I’m sitting across a table from a guy we’ll call Mike.* He’s trying to join an 8:00 a.m. conference call from one of those free services. It’s not working.
First, the hold music is awful. I can hear it from here. I’m pretty convinced that it must be worth a few bucks a month to avoid just that aspect of the experience.
The call drops about 20 seconds after the chirpy voice announces “you are the only participant on this call.” When Mike calls back in, he gets the horrid music again before the system promptly launches him into a seemingly endless loop of two different recorded voices competing for his attention: “Please enter your conference code” and “Please enter your PIN.” (It’s not clear which voice is more authoritative, so he tries both codes. Neither work.)
He dials in a third time and lands in the same loop of arguing voices. The third time it not a charm after all.
He gives up and dials Luke, who originally set up the call, directly. Luke was also having trouble, so he agrees to set up another call through a different service.
All this for an audio-only bridge? Why is it so difficult? Read More »
Tags: conferencing, meetings, web conferencing, WebEX
This is part of a blog series on the evolution of the Cisco Collaboration Cloud platform, which explores the technical and design principles behind its unique architecture.
I came to Cisco with the idea that, in many ways, enterprise communications technology had fallen behind consumer technology. And that we could apply to enterprise communications much of what the industry had learned in the mobile cloud revolution.
So it’s no surprise that I believed the next generation of business communications technology would be powered by the cloud, delivered on mobile devices and browsers, and used in larger settings (like conference rooms) through group systems.
The first thing we did as a team was define the “ultimate experience.” We assembled a small group of really smart people from around the world who had invented many of the collaboration technologies we all rely on today. We asked them to dream and dream big! From that dreaming, we created a vision of the future experience we could aim towards.
Assembling the Pieces
The missing piece of the puzzle was a cloud platform to power this next-generation experience. Just one minor catch: The cloud platform we needed simply didn’t exist, though many companies had built pieces and parts. WebEx had web conferencing to which it later added video. A handful of startups had video calling and bridges in the cloud. Some companies had cloud-based telephony systems. And others had even built closed networks to deliver 1:1 and small group video conferencing in the cloud.
To complicate things further, no one had a solid idea of how to build the platform we needed. Read More »
Tags: Cisco, cloud, collaboration, web conferencing
The evaluation is complete. And we think Cisco Unified Communications scored well. Very well, in fact. Just released, the 2015 Gartner Critical Capabilities for Unified Communications is a product-centric overview of UC vendors.
The report digs deeper into the vendors represented in the 2015 Magic Quadrant for UC. In Gartner’s words, it’s “intended to help organizations define their requirements and select specific products that match their needs as aligned with one of the use cases.”
In the report, Gartner evaluates the effectiveness of vendors in addressing user needs in four primary use cases. Cisco received the highest product score in three out of the four:
- Full UCC with Strong Telephony Requirement
- Full UCC with Strong CollaborationRequirement
- Ability to Offer Hybrid Solutions
Not to worry, Cisco UC scored third highest in “Ability to Work with Complementary Vendors.”
Read More »
Tags: Cisco, collaboration, Gartner, hybrid, infrastructure, telephony, unified communications, video conferencing, web conferencing
I’ve noticed that many business clichés have been invading my language. I’ve been trying to be proactive in curbing the habit. Needless to say, it’s not working. So instead of trying to cut back, at the end of the day I’ve decided to push the envelope and give 110% to using as many as possible in this post. My hope is that this moves the needle in creating my own behavioral paradigm shift.
Has it become cliché to be the “industry leader”? As an industry, we (marketing professionals) overuse the term “industry leading” to the point where it has probably become a rubber stamp. But I think it’s acceptable when credible independent sources do in fact recognize you as an industry leader.
To that end, IDC recently did just that. IDC named Cisco as a leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Unified Communications and Collaboration 2015 Vendor Assessment — for the second time in as many iterations of that report.
It’s important to understand that this kind of analysis is a moving target based on a constantly evolving view of the market. It requires us to open the Read More »
Tags: Cisco, collaboration, enterprise session border control, IP telephony, MarketScape, TelePresence, UC&C, web conferencing
Happy New Year! As I return from the holidays and begin the year ahead, I’m energized and excited about all the amazing accomplishments we achieved with WebEx in 2014. Many recollections come to mind that I’d like to share with you. And I have exciting news for 2015 — already! More on this in just a minute…
WebEx is really at the core of everyone’s work life. With over 60 million users and more than 1 million meetings a day, we really impact how people work and live. It was just a little over a year ago that I started leading the Cloud Collaboration Applications team at Cisco. When I started, I challenged the WebEx product team with a new goal to dramatically improve our already great web conferencing tool. A key element of this goal was a focus on simplicity. Making WebEx simple in addition to enhancing functionality was the target. Bottom line: It is our mission to delight every WebEx user and make their work life more productive.
The New WebEx
My team took this challenge to heart and made significant product changes in this direction. In October 2014, we launched the New WebEx that comes with a new clean intuitive interface, improved web landing pages that make it easier to join online meetings, much faster meeting load times, better video layout, and wideband VoIP audio for better audio quality. Read More »
Tags: Cisco, cmr, collaboration, Collaboration Meeting Rooms, conferencing, Gartner, Gartner Magic Quadrant, online meetings, Personal Rooms, web conferencing, WebEX