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The Changing Enterprise Desktop Environment

March 20, 2013 at 4:00 am PST

Today’s workplace is radically different from ten or even five years ago.  Work has changed. The way people work has changed, and technology needs to be in synch with these changes. In the office, people still want access to traditional conveniences, including a desk phone.  They also want access to high quality video from the desktop, and, some want to use many of the capabilities they use every day on their smart phones.  It’s the whole “consumerization of IT” in action.

At Enterprise Connect 2013 this week, Cisco is debuting our latest addition to the enterprise desktop: the DX650. The DX650, orderable globally today, is an Android based phone that delivers traditional voice functionality, high-definition 1080p video, and many features commonly associated with today’s smartphones  straight to the desktop.

And, on top of the Android operating system, we’ve added Cisco software, which provides better security, quality of service, manageability and higher fidelity audio and video. In short, this new disruptive technology is doing for the desk phone what smartphones did for mobile devices. Imagine – a smartphone experience for the desktop where users will never have to worry about battery life or dropped calls.

New capabilities include:

Cisco DX650

Cisco DX650

  • High quality video: In addition to extending the 1080p high quality video experience to the desktop, users can also dial directly into a TelePresence meeting or connect to any standards-based video endpoint from the device.
  • Smartphone capabilities at the desktop: The phone has many “smart” features or attributes, including a familiar Android user interface, instant access to critical applications and the ability to create multiple unique user profiles. Each profile can easily integrate with the user’s email and calendar as well as a full directory of contacts and speed dials. Applications such as Cisco Jabber, WebEx, and AnyConnect come preloaded on the phone.
  • Cloud-readiness: This new phone enables users to access on-premises or cloud-based applications. Given that this is a fully compatible Android device (Compatibility Test Suite certified), users can now access enterprise applications such as customer service portals or CRM solutions from the DX650’s built in browser. Or, they can view content and share video with colleagues through cloud collaboration applications such as Cisco WebEx, available natively on the phone or through the Google Play store.
  • Teleworking: We’ve also ensured that the DX650 supports multiple connectivity options. The DX650 can connect to the network wired or wirelessly. It also has a built in VPN client so remote users, working from home or in branch locations, can access their enterprise applications as needed.

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No Free Lunch

This is the fourth in a series of blogs comparing and contrasting the Microsoft and Cisco approaches to providing enterprise collaboration in the post-PC world. The first blog discussed the differences between a purpose-built architecture and a desktop-centric approach that needs third party extensions to make a working enterprise-class system. The second blog discussed how the two companies are approaching the trend towards “Bring your own device” (BYOD) to work. The third  blog discussed how the two companies deliver voice and video. This fourth blog focuses on the true cost to deploy.

No Free Lunch

A little after lunch time today at Enterprise Connect, Nemertes Research will host a session to present its findings on a topic near and dear to Cisco’s heart: “Building the Business Case for UC”. Drawing on data supplied by hundreds of IT decision makers on Unified Communications products and technologies, attendees apparently will “leave the session with a clear picture of the elements of a successful UC business case”.

Having this session right after lunch seems appropriate, since the session could easily be named: There’s no Such Thing as a Free Lunch.

As you may know, just a few weeks ago Cisco’s Rowan Trollope started a conversation about what matters in collaboration. The topic is so important to Cisco that we launched a web page to communicate our view on the key considerations in evaluating an enterprise collaboration solution, with a special focus on the differences between Cisco and Microsoft. So it is exciting to see the industry hone in on one of these considerations: cost and licensing.

Cisco believes that building an accurate business case for UC is increasingly complex. Capital costs and licensing are just the tip of the iceberg. What you spend on getting and keeping the solution running — the internal staff, training, third-party vendors and annual maintenance — matters quite a bit. Without a full understanding of all the factors involved in the real cost of ownership, selecting the right vendor and architecture for your organization may be an incredibly daunting task.

In a blog about the research behind today’s session, Nemertes’ Robin Gareiss calls Lync an “expensive operational proposition.” We think it’s important to note that Lync licenses are often Read More »

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Telework as we know it

As I sit in my home office, surrounded by amazing technology, I’m struck by how different telework is today from just a few years ago.

A few years ago it started with a second phone line and the company VPN.  Today my laptop is plugged into a workstation connected to a Cisco router, as is my Cisco IP phone.  When someone calls my work phone it rings in multiple places at once.  And my computer monitor is huge, which makes my high-definition videoconferences all the more interesting. I can even access the corporate network with my iPad, at home or on the go.  For me, it’s all seamless.  Everything I do is connected, and easier, thanks to Cisco. Read More »

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Cisco and Singlewire Bring New Paging Capabilities to Cisco Unified Communications Manager

February 21, 2013 at 9:02 am PST

Cisco is pleased to announce that with the release of Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) 9.1, we will include new paging functionality with all new CUCM orders.  This paging functionality will be provided by one of our long-standing development partners, Singlewire Software (formerly Berbee) and will help enhance the paging/notification capabilities available within CUCM.  We have received a number of requests for basic paging functionality and this offering allows our partner/customer base to meet customer paging requirements in an easy to deploy way.  Details are outlined in Singlewire’s press release, which can be found here.

Singlewire has enjoyed a successful partnership with Cisco in the past and has more than 4,000 CUCM customers running InformaCast today in 50 countries.  We believe this tightly integrated model greatly strengthens Cisco’s Enterprise and Mid Market Unified Communications offerings. This complete bundled offering allows Cisco partners to close deals in verticals where Advanced Notification is required: for example, industries such as education, manufacturing, hospitality, or transit.  Partners can leverage these new paging and notification features to change the sales conversation, using the most comprehensive notification solution to meet customer needs with a single vendor/product solution for voice and emergency notification.

The advanced features provide great sales conversation starters to set your Cisco UC system apart from your competitors. Included with this are features like:

  • Pre-recorded/scheduled broadcasts, such as school bells or shift changes
  • Notification to Jabber IM users
  • Triggered notifications- M2M input/output (This includes notifications and alerts for panic buttons, door locks, and lights to name a few.)
  • Integration to existing overhead paging systems and IP Speakers
  • 911/emergency call monitoring, alerting and recording

With this announcement, we are able to offer the basic paging aspects of Singlewire’s well-known InformaCast offering at no cost to our CUCM customers. Read More »

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Enhancing Collaboration with New Integrated Audio Accessories

Today, I am pleased to post a guest blog from Cisco partner, Jabra, authored by Chris Briglin, Vice President of Strategic Alliances at Jabra. 

One of my favorite quotes in the technology business is: ”The next big thing is whatever makes the last big thing usable.” To me this really speaks to the importance of a great user experience in driving the widespread adoption and deployment of technology solutions. While there are lots of business problems out there and many technology-based solutions created to address those needs, solutions that address business needs through a superior user experience are typically the ones that thrive.

As noted in Cisco’s announcement last week, Jabra partnered with Cisco to co-develop audio devices that enhance the collaboration experience on Cisco Jabber for virtual environments. By combining Jabra’s expertise in audio engineering, product design and software integration with Cisco’s leadership in unified communications, we created two audio devices Read More »

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