Changes to Cisco Jabber and WebEx

After Opening Buzz, What Do New Cisco Jabber & WebEx Improvements Mean For You?

It seems Cisco stepped it up again. A few weeks back, Cisco announced that they have invested in the collaboration game with new improvements to Cisco Jabber and WebEx. From what I'm reading, this is cool stuff.  

It opens up new possibilities for Cisco in the area of business communications and processes. 

Here are some highlights:

  • New for WebEx - "THD video advancements and enhanced mobile capabilities that enable all new ways to prepare, meet and follow-up after a meeting, Cisco WebEx is helping to change the meeting experience. "
  • "Cisco is making collaboration much easier by advancing Cisco Jabber with a freely downloadable Web browser plug-in that will help extend collaboration to tens of millions of people that use Web browsers on Windows- or Mac-based OS devices."
  • "Users in a public cloud-based application or a line of business-based application can easily find a co-worker using presence, communicate using IM and then click-to-call or click-to-video to enable a rich, real-time collaboration experience."

Read more about these changes.

These are solid new technological capabilities that will streamline work processes and make people more productive. This could be a big deal for executives with crammed schedules.  

Furthermore, Cisco is increasing accessibility to these tools for more end-users. For instance, as soon as early 2012 there will be a free basic edition of WebEx available for up to 3 users. This opens up new possibilities in the usage of these tools. Does this indicate a change of mentality in future business strategy?  

What does this mean for businesses dealing with real world challenges?

When people read about these kinds of releases there is always a certain amount of buzz and enthusiasm. After things calm down, people eventually ask, "What does it mean to me?" The technology is one thing. The application of technology is another. In a business climate where minutes matter, these new tools can be a difference maker. The possibilities are exciting.

Yet each company is different and must decide if this solution is the right one for them. Cost and implementation are two factors that must be considered. Maybe a more streamlined, collaborative environment will enhance your sales processes or reduce follow-up times within certain processes. Maybe this will allow mobile users to reduce project completion times because of greater access to the rest of the team or third-party partners.  

The question remains - is this something companies will jump on right away? Based on the investment necessary for proper implementation, is the timing right for your business? Although we'd rather not revisit this point, it's necessary. With economic uncertainties looming, is this a must have or nice to have?  It's quite possible that this may be used as a differentiating advantage in highly competitive industries.

Only time will tell. I am sure I am not the only one who is eager to hear reactions to this as the weeks and months go by. 

What are your thoughts? Is this is a difference maker?

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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