Over the last six months, I’ve talked with numerous customers and partners. One thing was clear: People get it. Connecting employees, vendors, partners, and customers – so they can work together with no barriers – makes sense. It saves money and time, and builds relationships.
It seems like overnight we landed in a post-PC world – a place where working from anywhere, anytime is how it is every day. Two technology trends are driving this new work-style while embracing the existing IT landscape: cloud-based applications and smart mobile devices.
Cloud-based services are already familiar in the consumer world – with music, storage, and social media – and in the business world with customer relationship management (CRM) and other transactional applications. The software-as-a-service (SaaS) model offers well-known benefits to IT – such as rapid deployment, flexibility to meet changes in demand, and the ability to shift costs from capital to a predictable operating expenses – all while providing an “always on” service that is available anytime, anywhere.
I keep coming back to that: anytime, anywhere. It is the touchstone for this new work model. Smart mobile devices are the perfect complements to cloud-based services. We can have consistent access to information from different devices and locations throughout the working day. Check email, join a conference call, or participate in a videoconference – all from your smartphone, notebook, tablet, or desktop. Whether you are on the road, in the office, or at home – place doesn’t matter. The Cisco WebEx cloud collaboration applications are hosted on the Cisco WebEx Cloud, a platform that supports nearly two billion meeting minutes per month between 30 million participants in 231 countries.
The architecture, infrastructure, and operational procedures were all designed to deliver an enterprise-class collaboration service. The Cisco WebEx Cloud employs enterprise-grade security measures from the platform to the meeting, with stringent data privacy and integrated policy controls. Annual third-party audits validate these measures for compliance with rigorous industry standards. For more information, read the whitepaper entitled Unleash the Power of Highly Secure, Real-time Collaboration.
Another benefit of this intelligent network design is continuous service availability. All traffic is globally load balanced between servers and switches throughout the cloud and automatically replicated to a physically separate backup node. These measures ensure resources are always available – whether for scheduled or ad hoc usage – at any time of day or night.
Folks often ask about the top things they should be thinking about when evaluating cloud-based collaboration. I recommend focusing on high availability/resilience, scalability, performance, security, user productivity, offline productivity, investment protection, and vendor maturity and vision. We recently posted a whitepaper on this topic. Find more details there.
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