New Collaboration Tools from Cisco
The senior director of Cisco’s Worldwide Collaboration Channel Sales, Richard McLeod, has stated that the company is presently attempting to advance and improve the assistance it offers to midmarket partners and their customers. It is noteworthy that this comes in light of recent news announcing an increase in Cisco’s second quarter fiscal earnings; this is consequential of the company’s networking and corporate IT gear sales, which have been increasing.
Cisco’s senior sales business development manager at Cisco’s Worldwide Channnels, Marc Inderhees, commented on why and how the company is seeking to accomplish this.
Inderhees offered a general outline detailing the updates, and these include products, services and support. Additionally, he concurred with McLeod when stating that the midmarket, according to Cisco, comprises of those servicing between 100 - 1,000 desks; this is indicative of a $7.1 billion opportunity, and the company will assist its partners in this growing market.
In a statement, Inderhees said: “Everything we do is in support of our partners. We are continually focused on this and have doubled down with partner-led activities with this announcement, because we know and understand that our partners are relied upon as a business partner who is able to discuss with their end user clients their current goals and objectives, and to design a solution that is able to meet their current (and future) goals and objectives.”
Programs such as PartnerPlus are presently being invested in by Cisco, but further to that, the company is also making improvements to the Cisco Business Edition 6000 midmarket collaboration platform from a product perspective. This will enable the offering of enterprise-class voice, messaging, instant messaging, presence and telepresence to smaller organizations at costs which are much more affordable.
The new 25-user bundle will also make the 6000 more appealing to customers, and simpler licensing agreements will also be included. Inderhees said: “The 6000 can run up to eight applications, and can also provide customers with unified communications capabilities. We are bringing all these capabilities, and we have made it more affordable, with lowered TCO and a lower hardware footprint.”
There will also be new additions and enhancements to programs which are presently running such as the Advanced Technology Provider (ATP) which has been simplified for partners that wish to keep their attention focused on midmarket telepresence.
Taking into account the recent developments at Cisco over the last two years where the company ended their umi telepresence products and FLIP video cameras, Inderhees stated that this move was not a part of a strategy to limit Cisco’s focus on certain initiatives. Inderhees said: “umi telepresence was definitely a consumer play. John Chambers (Cisco’s current CEO) and the executive team made a great decision in recognizing areas where we are market leaders and leading from a technology perspective. (B2B) Video and collaboration were two of those priorities, so we increased our investments in those groups and increased additional resources such as the Business Edition 6000. I think that we have the right vision and that we understand customer trends, needs and the wave of activity that’s building in the mid-market space.”
Inderhees also stated that the differences between Cisco’s B2B telepresence offerings and those of their competitors and other types of solutions which are free (like Skype) is that there is more here in tune with quality over quantity. He said: “When it comes to telepresence, the typical business customer is looking for an experience that is quality, and is richer than just talking face-to-face with someone. They want functions such as being able to easily add others to the conversation and the ability to support larger and multi-party experiences, and to also schedule those resources and processes.”
Commenting on how Cisco plans to persist in its competition with the present and somewhat controversial B2B video telepresence market, Inderhees said that Cisco will stand higher than its competitors due to the fact that they can offer a broader and stronger solution. He said: “It is definitely a differentiator that we are able to deliver a single integrated solution. Video is a weak point for many of our competitors, and often their solution is to partner with someone else who can deliver on that solution. However, at Cisco, we feel the one vendor approach is the best approach.” (CY) Link