a sceptic of the Post-PC era and think its nothing more than just a buzzword, let me attempt to convince you otherwise.

Collaboration on multiple devices, anytime, anyplace, is not just a pipedream. You could argue we have already arrived. Everyone is talking about Collaboration right now and rightly so, it’s everywhere. You can find it down at your local café, in our hospitals and in our schools. But what does this really mean in practice?

As collaboration moves into video, we will see a huge fundamental change in how organisations across Asia operate. With the use of broadband rolling out widely across the region and 4G networks around the corner, video will be widely available across the estimated 2,897 million mobile devices in Asia Pacific. These exciting developments will lead to some significant changes in how we communicate, work and travel. Teleconferences will soon seem old fashioned when you can use TelePresence and feel like you are the same room with people across the world, all thanks to video on high speed internet networks.

From collaboration in healthcare to collaborative educational tools and new technologies across the region, there are some fantastic examples of businesses and public sector organizations deploying innovative technology strategies to drive change across their organization.

I was excited to learn that the good folks at Monash University, Australia’s largest university are using video technology to provide virtual, real-time connections between medical students on work placement in rural Australia and teaching staff located at central campuses. Further afield in India, the Government of Madhya Pradesh in Sehor is deploying a pilot project that enables patients and doctors to meet each other virtually through collaborative technologies without having to commute long distances. Collaborative technology is changing our lives, saving time and resources, and ultimately leading to a more productive and efficient work force.

Asia Pacific is an exciting place to be doing business! Subscribe to this blog as I will continue to provide insight into the unique challenges which companies in Asia face and how collaboration technologies can help them overcome those challenges.  Connect with me as well on LinkedInLinkedIn or track this hash tag on Twitter #apjcjabber.

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How much does telecommuting save, anyway? (Hint: LOTS)

Rely on the trusty Internet Business Services Group within the Cisco to come up with insightful research nuggets on how we all really work.  Their latest IBSG Horizons Study, “The Everywhere Employee“,  gives some fascinating detail on the dollars and sense underlying the idea of working “your way”.

Most interesting to me, of course, is the part about telecommuting.  Did you know that 44% of knowledge workers telecommute at least one day a week?  And that this one day a week alone saves companies $2,400 a year per employee?

So let’s do the math (my favorite part).  In a 10,000 person company, 4,400 employees work one day a week from somewhere else, which translates to a whopping $11 million a year.  Enough to pay for some nice executive bonuses!

This pairs nicely with the findings of a study Stanford University professors published in November 2011, “Does Working from Home Work?”.  They gave an emphatic “yes” and also ran the numbers specific to their use case (which examined full-time telecommuters), located in Appendix A4.

So how does this relate to video? In every way possible. Not only can you use a nice, sleek EX90 TelePresence unit on your home office desk, you can use Jabber video on your tablet. Or take your laptop into the neighborhood coffeeshop and join the video-based Webex meeting (just please remember to mute: coffee grinders are loud).

See you on video!

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Interoperability + Collaboration = The Key to Any or All

Today’s work environment – yours, mine, and everyone else’s — is becoming more mobile, social, visual, and virtual. And there is no one magical tool that covers every situation.  We need choice and flexibility for the way we each work.

Any-to-Any collaboration with an easy-to-use consistent experience is the reality of today’s user requirements. However, many solutions available today are brought together with the use of band aids and chewing gum, making it a nightmare to troubleshoot across the various stitched-together call-control systems. Read More »

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Empowering Choice in Collaboration

In my recent blog, Experience Matters in Collaboration (So does Architecture), I shared my thoughts on how we are facing a workplace that is no longer a physical place, but a blend of virtual and physical environments; where employees are bringing their preferences to work and BYOD (“Bring Your Own Device” to work) is the new norm; where collaboration has to happen beyond a walled garden; and any-to-any connectivity is a requirement, not a “nice to have.”

Cisco is committed to delivering a new collaborative workspace that meets our customer’s needs and empowers users to work their way—anytime, anywhere and on any device.  As we announced last week, findings from the Cisco IBSG Horizons Study on virtualization and BYOD  shows that 95% of organizations surveyed allow employee-owned devices in some way, shape or form in the office, and, 36% of surveyed enterprises provide full support for employee-owned devices.   These stats underscore a major shift in the way people are working, in the office, at home and on-the-go, a shift that will continue to gain momentum.

Over the last year, Cisco has demonstrated a commitment to delivering innovative software like Cisco Jabber and Cisco WebEx across a wide spectrum of operating systems, tablets and Smart Phones. We’re seeing tremendous interest in these software offerings. Customers see the value in how these offerings enable employees to work on their terms in the Post-PC era, while still having access to collaboration experiences.

Based on these market transitions, Cisco will no longer invest in the Cisco Cius tablet form factor, and no further enhancements will be made to the current Cius endpoint beyond what’s available today. However, as we evaluate the market further, we will continue to offer Cius in a limited fashion to customers with specific needs or use cases.

Moving forward, we intend to double down on software offerings, like Jabber and WebEx, that provide the anytime, anywhere, and any device experiences. We will leverage key learnings and key collaboration experiences native to Cius in our other collaboration products.

Experience matters, and Cisco is focused on empowering individual collaboration styles more effectively and securely, while providing the broadest choice of collaboration options based on preference, location, and device.

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