I’m pleased to announce that Cisco has received recognition as a Leader in Gartner’s newly-released 2012 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications (UC). In this report, Gartner analyzed the current enterprise UC market, and named Cisco as a market leader based on Cisco’s completeness of vision and ability to execute.
Gartner’s Unified Communications Magic Quadrant reflects the rapidly changing needs of today’s knowledge worker. Recent research from a Cisco IBSG Horizons study showed that a striking 95% of businesses are allowing employee-owned devices in some way, shape or form in the workplace. This includes smartphones, tablets and other personal devices that run on a variety of platforms. Highlighting this trend, Gartner closely evaluated UC options that work across multiple mobile platforms, and that provide support for open standards and interoperability with other solutions.
According to Gartner’s Bern Elliot and Steve Blood, “Enterprises wish to avoid ‘closed gardens’ and weak support for standards to ensure choice and control. Support for standards is a critical consideration, as enterprises wish to integrate their UC deployments with business partners, customers, business applications and third-party products.”
Support for multiple platforms
Cisco helps businesses address this growing need by providing a full suite of UC solutions for mobile devices across a variety of deployment options, including Apple, Android and other popular operating systems. For enterprises juggling a deluge of new employee devices and corporate platforms, the ability to provide full UC client support – including video, instant messaging (IM), presence and web collaboration – across a multi-vendor environment is critical.
Microsoft Windows Server 2012 is a huge step forward in Microsoft’s evolution and provides an industry-leading platform for virtualization that can provide the foundation both for on-premise private clouds and for host-provided public clouds in support of Microsoft workloads such as Exchange, SQL Server, and SharePoint.
The main new features of Windows Server 2012 include:
• Virtualization for a heterogeneous environment with industry-leading capabilities for Microsoft Windows and Linux workloads
• Enhanced manageability, supporting large-scale server management with the same simplicity as single-server management
• Capability to run any application in any cloud using a common feature set for both on and off-premises deployment.
Windows Server 2012 delivers tremendous server virtualization capabilities and a flexible cloud platform with enhancements in the Microsoft Windows Server 2012 operating system as well as many enhancements in Hyper-V. Our Cisco UCS server platform -- which is certified for Windows Server 2012 -- in combination with the Cisco Nexus 1000V Series and Cisco Data Center VM-FEX provides an optimal platform for Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V deployments, enabling organizations to take full advantage of the Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V capabilities and also to extend them through integrated Cisco solutions.
On August 29, I’ll be joining Zeus Kerravala of ZK Research for an on-line briefing on his research regarding Cisco and Microsoft Unified Communications products and services. While making my preparations for the webcast it got me thinking about how customers should approach Unified Communications strategies, investments, and projects irrespective of any vendor-related decisions. In discussing Unified Communications solutions with customers, I recommend that they keep six success factors firmly in mind in charting course for highly effective solutions. Read More »
The University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada was one of our first FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud engagements this year. Alantex, based in Woodbridge, Ontario was the Cisco Advanced Technology Partner driving the project. Vlad Kryukov, CEO of Alantex, and his crew delivered the integrated value of the FlexPod solution to the University.
View this video to hear from the University of Waterloo’s Infrastructure Architect Greg Parks on the results and their satisfaction with Cisco, NetApp, and Microsoft.
Recently while speaking with a group of Cisco Systems Engineers about their respective Microsoft Exchange 2010 migrations the group commented on the range of engagement sizes – in terms of individual mailboxes supported – that they had implemented during the past year or so. What we learned during this discussion is the extreme scalable nature of UCS when it comes to Exchange as engagements of up to 250,000 mailboxes were successfully handled. Additionally UCS’s virtualization capabilities – with either Hyper-V or VMware -- were seen adding to the efficiency of these larger scale engagements.