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New Cisco Jabber for Virtual Environments Provides Superior User Experience

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Beginner

As a technology guy, I’m always fascinated to see what new gadgets and technologies get announced at CES.  Some are pretty cool; some I think will only make it to the headlines.  In the end, which gadget will enjoy large-scale adoption and best empower the user?  The one that best meets the user needs with a superior user experience.

Similarly, Cisco’s announcement today  is all about providing a superior user experience to virtual desktop users and truly empowering them to reach new levels of productivity.  With the new software-enabled Cisco Jabber for virtual environments and integrated UC accessories Cisco is continuing to evolve the virtual desktop into a virtual workspace and pursuing a long-term software strategy for Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI).

According to Gartner, 77 million users will be on Hosted Virtual Desktops (HVD) by 2016. It isn’t a passing trend. To gain many important benefits — such as cost savings, security and easier management — IT organizations are deploying HVD today in growing numbers.

For users, where or how their desktop is hosted should be transparent, it all comes back to that superior user experience.  That includes being able to transparently use their collaboration tools like voice and video from their virtual desktop environment.  With the new software, called Cisco Virtualization Experience Media Engine (VXME), that extends Cisco Jabber to virtual environments, users now have the freedom and the ease to collaborate on their virtual desktops with using IM, presence, voice, high definition video, and more.  Cisco VXME will be available not only on Cisco’s thin clients, but 3rd party thin clients and Windows PCs.

Additionally, different use cases require different user experiences.  I once spoke to an innovative IT executive at a hospital who led the deployment of Cisco VXI about how Cisco Jabber will support virtual environments.  He very clearly noted that solutions fully dependent on the desktop for control will not work in some key user environments like a nursing station.  Not because he didn’t like the technology, but because nurses need a desk phone for every days tasks like quickly answering calls and handing the handset to a doctor next to the nurse — all the features they’ve come to depend on using a desk phone.  We heard many other use cases from our customers for a desk phone including retail stores to manufacturing floors.

Customer feedback like this prompted us to work with Logitech and Jabra to look at the features of Cisco’s phone — which customers like so much — to see how we could integrate these features into desktop accessories.  The end result is a new unified workspace with customizable accessories to fit the user’s need.  It includes Jabra’s DEC cordless handset for those users in a shared work environment like the nursing station mentioned above.  Also from Jabra, a speakerphone with built in call control buttons for those office and conference room settings.  And the UC keyboard from Logitech that has the built-in unified communications features for voice and video call controls so you always know who’s calling and can answer quickly even when your desktop has 20 applications open (like mine).  These are just some of the examples of how the accessories from Logitech and Jabra for Cisco Jabber can help customers be more productive in a virtual environment.

Furthermore, these accessories will eventually also work with any PC with Cisco Jabber for Windows.  As I mentioned before, it’s not about one environment or one device. We are working with Jabra and Logitech to deliver a solution that works in any environment.  And it’s not only about the technology, but importantly the user experience that addresses their workspace needs to be highly productive and effective.

To learn more about Cisco’s desktop virtualization strategy and see a demonstration of  Cisco Jabber for virtual environments and the new UC accessories, I invite you to join me for the Cisco Collaboration Announcement Webcast with live Q&A on Jan 17 from 9-9:30 a.m. Pacific Time (replay available after 11 a.m. Pacific Time).

Fabrice

9 Comments
VIP Advisor

Can you elaborate on this further?

Cisco VXME will be available not only on Cisco’s thin clients, but 3rd party thin clients and Windows PCs

I am familiar with 6215 and my understanding has always been that the 6215 is unique only to Cisco

There is vxc 4000 but that's software solution

So are you saying that if a customer has Wyse or any other vendor for that matter they could have the voice and video terminated locally with jabber. If not then best to have that clarified

Thanks

Srini

Frequent Contributor

Hi Srini,

We'll get an expert on to respond shortly, but I encourage you to come to the announcement webcast at 9 a.m. Pacific Time right here on the Cisco Collaboration Community's Virtual Experience.

Cisco leaders will talk about our strategy in desktop virtualization and collaboration plus demonstrate the solutions.  We'll also have experts online to respond to questions in the forum in real time.

Hope you can make it!

Laura Douglas

Cisco Collaboration Community Manager

VIP Advisor

Thanks Laura

I will try but I did attend a private session a month or so back where they did go over the details of the VXME engine. Hence I was just looking to close some gaps if something changed in the last month or so.

Thanks

Srini

Cisco Employee

Srini,

The VXME is a software package that is installed on the local hardware client.  The VXME interacts with Cisco Jabber on the Hosted Virtual Desktop and allows the voice and video to be terminated at the local hardware client while the user is operating from the Cisco Jabber client.  As mentioned in the press release in the post above, VXME will be available on the VXC 6215 as well as other thin clients and windows PCs as we moved forward in the delivery of enabling Cisco Jabber for virtual environments.

Louis

VIP Advisor

Louis

Yes I am aware of what VXME provides and how it works I attended your session. My question was Cisco has never supported third party VDI devices and provided this benefit. The 6215 was a unique VDI device that embedded the VXME sub system. So back to my very specific question. Is Cisco planning to tell their customers “Even if you have a third party Wyse terminal we will install the VXME engine thereby terminating the audio/video locally”. That’s the point I am confirming since prior to this the only way to benefit from the local termination of audio/video was either VXC or 4000 which is a software PC solution. Does that clarify what I am trying to confirm?

Thanks

Srini

Cisco Employee

Srini,

Yes, we are adding additional support for third party devices as listed in the press release.  The VXC 4000 Release 1 was based on IP Communicator technology.  Starting now with VXME, we will provide a consitent software package that is installed on the local hardware client that interacts with Cisco Jabber in the HVD.  We are basically enabling Cisco Jabber for virtual environments starting with the VXC 6215, and then in due time with third party hardware as well.

Louis

VIP Advisor

Thanks that’s all I needed. Lync announced support for this in 2013 and wanted to see if Cisco is following suit. What are the dates for that third party support? I know you cannot commit but is it 6 months, a yr? I need an answer since Lync is selling their VDI support with their 2013 launch.

Thanks

Srini

Cisco Employee

Srini,

All the details are in the Announcement Highlights here:

http://newsroom.cisco.com/release/1128816

"The VXME software is targeted for global availability in the first half of the calendar year."

Louis

VIP Advisor

Thanks good to see Cisco open this up outside VXC.

Thanks

Srini

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