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Cisco Kills Off Web, Audio and Video Conferencing Businesses and Enters Conferencing Market

October 9, 2014 | Telepresence Options


Story and images by Zeus Kerravala / No Jitter

Moving from "aggregated communications," to truly Unified Communications.

This week, Cisco's GM of collaboration, Rowan Trollope, issued a blog announcing a major update to the company's popular WebEx product. Given the market leading position that WebEx holds, one may wonder, why fix something that isn't broken? WebEx currently hosts over 15 million meetings per month, which consumes over 3 billion minutes per month. With that kind of usage, why upset the apple cart?

The reason is that despite the success of WebEx, the product is fundamentally flawed. It's not just a WebEx issue, but something the whole industry deals with. Enterprise Web, audio and video conferencing platforms have been developed in silos and the technology has remained that way since its inception. These silos of communications have prevented us from having true unified communications.

I had discussed this with Rowan Trollope at Cisco Live earlier this year, and his feeling was that we really had, at best, "aggregated communications" and were far from fulfilling the vision of UC. During his keynote, he also was pretty matter-of-fact that Cisco (and all the other vendors) have made UC way too hard to deploy and use.

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