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On the Borderless Experience, Collaboration and the Cloud

January 20, 2011 - 0 Comments


As I type this from my Virtual Office in Sydney, the Cisco Summit has finished Day 1 in Singapore.  And while I regret not being able to make the event this year, it did get me thinking again about the idea of the Borderless Experience.

The borderless concept of “anytime, anywhere from any device” enables me to become location agnostic.  Still, we cannot escape the fact that sometimes physical presence still matters.  As I often joke when setting up TelePresence calls between Australia, the U.S. and Europe, the one problem it cannot yet solve is time zones.

With this thought in mind, Collaboration over the network becomes less about replacing face to face communication, and more about extending the ways in which I can interact when physical presence is not possible. And so while I may not be presenting in Singapore today, through this medium and I can still communicate. Now these musings, are not limited to those attending my session, or even just those at the Summit. And feedback on these thoughts can come from… well… anytime and anywhere.

Sounds downright borderless.

A blog is simple. TelePresence sits at the other extreme. In the middle, we have everything from Unified Communications to WebEx to Quad.  Each enabled by two separate yet equally important components: the network and the data centre.

How does the blog or Quad control access and differentiate between the role of contributor and reader and commenter? How does the network ensure that sufficient bandwidth is reserved and maintained for my video sessions? How does it prioritise between different classes of video, for example TelePresence and Show and Share and YouTube?

My point here is less about the specifics of TrustSec or Medianet, and more about how they are both services enabled by the network—services that ensure these collaborative applications work securely and reliably.

Where do these applications exist? In a public or a private cloud? What are the implications of each?

Often the conversation begins from the perspective of whether or not a function is core to the business. Meetings might be a part of my role, but my job is not to sit in meetings (though it does sometimes feel that way!)

WebEx allows me to outsource that function, and does so in a way providing more capabilities than a simple voice conferencing system. But what if I am a University using WebEx for Virtual Training?  It’s the actual content which is my core business, not the running of a training service, so perhaps the public cloud approach makes the most sense. And yet if the majority of those attending the training are on my own network, does it really make sense for all that traffic to traverse the WAN?

What if I could take a hybrid approach, combining the service benefits of the public cloud with the bandwidth optimisation benefits of the private cloud?

Anytime, anywhere… the Borderless Experience applied to the Cloud.

The Borderless Network architecture is a foundation. Collaboration and the Cloud are both made more reliable and more capable when we consider the foundation that we base them upon—when we focus on the flexibility that the foundation can enable.

So for those of you at the Summit, irrespective of which track you have been attending: the Borderless Network, Collaboration or Data Centre, consider the implications of each as part of the overall experience.

Stay Mobile. Stay Secure.


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