Both mid-sized and large enterprises know the value of employee collaboration to increase productivity and give the business a “leg up” on its competitors. As more businesses make sizeable investments into collaboration technology, it’s important for them to select products and services that not only meet their unique needs but also encompasses a comprehensive solution from the ground up that caters specifically to increasingly mobile employees.
Today, Sprint announced the availability of Sprint Complete Collaboration, a bundled service that gives customers a full UC solution that can be quickly and easily deployed over an all IP network. This Sprint solution is based on Cisco’s Hosted Collaboration Solution which gives partners, including service providers and integrators, the ability to deploy multiple collaboration applications on one server in a virtualized environment and then host those applications for multiple client organizations. The solution is designed to be run from partner data centers.
What does this mean for the end users who are increasingly on the go? It means being able to access collaboration applications from any device (smart phone, laptop, tablet -- you name it) anywhere at any time. It’s instant collaboration designed for today’s distributed enterprise; a feat that is best achieved when an organization opts to deploy a collaboration solution that -- at its foundation -- is keeping the bigger picture in mind: that these days, employee collaboration is no longer bound by “office walls.”
Sprint’s news validates the demand for a collaboration solution that allows service providers to leverage their own infrastructure to differentiate and drive fixed mobile convergence. We announced this new feature last December with new mobile features to HCS. As one of our first customers to announce availability of this feature, we are thrilled to see that the market is seeing the value of extending this feature to their subscribers. Read More »
As we kick off this year’s Enterprise Connect conference, one subject I am discussing a lot with customers is interoperability. This topic is always evolving, but our customers’ need for interoperability has remained the same. So what are the customers telling us about their interoperability requirements and concerns within unified communications and collaboration, and what is Cisco’s approach to addressing those?
What customers want:
At its heart, interoperability is about enabling the free flow of communication across boundaries – whether those boundaries are geographical, across firewalls between businesses and their ecosystems or customers. Customers want to be able to share information quickly and easily across different systems from multiple vendors.
Customers also stress the need for protecting their investments in existing systems and extending their capabilities to new types of work scenarios. These systems include infrastructure (such as Active Directory or Exchange or Notes), voice and video systems (such as Cisco’s Unified Communications Manager and TelePresence and competitive products from other vendors), and desktop or enterprise productivity applications (such as Microsoft Office, IBM Lotus, SAP, Salesforce.com and others). They must work within heterogeneous environments and accommodate new solutions as they come to market.
But that two systems work together is not enough. They must come together as seamlessly as possible to ensure an uncompromised user experience
Finally, this all needs to happen across platforms and devices, particularly as we move toward a post-PC era of many different devices -- from smartphones and tablets in the field to desktop computers and immersive room-based systems. These devices need to be blended into customers’ existing collaboration environments while providing a consistent and compelling user experience.
During a recent Desktop Virtualization Webcast titled VDI with Unified Communications: What Architects Need to Know, one of the key takeaways was that Unified Communications (UC) and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) teams need to work together and look at the larger user environment in which they are delivering the IT services. When the audience was asked how many of them were collaborating with their UC teams, 53% said they were currently engaging with their organization’s UC teams in their desktop virtualization projects.
Of course, this may be a biased sample, since the survey is of the webcast attendees, which mainly include IT professionals who are interested in the intersection of VDI and UC. However, I believe this is a sign of a growing trend in enterprise IT.
It had been 2009 when we first did a show breaking down the ‘how to’ for making the move from a traditional PBX (TDM) to a IP based system. The industry has come a long way and we are well past the days of trying to make the technology argument. Its the only way to go these days thankfully but questions still come up on where the gotcha’s may lie…so we did what we do best…we made a video.
The episode itself is long gone but I always think its fun to look back. Here is the promo for that first show we did..
What is the saying, two great tastes that taste great (better) together? This is in essence, the best way to describe the value of putting your Cisco Unified Communications on the Cisco Unified Computing Platform. While its certainly logical that we do something like this but and to the benefit of our customers, we have steadily increased the number of materials that help explain not just why this can be a huge cost and workflow savings, but also how one goes about doing it.
You can get a lot of written details but we of course suggest you watch one of our latest in the ‘Fundamentals’ series to get you ready.
Bonus points for the learners among you after the jump.