Cisco is upping its game in the collaboration and unified communications market, bringing its Jabber video and TelePresence offerings to new platforms and broadening users mobility and connectivity options to encourage wider enterprise adoption.

Playing the Connect Game

Cisco has realized over time that enterprises won't need to buy its expensive hardware solutions, when users have endless gadgets with cameras and communications options built-in. So, we've seen Cisco's software gradually become available for the main types of smartphones and other devices.

That process has now become a big push with the imminent arrival of a full Jabber video conferencing solution for iPad and Windows (to complement the existing Jabber IM clients).This is all part of Cicso's march into the "post-PC era" -- something we're hearing a lot of, but is that really true or just a useful marketing crutch?

Either way, Cisco is coming all guns blazing with these new apps, plus a very high-end TelePresence TX9000 system that offers a three-screen, 1080p high-definition, conferencing solution. That and a wide range of integrations, so that whatever employees are using, they can attend those important meetings in the most practical and highest quality way possible allow Cisco to compete across the range of rival unified communications offerings.

Conference Calls

While the TX9000 starts at a list price of US$ 299,000, almost anyone in an office can be have Yammer installed on their PC, or be equipped with an iPad or other tablet for desktop or mobile conferencing. That low-level penetration will be key to Cisco remaining a force in communications as it becomes an everyday feature, offered by a wide range of phone, app and service providers.


Teleconference in style, or just get an iPad

Learning Opportunities

Cisco's Jabber releases for Windows and iPad can be used with on-premises and cloud-based deployment options. They and the related server software are included as part of Cisco's Unified Workspace Licensing.

For IT managers, the wider options will help them stick to one provider, if they already use Cisco, or will improve Cisco's offering in the eyes of potential customers, swamped with offerings from Microsoft's Skype, LifeSize, PolyCom and others.