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Ask Our Execs!

For those who were at Cisco Live Melbourne, I hope you had a fantastic time.  I’m a bit bummed that I didn’t go since it would have been awesome to check out some of the street art.  Luckily, Erica did take some pictures to share.

Did you catch our latest Enterprise Video announcement on what we’re doing with physical security in the cloud?  You can read all about it here.

Now on to the next thing we’re planning: Cisco Live San Diego!  The scheduler went live this week and we have some great sessions for you to attend.  Some new ones will be made available soon and I’ll share with you once we get those in the system for registration.

One thing we’re doing again this year is the executive Q&A.  This year we have a great panel of our leaders in Video and Collaboration who will be taking your questions live on Thursday morning, 14 June 2012, from 10:00am to 11:30am.  This is a chance for you to ask questions like “What the heck is medianet?” or “How can I deliver collaboration tools on mobile devices?”.

We’re collecting questions here on this blog, so don’t be shy and ask some below in the comments.  On Thursday morning at Cisco Live San Diego, we’ll present your questions to our executive panelists and they’ll answer them on stage.

Hope to see you in San Diego!

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire ClearAccess

Cisco today announced its intent to acquire privately held ClearAccess, a Vancouver, Wash. based company that provides TR-069-based software to service providers for the provisioning and management of residential and mobile devices. This acquisition includes ClearAccess’ software business and talent. The hardware portion of ClearAccess’ business, Smart RG Gateways, will continue forward as SmartRG, Inc. Cisco and ClearAccess’ combined network management and software capabilities will enable service providers to better deliver, manage and monetize their services, while helping to improve operational efficiencies and customer experiences.

For more information, please click here.

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Making interoperability work in unified communications and collaboration

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.

This is what customers want.

What the industry needs to do:

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Three Drivers of Collaboration

March 21, 2012 at 9:46 am PST

In my last blog, I asked the question “Is Collaboration Worth It? Every day, customers tell us collaboration is critical to their ability to compete—something top of mind right now. Why does collaboration matter? From our research and interviews with business leaders, we attribute the growing importance of collaboration to three fundamental trends:

  1. Competition comes from anywhere and everywhere. The barriers to entry are lower than ever, and you cannot predict who will enter your market next. It might be a startup in India, China, Africa or Eastern Europe—or competition from another industry. How do you stay ahead when you don’t know which organizations you’ll compete with next month or next year? Read More »

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The Case for Cable in the Tablet Era

By Roland Klemann, Director of Service Provider Practice, Western Europe, Internet Business Solutions Group

Although the coaxial cable may have been born in 1929, predictions of its death have been greatly exaggerated.

While traditional models for consuming television are indeed under siege—from time-shift TV, over-the-top video, and an ever-expanding array of new devices—cable remains highly relevant, even in an age of exploding data traffic. In fact, with savvy deployment of Wi-Fi services, cable providers can seize an opportunity—not in spite of the mobile data deluge, but because of it.

After all, that sleek new iPad—introduced last week while I was attending the Cable Congress in Brussels—boasts dazzling video resolution. But for network operators, it only adds to a growing problem. They are already reeling under the burden of a massive upsurge in traffic, from tablets and IP-enabled devices of all kinds. What’s worse, they are still at the low end of an ongoing mobile data explosion. Cisco’s Virtual Networking Index predicts an eighteen-fold increase in mobile traffic from 2011 to 2016.

As a result, two things are breaking down: 1) the physical capacity of the networks, and 2) their economics. Theoretically, mobile carriers can build enough macro cells to carry all the traffic in the world, but in reality, that gets prohibitively expensive—fast. No wonder some are feeling an encroaching sense of doom.

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