Interoperability is Table Stakes

March 25, 2016 - 3 Comments

I have never shied away from talking about Cisco’s commitment to interoperability, and here we are in 2016 and we are still talking about it? Haven’t we learned anything from the mobile phone industry? I don’t ever hear Samsung and Apple talk about how their phones can call one another. That’s table stakes. No one would ever buy a phone that couldn’t call any other phone on the planet.

Our approach to interoperability is simple: every endpoint that Cisco makes will be able to connect with any other standards-based endpoint from any other vendor – hard or soft. Full stop. And yes, this also includes the ability to share and receive content as part of the discussion. Some continue to ask, what about Skype for Business? While many say Microsoft is not truly standards-based, to us, it is just another endpoint. As far as we’re concerned, any strategy that deviates from this is a going out-of-business strategy – for anyone in the industry.

The fact that we acquired Acano should ring loud and clear that Cisco is committed to interoperability. Acano was the furthest along in driving true interoperability for the enterprise, especially with Skype for Business. That’s a big asset and one that we are further developing. If you hear rumors to the contrary, it’s someone spreading FUD for their own gain.

At the end of the day, I’m in the business of collaboration and making sure users can easily connect to get things done.  So with my team, we will focus on things that differentiate our products – like great design and delightful user experience and intelligent features that enhance the video experience. I really want to be able to stop talking about interoperability as if it’s an option, because it’s not. It’s the price of admission. It’s really just table stakes.

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  1. Rowan

    When I hear about Interop, I always hear about Microsoft

    What about Google and their apps suite ?

    The current Interop options For Google Are lackluster and clunky

    Would love to see Cisco focus on that suite, it’s a gap no one really has solved for elegantly

  2. “No one would ever buy a phone that couldn’t call any other phone on the planet.” (Y)

  3. Thanks Rowan for the short sharp and to the point blog. I too constantly get drawn into the interoperability discussion / argument with customers and at the end of the day under the covers it is in most cases just FUD being embedded by usually niche players in the market trying to gain a share.