Cisco Systems is looking to extend the capabilities of its collaboration offerings, including WebEx and Jabber, to address the mobile trends of what company executives agree is the post-PC era. By opting for an approach focused on the cloud, end users can work everywhere, on just about any device. It seems the goal of many service companies is to free the user in their own way. Even Apple hopes to monetize the bulk nature of enterprise and government customers, through secured mobile offerings.
The Cisco Collaboration Summit held in Miami was an opportunity for Cisco to unveil new solutions to help users collaborate more effectively in the era of “post-PC.” WebEx and Jabber developments took center stage, covering a range of solutions that can change the way users collaborate via web applications.
“We’re trying to redefine the telepresence experience,” said Michael Smith, a Cisco spokesman. “You can extend your investment from telepresence being something you do when you’re sitting in a room to something you can do wherever you are.”
With Cisco Jabber, the company is introducing new tools to businesses and developers to integrate Cisco Unified Communications from any web browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Internet Explorer), and deploy tools such as instant messaging or WebEx voice and HD video directly inside a web application. Once deployed, users can collaborate quickly and effectively without ever leaving the web page. In-browser collaboration tools are gaining slowly in sophistication, with Skype, Citrix and even Google+ heading in a similar direction.
The use of Cisco Jabber plug-in and a free download for web browsers allows users to enrich their web applications with collaborative features characteristics by presence, instant messaging (IM), voice and video. These new Jabber features work from Apple, BlackBerry, Android, Nokia and Windows devices.
WebEx redefines the life cycle of meetings, allowing customers a way to share data easily at a meeting through a meeting place. This solution provides new levels of integration between Cisco WebEx and global collaboration portfolio of Cisco, including Cisco TelePresence and Cisco Unified.
“Say you’re traveling and you’re on your PC sitting in your hotel room,” said Smith. “You could use an application and suddenly a colleague sees you’re available so they call you. The productivity I get is huge. Now if I’m a couple of time zones away, people can still reach me as if I’m still in the office.”
Cisco is not the only player in revamping the products portfolio for social capabilities. AOL has just revamped their instant messaging service AIM. AIM now allows users to store and sync messages across different devices and view photos.
Facebook and Skype stepped up together last week to launch video chat directly from any platform. Video messaging service, Vimessa, just launched its video voicemail iOS app. The app allows user to post offline video messages to their friends.