I recently attended a Cisco Executive Demo Session which was one of the best seminar/demos I’ve ever been to. Short and sweet interactive demos, wish I had brought a camera to take pictures and video.

Cisco Collaboration Application:

  • Very similar to GoToMeeting/WebEx
  • Schedule meetings with Outlook
    • Recipients get a URL link to login to.
    • Share screens.
    • Share mouse & keyboard control.
  • MeetingPlace Express (Small/Medium Business Level) supports up to 200 concurrent users (Phone & Data) on the system.
  • Unified Communications Client (I forgot the official name for it) works a lot like Skype – Phone, Instant Messaging, Phone Book Directory Lookup, Video Chatting.

TelePresence:

  • Very cool – Product stats page: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps7060/index.html
  • At the bottom of the table, there’s a projector that displays laptop hookups
  • The image is automatically switched to which ever location has their laptop plugged in to the VGA cable.
  • They also have a 1 screen version and multi-TelePresence configurations.

Office 2007/ Exchange 2007/ Microsoft Compatibility Roadmap:

  • Unified Communications will pull information from Exchange Server 2003/2007 LDAP connections.
  • Out of the ~10 Cisco reps/systems engineers there, none could give a clear answer on any integration/compatibility with Office 2007 clients or SharePoint Servers.
    • They seem to be trying to solidify their presence in the telephony/virtual communications space by working as little as possible with Microsoft integration and providing their own custom client software and solutions.

I also recieved the following email a couple days later in response to some more detailed questions:

“Right now, by using [Microsoft Office Communicator and Office Communications Server as a 3rd party call control agent for our IP phones, we can integrate presence and click to dial into the Office 2007 applications. There is no native integration of our solutions into Office 2007 desktop applications. Our Strategic Alliances group is in conversations right now with Microsoft on integrating our Unified Communication systems into Sharepoint. Keep in mind there is nothing in concept commit though, meaning only talked about.

With respect to a Web API, our acquisition of WebEx has openned up some intriguing possibilities in that regard; both from an API as well as client perspective. Again, there is nothing that has been committed only talked about.”

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