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Posts Tagged ‘Cisco Live’

One of the more interesting parts of the annual Cisco Live event is the “World of Solutions” exhibit hall. This is where many of Cisco’s vendor partners exhibit their wares and try to sell their products to the massive Cisco install base. Although the Analyst Relations team at Cisco didn’t give me that much time to walk the show floor I did find time to see a few of the vendors, one of which stood out for its unique approach.

ISI Telemanagement Solutions had a booth at the show it shared with VOSS Solutions and demonstrated what they called a UC Business Analytics Solution (UC-BAS). For those who don’t know these two companies, ISI provides cost management software for voice, data, wireless and UC. VOSS is one of the UC “middleware” vendors that provides design, configuration and management solutions for UC solutions, including the red hot Cisco Hosted Collaboration Service (HCS).

The joint solution, UC-BAS, attempts to provide business analytics to try and measure the value of UC, which has historically been a difficult, if not impossible thing to measure. In fact, one of the analyst roundtables I attended was on the ROI of collaboration and the primary take away from that was that the ROI is unique to each company and measuring the value had to be done almost on a case-by-case basis. The UC-BAS solution attempts to measure this by understanding who uses what tools and how often. Companies can use this to determine how the UC applications should be rolled out to its user base.

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Cisco kicked off its annual user conference, Cisco Live on Tuesday, June 12th. As it has for the last 10+ years, the event kicked off with a keynote from CEO John Chambers, which is normally one of the highlights of the event. I’ve seen a lot of Chambers keynotes over the years, and there have certainly been many of them, but I felt the keynote lacked some closing punch.

The keynote started out with a bunch of BMX bikers doing stunts to fire up the crowd. It was a very cool attention grabber, and not as cheesy as the roller-skating “Cisco Inferno” of a few years ago. The actual keynote started out with Chambers talking a lot about market transitions and the importance of catching them at the right time. This isn’t a new pitch for Chambers. He’s been talking about the importance of market transitions now for several years.

But this year he took a slightly harsher line on it by saying that “market transitions wait for no one,” and that companies that didn’t catch them would basically die. I believe this has been the key driver to Cisco growth over the past two decades as they caught many transitions, such as the move from hubs to switches, bridges to router, switched voice to VoIP, and the list goes on and on. It’s an important message, particularly for Cisco’s SP customers that have historically been slow to catch transitions.

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