ENTERPRISE CONNECT The network giant places its bet on people-centric collaboration at an Orlando trade show

Cisco streamlines Telepresence for a post-PC world

 Cisco Systems Inc. is anticipating another market transition with its people-centric collaboration strategy. The networking giant made three product announcements to support its latest bet on visual collaboration solutions.

At the Enterprise Connect trade show in Orlando, Fla., Cisco released a new desktop, mobile Jabber applications and a more consumer-focused TelePresence offering.

The bring your own device (BYOD) trend and companies embracing video-conferencing solutions were two factors for Cisco making this bet.

Richard McLeod, Cisco’s senior director of business development, told Network World Canada that 90 per cent of enterprises have begun or plan BYOD initiatives. And, by 2015, 200 million workers globally will take advantage of company-supplied desktop video-conferencing solutions.

“The old PC model is changing dramatically. BYOD, smartphones, tablets and ultrabooks are massively changing our world. We think the stranglehold on the desktop is changing to a mobile environment,” McLeod said.

He added that social media is also factor in Cisco’s people-centric collaboration approach. “Social media is moving from the consumer to the enterprise and video will be everywhere,” he said.

Cisco’s people-centric collaboration solution consists of its unified communications, collaboration applications and Telepresence. The goal is to move from instant messaging to voice to video with the click of a button, McLeod said.

Jabber will now be available on the iPad and Windows. It already supported Blackberry, Android, Mac and IOS devices. Jabber gives users access to high-quality video, voice and messaging either on-premise or in the cloud. Jabber for Windows will have a unified client so that users just have one place to access all communications options. It’s also integrated into Office, Outlook and Exchange.

Eagle Investment Systems, a data management and investment accounting firm based in Boston, plans to use Jabber in an effort to communicate better with its mobile workforce.

Mike Fitzgerald, the managing director and head of information systems at Eagle, said in a prepared statement supporting the product launch that Eagle already has a highly mobile workforce. The company wants to build a high-performance workplace of the future that enables employees to use a variety of laptops, tablets and smart phones to work as productively and efficiently as possible. With the Cisco collaboration architecture and Cisco Jabber, employees can use any of these devices and any operating system for collaboration, unified communications and videoconferencing, Fitzgerald said.

New update to Cisco Telepresence

The third piece to Cisco people-centric collaboration strategy is an updated, more consumer-friendly Telepresence. The company released a three-screen Telepresence unit called the TX9000. McLeod suggests that the TX9000 will be a more immersive experience for users because of its content sharing capabilities.

The TX9000 takes the best of Cisco Telepresence and Tandberg and will feature 1080p, 60 frames-per-second video. It also incorporates WebEx and it has full touchpad capabilities with Jabber.

CareCore National, a Bluffton, S.C.-based health-care provider specializing in diagnostic imaging, is a user of Telepresence.

William Moore, executive vice president and chief technology officer of CareCore National, said in a prepared statement supporting the product launch that Cisco’s video solutions enables disparate groups to interact with the company face-to-face through TelePresence or using WebEx conference. This allows for more efficient communication and improved collaboration from any location. Cisco Jabber gives the flexibility in the method of communication, starting with presence and IM, extending its reach to a higher level of communicationvia desktop sharing, conferencing, and TelePresence sessions. With these tools, Moore added, thecompany is able to provide an in-person experience internally as well as withcustomers and vendors, saving time and improving customer interaction.

According to McLeod, the TX9000 drives down the total cost of ownership of bandwidth by 20 per cent. Channel partners have a more streamlined deployment because it does not require purpose-built room. This reduces installation time by 30 to 50 per cent.

The price has not changed for this product. It stays at $299,900.

McLeod anticipates the TX9000 will drive new demand for network upgrades and the push for an integrated line of business applications.“This can be a five to six time multiplier for partners with professional services,” McLeod said.

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