How Are Large Enterprises Utilizing Collaboration in the Cloud?

January 13, 2012 - 4 Comments

Today, we ‘re featuring a guest post from Brian Blatnik, a senior manager within Cisco’s Collaboration Technology Group:

In the month since our CloudVerse announcement the notion of a world of many clouds – public, private, and hybrid – has resonated with our customers, partners, and industry analysts. I’d like to share some perspective on how those types of clouds address different customers in the collaboration cloud services market. Since last month’s announcement highlighted our private cloud model in that market, Hosted Collaboration Solution for Large Enterprises, I’ll focus on that model. As a reminder, the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution gives partners, including service providers and integrators, the ability to deploy multiple collaboration applications on one server in a virtualized environment and then host those applications for multiple client organizations. The solution is designed to be run from partner data centers.

I’m often asked, “Haven’t enterprise voice and other UC services always been delivered from what we now call a private cloud?” It’s true that IP PBXs and other UC servers, like their PBX predecessors, provide services to users from a remote room or facility via a network. But there are two ways in which today’s cloud service delivery differs. First, there is the efficiency of pooling computing, network, and storage resources across multiple locations and services. Second, the services can be delivered in an on-demand fashion with elastic scaling.

The financial and strategic benefits deriving from these two factors are leading many businesses to consider consuming collaboration services in a utility model from Cisco’s partners in the Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS). But the same drivers can result in substantial benefits to businesses that aren’t looking for services from a third party’s public cloud.

Many large enterprises and public sector organizations have highly distributed business operations with independent business units and very dynamic scaling requirements because of organic growth or M&A activity. In many cases, the IT departments of these organizations function as internal service providers to the business units, and they are dealing with the challenges of multivendor and legacy environments, complex networks, and geographically diverse dial plans. For this segment, a carrier-grade multi-customer environment similar to those used by cloud service providers would solve these challenges.

HCS for large enterprise does exactly that. Our partners, who possess considerable experience deploying HCS as a public cloud, are also able to resell the full Cisco solution to large self-managed organizations to bring:

  • The same user experience of the collaboration applications available in other consumption models, including partners’ public clouds
  • Cost savings and reduced operational complexity from an carrier-class management system, with rich roles-based access control, standard dial plan models, fault correlation and service impact analysis, and a multiservice framework
  • A resilient network architecture with call control aggregation to manage multiple clusters and dial plans and trunking to the service provider; these optimizations can result in an estimated 4-8% TCO reduction
  • A complete validated data center architecture (i.e. not just servers) optimized for the collaboration applications, with oversubscription guidance for multi-organization scenarios

The world of many clouds is opening a wide array of possibilities for consumption of collaboration software. The Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution provides architecture and the infrastructure that addresses the needs of multiple types of customers – something we’ve always kept at the heart of the solutions we develop.

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  1. I agree to the post! The amount of benefits both from a strategic and financial prospective is only growing and improving.

  2. I agree, great post! As public sector agencies face the same dilemma as large enterprises – multiple vendor environments and the need to add video and other collaboration technologies – the need for “many clouds” is highly relevant and choosing the right one for the environment is key to success.

  3. Really great post. As one of Cisco’s partners we believe that implementing HCS as a public cloud is changing the game of business communications. The amount of benefits both from a strategic and financial prospective is only growing and improving. Reaching out to businesses and letting them know this technology (Cisco Cloud & Collaboration) exists and that it truly has the benefits,is something Touchbase is strongly committed to doing.

    • Thank you for taking the time to let us know that these types of posts are beneficial. Always appreciate hearing from our partners in this rapidly growing area of cloud collaboration. Please feel free to comment often as we value your feedback.