Competition is the sign of a healthy market; and the recent increased cadence of venture investment focusing on startups in the video market underscores what Cisco knows well: video plays a key role in business today, and will play an even bigger role tomorrow. As the old idiom goes, a rising tide lifts all boats. As video becomes more pervasive in the enterprise, the opportunity for an industry to rally around the movement might create more competition. But in the end, it is about driving more innovation and better economics so that we all win – customers, partners and vendors.
The opportunity to change and influence the way that people collaborate, engage with one another, and communicate is exactly why I decided to join Cisco and lead the Collaboration marketing team. One of the things that has struck me recently, however, is that the perception in the market is that Cisco is only delivering solutions geared at the absolute high end of the market. The fact is that Cisco was a high-end pioneer in the video market with innovations around immersive telepresence; absolutely true. No one will refute that. The little known fact is that Cisco is also pioneering the efforts of making video pervasive, simple and as inexpensive as $25/month.
The pervasiveness of video is not so much about the price point though. And we have to remember to take a holistic view — understanding the role of video in business, the evolution of the technology, the reach for more and more users, and the integration with business processes. This is core to Cisco’s strategy. While some newer solutions aim to connect people for a conversation; Cisco aims to connect people for collaboration. Collaboration is about solving business challenges. It’s about integrating with business operations. It’s about tying into what people want and need to do – not just what they want to talk about.
To be effective, video has to be of consistent business quality. It cannot be acceptable to have a shaky, up-the-nose view, pixelated video or spotty audio experience. There are times, of course, when critical decisions just have to be made within a best-effort network connection, and our technology is intelligent enough to make accommodations for that. But as a matter of course for productive daily business, we focus on video conferencing that blends functionality, experience and performance at the right price. In essence, we don’t compete on price; we compete on price performance.
With the #1 market share in telepresence and web conferencing, Cisco has sold more than a million telepresence endpoints and delivers 2.3 billion video-enabled meeting minutes per month. To put that another way, in a single month we deliver more than what many of the new video start-ups are trying to deliver over an entire year. We do this by taking an intelligent approach, by delivering across multiple experiences and multiple price points, all of which are integrated and completely interoperable with each other—from room-based systems to the desktop to the mobile phone. So everyone can be most effective at what they’re doing.
There are three key pieces to Cisco’s approach:
- A secure, reliable business-class network and integrated architecture that can grow with you
- A consistent and intuitive experience—across the cloud or on premises
- A single management experience for IT
With these three pieces in place, you have the ability to truly collaborate –to bring employees, customers, and partners together seamlessly with integrated voice, video, and content sharing– whether you’re on the go, in the office, or in the boardroom.
Here’s to a healthy market—and healthy competition—that will let us collaborate happily ever after. Via video.