Collaboration with co-workers was simpler in the old days. You had email, mobile phone and desk phone. If you couldn't reach them through those channels, you walked over to where they worked. If they weren't around, you took some candies from the bowl on their desk and gave up.
Now, collaboration tools are more effective, with mobile apps, videoconferencing, chat, discussion threads and more. More effective -- but more complex.
With its Webex portfolio, Cisco is a collaboration leader. Heading up that business for Cisco is Amy Chang, EVP and general manager of Cisco collaboration. Light Reading's Mitch Wagner sat down with Chang at the recent Cisco Partner Summit in Las Vegas for a short yet information-packed and high-energy discussion of Cisco's collaboration strategy and what it means to service providers.
We started out by sharing our "best/worst" collaboration stories -- experiences where collaboration technology failure resulted in embarrassing situations on calls and videoconferences.
After a good laugh -- and cringes all around -- we moved on to serious discussion of Cisco's collaboration strategy.
Cisco is looking to help enterprises, and the carriers that serve them, ease the transition from on-premises collaboration tools to the cloud. It's building new tools into its collaboration services, including cognitive tools such as speech recognition and real-time transcription and translation. In the longer term, we'll see augmented reality and virtual reality built into Cisco's collaboration tools, Chang says.
And Cisco is providing tools to help service providers customize collaboration tools for their customers.
"One of the things we find with our service provider partners is they really like to brand the experience," Chang says. "You find that your AT&Ts and DTs and Oranges and these major service providers provide a very distinctive experience for the businesses that come to them." Cisco has made its platform modular "so that distinctive and customized services on top of the Webex platform can be created, and the user experience can be completely white-labeled," says the Cisco woman.
The Light Reading podcast is available on:
- Podcast: Cable Gets the Urge to Converge
- Podcast: Nuage CEO on the Market Impact of MEF's SD-WAN Standards
- Cisco CEO Robbins: Global Jitters Drive Down Tech Spending
- Podcast: Juniper CEO Rami Rahim on 400G, AI & Being a Market Challenger
— Mitch Wagner Executive Editor, Light Reading