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Immersive Telepresence Still Enthralls on Tenth Anniversary

This October will mark the 10th anniversary of the immersive telepresence segment – one that we pioneered with the Cisco TelePresence System 3000 Series.

And as if by kismet, on the eve of this tenth year, demand for immersive systems soared as never before. Just last month, we shipped the 1,000th IX5000 system, our latest-generation immersive telepresence product. This is the fastest ramp in the history of the immersive segment, happening within the first year of the IX5000’s introduction. That’s no small feat for a product with a $300K list price (a price that’s unchanged since the 2006 introduction, despite significant innovations.)

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What makes this milestone even more interesting is that some predicted the demise of the immersive segment just a couple of years ago. But we persisted despite the naysayers. Why? We were driven by the same vision we had 10 years ago:  To take a meeting table, cut it in half, and add 5,000 miles in between. And yet, it still feels like everyone is in the same room – life-sized, effortlessly, and almost magically.

As it was ten years ago, users today are awestruck the first time they experience immersive telepresence. For globally dispersed businesses, the benefits very quickly become real. Organizations become enthralled with how it can transform their business. Travel avoidance is an obvious benefit, but the immediacy of decision-making, the relationship- and trust-building, and the power to collaborate over thousands of miles are the true assets. This is why more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies have purchased our immersive systems. Read More »

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Customer Spotlight: Aurora, Illinois is now the City of Light Speed

Aurora is the second largest city in Illinois, and its municipal government employees are spread across 52 different buildings. This means that the ability to collaborate with these dispersed locations is extremely important – our goal is to ensure that city employees can provide the highest level of service to our residents.

Our problem, historically, was that the city was using a mix of networking equipment from a host of different providers, making our infrastructure difficult to manage and use. This weak network prevented us from using distance-bridging technologies such as video conferencing, and it limited employee access to computer applications such as email, payroll and purchasing

To tackle these network inefficiencies, my team and I began to look at ways to use advanced fiber optics to replace our aging copper network. But we were relatively new to fiber optic technology, and our city needed a partner that could provide expertise.

Enter Cisco. Not only did the Cisco team have the fiber optic capability and know-how we needed, but we were also able to collaborate on a cutting-edge approach to network systems. Together, we decided to leverage fiber networks using an advanced color optic system, which increases network reliability and performance.

By installing Cisco technologies that optimize fiber based on light color, our city was able to run multiple networks over the same strands. To our satisfaction, we were then able to stretch the network for more coverage while still retaining high availability.

Read More »

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Acano

We are at an inflection point in video adoption. In the enterprise alone, less than 10 percent of the conference rooms in the world are connected via video and only 1 percent of users have video systems on their desktop today. The market is poised for dramatic growth, with IP video expected to represent 80 percent of all global Internet traffic by 2019, up from 67 percent in 2014.

Cisco believes that we can capture this massive market opportunity by delivering the best collaboration experience across every endpoint, every screen, every workspace, and to every user. Our vision is to dramatically increase the number of video-enabled conference rooms – moving from every one in 10 conference rooms connected with video, to every one in four within the next ten years. And we want people to be able to connect to those rooms easily from any device or system they have today. That’s why today we are announcing Cisco’s intent to acquire privately-held Acano Limited, a leading provider of collaboration infrastructure and conferencing software.

Acano’s portfolio includes video and audio bridging technology and gateways to enable customers to connect different collaboration solutions from disparate vendors across cloud and hybrid environments. Together, Acano will help Cisco expand the interoperability and scalability of our collaboration portfolio – allowing customers to connect from anywhere, from a browser on a mobile device to the corporate boardroom, and now scaling to easily connect thousands of users across an organization.

Over the last two years, Cisco’s collaboration business has provided a standout example of the strength of our build, buy, partner, invest and co-develop approach to innovation. Internally, Cisco’s collaboration team has achieved several significant milestones, refreshing the entire endpoint portfolio in the past 12 months and simplifying our offerings from 65 endpoints down to 17, and driving double-digit endpoint growth each quarter for the past year. We’ve introduced a new cloud collaboration platform and Cisco Spark, a new team collaboration service. Acquisitions also played a key role; over the past two years we’ve acquired three companies to help accelerate our development in cloud, Collaborate, Assemblage and Tropo. And we’ve introduced key partnerships such as one with Apple earlier this fall to integrate iPhones with Cisco environments and provide unique collaboration capabilities on iPhones and iPads.

Today’s acquisition builds upon this strategy. By combining Acano’s expertise with a Cisco team that has driven incredible growth of our collaboration business, we believe we can accelerate our collaboration momentum and bring new capabilities to market faster. The Cisco and Acano teams together will help make video dramatically more pervasive to the desktop and to conference rooms of all sizes.

*UPDATE: January 29, 2016: We are pleased to welcome the Acano team on board!  Watch the video.

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Make Video Meetings Simple

Wainhouse Research polled a group of video conferencing users to gauge their feelings about video conferencing. What they found is great news for Cisco-CMR-Gifographicthose who want to integrate video into their collaboration strategies.

Comparing their experience to 2 years ago:

  • 95% agreed that video is more reliable
  • 97% agreed that they use video conferencing more
  • 92% agreed video conferencing is easier to use

Even so, the myth persists that successful video conferencing requires a complicated deployment strategy and a good bit of magic under the hood.

Now it’s time to put that rumor to rest.  Meeting from any video device can be simple.

Cisco® Collaboration Meeting Rooms (CMR) Cloud lets you meet over video with others, no matter what system they’re using. CMR Cloud simplifies meetings using a cloud-based video bridge. Meet with peers, customers, or partners. Get the same consistent WebEx experience across a desktop, browser, mobile device, or room system. If you ask me, it’s like magic!

To me, one of the greatest aspects about video conferencing – other than how simple it can be – is that almost anyone can use it to move initiatives, projects, and services forward.

For example, when it comes to finding top-tier talent for your staffing needs, prime candidates are not always local. Conducting interviews and screenings over the phone can give you a glimpse into a person. But nothing Read More »

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Video in 2016: Saving Holiday Plans, Bettering Business

This is the time of year for crystal-ball gazing when everyone starts talking about what the new year might bring.

It’s no secret that I’m passionate about video. I can pinpoint when this passion was sparked: November 2012. It was my first month at Cisco. Excited to dig in and meet my far-flung new team, I started booking flights… and contemplating spending November, December, and a good chunk of January on the road. But then video gear showed up on my desktop. Suddenly I didn’t need to take a 10-hour flight to be with the team in Oslo; I could be there with the touch of a “join” button.

To say this rocked my world is an understatement. It also saved my family’s holiday plans.

It’s also no secret that others share my passion for video. Our customers are buying video gear at an amazing rate: We’ve had double-digit revenue growth in video endpoints for four quarters in a row.

We still have a long way to go.

In fact, we estimate that fewer than 10% of the conference rooms in the world are connected via video today. I see a future where 100% of conference rooms have video. People will be communicating via video on their phones and other devices all day long, and naturally they’ll want it in all the rooms they work in too. We won’t get to 100% in the next 12 months but we will take some pretty huge steps forward. In fact, I predict that by the end of 2016 one in every four rooms will have video.

What steps will get us there? Here are my predictions: Read More »

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