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Changing the Collaboration Game with Clouds

May 23, 2012 - 2 Comments

Organizations small or large can deploy collaboration technologies on premises, on the cloud, or on both with a hybrid deployment. I believe that the source or the provider of collaboration technology should be transparent to the end-user and that the experience should be the same regardless of deployment model or device used.

At Cisco we’re very focused on offering flexible deployment models that support on-premises, cloud, or hybrid deployments of our collaboration technologies.  Of course, these are built on our collaboration architecture to ensure the interoperability and user experience.

Cisco has made great strides in this area.  We have a substantial footprint with the Cisco Collaboration Cloud, the second-largest cloud for business applications in the industry – second only to Within it, WebEx hosts 1.5 billion meeting minutes per month and has 5.5 million registered users. We also offer comprehensive cloud-based IM and presence services. Last November, we announced how we’re evolving WebEx beyond support for meetings to include the pre- and post-meeting experience.  This is about a persistent shared meeting space, complete with file-sharing and social capabilities that allow you to collaborate before, during, and after meetings.

Another element of the Cisco Collaboration Cloud is Cisco TelePresence Callway, which delivers Telepresence as a service for small and medium businesses.  By using Cisco’s clouds, smaller businesses can shift from a capital expense model to an operating expense model, reducing complexity. The cool thing about this is that companies don’t have to use exclusively Cisco equipment; anyone can connect to a Callway session through any standards-based video.

With instant messaging, an enhanced WebEx meeting experience, and now Callway, the Cisco Collaboration Cloud is offering end-to-end collaboration in a partner-led delivery model. But we are not doing this just on our own; we are also enabling our service-provider partners to build their clouds.

We often talk about “the cloud” when in fact it’s a world of many clouds. Cisco has invested heavily in enabling partner cloud offerings. A great example has been with the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS), which lets companies choose the collaboration products they need through a subscription model and cloud-based delivery. We now have 24 partners offering Cisco HCS, with Sprint being the latest addition. We have signed contracts for HCS including AT&T, OBS, Vodafone, Verizon, Accenture, CSC.  In total, our partners have more than 2 million users committed over the next three years.

Cisco is committed to delivering a choice of deployment models to our customers, whether fully on-premises, fully in the cloud, or anywhere in between.

Regardless of how our customers choose to access and deliver services, I believe that the most important part is to preserve a harmonized experience across devices, across clouds – and from cloud to on-premises – once again leveraging our common architecture model.

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  1. Dear OJ.
    I like the way you and Cisco think.
    This is just what is needed to grow this market from a “given few” to any business anywhere! It’s been a long time coming, but finally we are making progress.
    These new cloud services will also allow us to go head to head with MS Lync and give the customer a free choice when making a UC strategy.
    Regards, Øyvind.

    • Øyvind, Thanks for your comment. Yes, it has been a long time coming, but cloud is moving quite fast now and new solutions and adoption rates are heating up! OJ