Cisco WebEx, Jabber Updates Focus on Post-PC Collaboration
Cisco Systems has unveiled its future plans for WebEx, its popular web-based collaboration technology, and The VAR Guy has been made privy to the nitty-gritty details, thanks to Michael Smith, director of Collaboration Applications Marketing, and Matt Michiels, business development manager for Go To Market Technology. The short version of the story is that Cisco is gearing up for the post-PC world by expanding the reach of WebEx and Jabber. The VAR Guy version? Read on and find out …
Calling it a “people-centric” approach, Cisco has expanded broadly the breadth and reach of WebEx and Jabber. The company has created a Facebook-like web portal for WebEx to enhance collaboration, allow for instant video chats, file-sharing and more streamlined meeting organization. In addition, Cisco has released an SDK for Jabber, which allows developers to write integrated applications and browser-ready plug-ins to make voice communication and presence a simple task across a variety of cloud and web-based applications (GMail is a great example). But Jabber also can be virtualized, packaged or built into other web-based portals or applications.
Cisco’s big plan is to “put Jabber everywhere” and make collaboration and communication ubiquitous across almost any device, with the obvious caveat being the use of Cisco’s software technology. (The VAR Guy thinks Polycom is definitely riding Cisco as the “open” alternative, especially after its RealPresence TIP update.) Regardless, Cisco has made some impressive leaps and bounds from the traditional idea of collaboration and as Cisco supports platforms beyond its own Cius tablet, which can only mean good things for Cisco and their partners.
Smith said much of this push toward improving Jabber and WebEx has been fueled by consumerization of IT, cloud technology and mobility, since “the iPhone [is] becoming a first-class video-capable device.” Michiels then noted that as WebEx has caught on through the use of the iPad and iPhone, Cisco is looking to “expand ‘stickiness’ inside the customer business environment,” which can help partners obtain a longer revenue stream and strike bigger deals overall. “Partners [can] expand customer use cases, and more and more opportunities [become available].” The channel can also capitalize on the SDK, Smith said: “The Jabber SDK enables partners and developers to create interesting collaborative experiences,” and UC expansion can benefit both horizontal and vertical applications.
If you want all the details on what Jabber and WebEx now can do, check out the press release for the expansive and lengthy rundown. Meanwhile, The VAR Guy will keep tabs to see how far and wide Cisco’s new WebEx and Jabber offerings reach, especially up against serious contenders such as Polycom’s ever-growing OVCC.