Cisco Targets $34B Market with New Collaboration Portfolio

Cisco today announced a new collaboration portfolio designed to help companies accelerate business processes, increase productivity and speed innovation. The Cisco collaboration portfolio consists of Cisco Unified Communications, Cisco TelePresence and a new Web 2.0 application platform, all of which use the network as the platform to help enable people to connect, communicate and collaborate from any application, device and workspace.

The portfolio of unified communications, video and a Web 2.0 platform is designed to integrate with business applications, existing IT infrastructures and other Web services, and to allow developers to create new and customised applications and network-based services. The new portfolio products include the following:

Unified Communications–Cisco Unified Communications System Release 7.0 offers significant improvements in total cost of ownership, ease of use, and interoperability with business applications.

Video–Cisco TelePresence Expert on Demand integrates the immersive Cisco TelePresence experience into the contact centre for high-value, in-branch customer service and the ability to summon expertise directly from a Cisco TelePresence meeting.

Web 2.0 Applications Platform–Cisco WebEx Connect, a new software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform that integrates presence, instant messaging, Web meetings and team spaces with traditional and web 2.0 business applications.

“Collaboration is the next phase of the Internet, a phase analysts see as a $34 billion market opportunity, and at the center of this phase is the network,” said Don Proctor, senior vice president, software group, Cisco. “Our network platform uses open standards protocols to expose critical collaboration services such as presence, instant messaging, call control and policy to a broad range of devices and applications. The Cisco collaboration portfolio leverages this network architecture to create an integrated collaboration experience, from simple text messaging to immersive Cisco TelePresence sessions.”

“Having the right collaborative platform helps speed our decision making, increase productivity and improve relationships within the organization and with our customers and partners. I think our ability to collaborate is a competitive advantage for Activision,” said Mike DeDecker, network engineer, Activision. “Cisco’s approach to collaboration takes advantage of our underlying corporate network to provide our teams with a seamless communications experiences, helping us collaborate within the context of business processes.”

With the network as the platform, the Cisco collaboration portfolio is designed to interoperate with business applications, communications devices and Web-based tools while allowing IT departments to maintain their mandates regarding security, policy and compliance. An open architecture and standards-based application programming interface (API) expose application and network services and support end-user customization, IT integration and third-party application and hardware interoperability. Customers can create collaborative mash-ups with public Web-based tools as well as with corporate applications such as those for customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). The open architecture also allows Cisco collaboration capabilities to be delivered to a range of devices including Windows and Mac OS desktops, and mobile phones running Symbian, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile operating system.

Products are expected to be available in early 2009.

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