The following is Part 2 of a series on today's announcement by Cisco.
Note: Update to remove name of portal vendor until official announcement.
What is Cisco announcing?
To understand and decipher what Cisco is announcing, it is important to break the information down into four distinct areas: Strategic Pillars, Reference Architecture, “Extend Current”, and “Enter New”.
- Interoperable, Open Architecture: Given the strategic focus on inter-company collaboration, Cisco plans to leverage open source, open protocols, and modernized methods of interoperability (e.g., SOA, Rest) to enable any device or application to leverage a consistent set of core of collaborative services.
- Flexible deployment models: Cisco intended to offer application and infrastructure services for different computing models including SaaS/Cloud and on-premises, or hybrid combinations of both.
- Enterprise social software: Cisco plans to deliver the type of social tools and applications popular in the consumer world, but with the necessary foundation expected from enterprise organizations (e.g., security, availability, quality of service, and reliability).
- Video communications: As stated earlier, conversations and visual communication are now viewed as collaboration from a business perspective, rather than the tooling viewpoint so long adopted by IT. Cisco believes that communication-centric and people-centric interaction models are the basis for next generation collaboration platforms and solutions.
- Secure inter-company: Boundary-less computing that allows internal and external collaboration across employees, partners, suppliers, and customers. Externalization trends are resulting in companies needed to collaborate as easily externally as they do today internally.
- Infrastructure: At the lowest level, the Virtual Computing Environment effort would be leveraged here (compute, storage, and network).
- Collaboration Services: In the middle layer, Cisco’s assets related to presence, location, unified communications, collaboration, and content management are situated at this tier of Cisco’s model.
- Communication & Collaboration Applications: conferencing, blogs, wikis, customer care, e-mail, telepresence and other people-facing applications are at the highest level.
“Extend Current”: Upgrades To Existing Assets
- Cisco TelePresence WebEx Engage: One-button start of a combined and integrated Telepresence and WebEx meeting (improved user experience, productivity).
- Video-enabled Cisco Unified IP Phone 8900 and 9900 Series with Cisco Unified Communications Manager
- Cisco Intercompany Media Engine (IME): simplifies high-definition audio and video across organizations (common user experience internally or externally)
- Intercompany Cisco TelePresence Directory: opt-in directory for companies to list endpoints, rooms, etc.
- Cisco WebEx Connect IM: The product moves from AIM to an XMPP-based IM network based on the Jabber. WebEx Connect C6.0 begins with federation across all XMPP based clients and the AIM network and will federate across other networks such as IBM SameTime, Microsoft Office Communications Server, and Yahoo!. Integration with Cisco Unified Communications and WebEx Meeting Manager. There are additional policy management capabilities as well.
- Cisco Unified Presence and Cisco Unified Personal Communicator 8.0: Combines presence from SIP/SIMPLE, SIP (PBX phones), and XMPP sources. Federate and exchange messages with clients like Microsoft Office Communicator, IBM Sametime, Cisco Unified Personal Communicator, Cisco WebEx Connect, and GoogleTalk. Support for server-side IM logging. B2B federation support (native for XMPP, via third-party products for non-XMPP Public IM. Presence interfaces for application enablement as well.
- Any-to-any Cisco TelePresence HD interoperability with Cisco Media Experience Engine 5600
- Cisco Unified Communications Manager Session Management Edition
“Extend New”: New Entrants
- Cisco Show and Share: Digital Media System 5.2 introduces an updated Desktop Video portal (Show and Share) – a social collaboration platform that mimics YouTube that includes many collaborative functions (e.g., commenting, polling, ratings, tagging, user-generated authoring and publishing, usage reporting, multi-language support, content subscription, advanced search, and TelePresence playback). Speech-to-text transcription allows intelligent viewing experiences (skim for relevant points in the video).
- Enterprise Collaboration Platform (ECP) is based on open source components (search, semantic web), standard interfaces ( Java and document APIs), intellectual property added by Cisco, and a leading open source portal that includes social tools and applications. It includes a wide variety of features such as a personal dashboard, social & networking-based auto-tagging, click to call/meet/IM, people and communities, information search, content management, a directory profile, social graph, blogs, wikis, forums, teamspaces, video support, a UC-enabled browser as well as micro-blogging and activity streams. Search is also included (search faceting, rating, semantic search, time-based search results, related content, user-defined notifications).
- SaaS e-mail: Corporate-grade hosted email, native support of Outlook; up to 25G mailboxes, high availability and mobile support for all users, Web 2.0 client, delivered by WebEx Collaboration Cloud with IronPort; US and Canada
- Cisco Pulse: Pulse is a search platform that performs dynamic tagging of content as it traverses the network, offering a real-time, cross application view of the entire organization. Pulse helps people locate and connect with the best available experts and information. State-of-the-art search and deep-packet analysis enables automated tagging of content and media in real-time (any content in motion across the network, including video and audio). Pulse integrates with Cisco collaboration solutions (TelePresence, WebEx), as well as with other social applications and custom mashups.
- Cisco Media Experience Engine (MXE) 5600/3500 (Real time media transformation, including speech to text, HD Interoperability with Cisco TelePresence)
- Cisco ISR G2: Medianet-ready router, optimizes video performance in the branch