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The Power of Video Collaboration – Driving Business Growth, Innovation, and Productivity

A recent industry announcement affirms how important video communication is to the future of business-to-business collaboration.  As the global market share leader in telepresence and video collaboration solutions, we have always been firm believers that video calling should be as easy and ubiquitous as making phone calls.  We are highly encouraged by innovations that seek to spur user scale while simultaneously reducing costs and enabling new customers to experience the transformative power that only this technology can deliver.

In order to deliver on this vision and to extend the power of video collaboration to more people, Cisco has embarked on a multi-pronged strategy that is already producing results for end users.

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The Mobile Industrial Worker: Control Engineering Magazine Cover Story by Cisco

May 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm PST

If you’re looking for some great insight and thought leadership from Cisco on the “Wireless Mobile Worker” and the mobile industrial worker, look no further than the March 2012 Issue of Control Engineering Magazine (available from April digitally -- click below).

The digital and print versions talk about the trends going on right now -- lack of expertise, reticence  of the ‘millennium generation’ to study subjects and gain skills that manufacturers need, and how all sorts of devices are coming onto the plant floor and carpeted areas to help workers do their jobs more efficiently. Read More »

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Tips and Tricks: 9 tips for a Smarter Wireless Industrial Workforce

March 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm PST

Nine tips help enable an industrial wireless mobile workforce, including standards, self-healing technologies, and the right blend of hardware and software.

The latest copy of Control Engineering has some useful Tips and Tricks that point towards the kinds of solutions and offerings Cisco provides, to make our customer’s lives easier. In a later post I’ll elucidate on the tips and explain how Cisco is able to make for a Smarter Wireless Industrial Workforce. For now, here are the tips:

#1) Standards-based solutions: Ensure suppliers provide open standards based solutions—this is particularly important when choosing wireless mobility systems.

#2) Self-healing wireless: System integrators can provide good interference detection and mitigation wireless solutions that can automatically change channels to maintain continuity, which reduces operating expenses.

#3) Hardware vs. software: It is better to use wireless systems with specialized hardware and software implementation rather than the older software implementations when analyzing interference. Read More »

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Video to Video Communication is the Future

In the past decade video communications has moved out of the realm of science fiction to become commonplace in our homes, at work, and on mobile devices. Yet we remain some distance from the goal of video calls being as easy and ubiquitous as phone calls are today – across any network and between all devices.

Imagine how difficult it would be if you were limited to calling people who only use the same carrier or if your phone could only call certain brands and not others.  Cisco wants to avoid this future for video communications, and therefore today appealed the European Commission’s approval of the Microsoft/Skype merger to the General Court of the European Union.  Messagenet, a European VoIP service provider, has joined us in the appeal.

We did not take this action lightly. We respect the European Commission, and value Microsoft as a customer, supplier, partner, and competitor. Cisco does not oppose the merger, but believes the European Commission should have placed conditions that would ensure greater standards-based interoperability, to avoid any one company from being able to seek to control the future of video communications.

This appeal is about one thing only: securing standards-based interoperability in the video calling space. Our goal is to make video calling as easy and seamless as  email is today. Making a video-to-video call should be as easy as dialing a phone number. Today, however, you can’t make seamless video calls from one platform to another, much to the frustration of consumers and business users alike.

Cisco believes that the right approach for the industry is to rally around open standards. We believe standards-based interoperability will accelerate innovation, create economic value, and increase choice for users of video communications, entertainment, and services.

The video communications industry is at a critical tipping point with far reaching consequences. Just three years from now the world will be home to nearly 3 billion Internet users, the average fixed broadband speed will be 28 Mbps, and 1 million video minutes (the equivalent of 674 days) will traverse the internet every second. As video collaboration becomes increasingly mainstream, multiple vendors will have to work together to enable global scale and broad customer choice.

For the sake of customers, the industry recognizes the need for ubiquitous unified communications interoperability, particularly between Microsoft/Skype and Cisco products, as well as products from other unified communications innovators. Microsoft’s plans to integrate Skype exclusively with its Lync Enterprise Communications Platform could lock-in businesses who want to reach Skype’s 700 million account holders to a Microsoft-only platform.

At the heart of this opportunity is a question about the model for interoperability. One approach allows each vendor to decide how they will interoperate. Another approach aligns the industry around open standards defined by non-partisan governing bodies. The answer will be critical to whether and how quickly video calls become “the next voice.”

When vendors implement their own protocols and selectively interoperate, they push the burden of interoperability to the customer.  We respectfully request that the General Court act on our concerns and for the European Commission to ensure the proper protections are put in place to encourage innovation and a competitive marketplace.

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LISPmob, a new open source project for network mobility

What if your mobile device allowed you the freedom to seamlessly roam across any network in the world, regardless of location or operator and with all the attributes you would expect, security or privacy…  With LISPmob, we may have gotten a giant step closer as we open sourced a network stack for network mobility on Linux platforms, an implementation of basic LISP mobile node functionalities.

This is the Locator Identifier Separation Protocol, which supports the separation of the IPv4 and IPv6 address space following a network-based map-and-encapsulate scheme based on an IETF open standard.

We hope this will be a project and a community many will find not just interesting and vibrant, but necessary and fun to engage, collaborate and contribute.

How will this help your plans to deal with all these amazing possibilities of mobile access to an ever-growing Internet?

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