Clearly Cisco is committed to developing innovative cloud collaboration solutions. This is a hot space. Cloud collaboration delivers many benefits in the way IT organizations deliver services to their users. It provides new opportunities to change the way work gets done, and speeds-up innovation. We are already a leader, and want to extend our leadership even further. Expect to hear some exciting announcements at Enterprise Connect in Orlando next week. 

Many of our existing customers come to me and ask: 

  • What does this mean for Cisco’s on-premises UC strategy?
  • Are there good reasons to maintain an on-premise UC estate? 
  • How can I extend the value of my on-premises investments as I move some (or all) of my collaboration to the cloud? 

Tens of millions of users rely on Cisco Unified Communications Manager, Cisco Unified Contact Center (Express/Enterprise/Packaged), Cisco Jabber, and Cisco Meeting Server to get their jobs done. We are not going to let them down.   

I believe there are a few key reasons why on-premises solutions will continue to be important: 

1) Regulatory policy and compliance: While our cloud solutions are very secure, many governments and industries are not allowed to adopt them because of legal and regulatory issues. There are a lot of “air gapped” networks that are not allowed to have internet connectivity and they want to use Cisco on-premises unified communication solutions! 

2) Geographic reach: There are still many areas of the world where cloud solutions are not fully available. There are countries, areas of poor Internet connectivity, and even ships (yes, we have Unified CM running in ships). 

3) IT integrations: Our systems have many APIs that customers and 3rd party technology partners have taken advantage of over several years. It’s not uncommon to see a large enterprise with multiple contact centers, recording systems, call accounting software packages, and a plethora of custom development applications connected to the same Unified CM cluster. Cloud solutions are feature rich and offer APIs to connect to other web services and applications. One of the main benefits of the cloud is simplicity. Customers will have to make a choice between their existing sophisticated IT environment or a more streamlined one.

4) Specialized applications: Looking for low-latency, super high-resolution and high-frame rate video? The answer is probably “no” for most customers, but media companies, for example, think otherwise. We can’t beat the speed of light, and the round trip for packets to go to the basement is lower than going to the cloud. 

So, to me, the answer is very simple: yes – we will continue to innovate in on-premises.  We will deliver THE best on- premises collaboration solutions in the market, period.  

There are two missions I set for my team... 

First, for those companies that already use our on-premises portfolio, or even want to start, we will provide secure and rock-solid reliable solutions that delight your users. We will continue to simplify administration and reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of our solutions, expecting that you will rely on them for many years to come. 

The second mission: for customers who are on-premises today and want to migrate some or all of your collaboration to the Cisco cloud, we will offer smooth transition pathways. We are not going to slow you down. Indeed, we will enable you to move faster than largely unproven cloud competitors who will expect you take huge leaps of faith. 

So, if you want to deploy Cisco cloud calling solutions, that is great. If you want to deploy on-premises or hybrid solution, that is great too. We can help you with your journey. 


Look out for collaboration announcements at Enterprise Connect, Orlando, March 18-21.

You can live stream the keynote by Amy Chang, SVP Collaboration on cisco.com on Wednesday March 20th at 10 am ET.  Sign up for a reminder email here.

If you are at the trade show, visit our booth to see our latest innovations in action. Stop by for a chat.

I’ll be taking part in a live panel debate about on-premises and cloud solutions. I’d love to hear your views and answer any questions you have.  Add it to your schedule here.

Alternatively, post your questions below, and I’ll get back to you.




Fernando Mousinho

Director of Product Management

Unified Communications Technology Group