Cisco to conquer the enterprise world
Cisco seems to have unleashed all-out blitzkrieg on rivals and partners alike, with the firm announcing a whopping 61 new products added to its already broad suite of unified communications offerings.
The new products include beefed-up software tools for corporate-grade hosted e-mail, videoconferencing, document/video sharing and even social networking, putting the firm in direct competition with erstwhile partners like Microsoft, IBM and potentially even Google.
Cisco's WebEx Mail - cobbled together by combining the firm's Webex conferencing service with technology from recent acquisition, Postpath - is probably the most noteworthy of the bunch, with the corporate-grade hosted e-mail system representing a really serious challenge to Microsoft's Outlook service as well as IBM's iNotes.
The 25GB mailbox service effectively puts email in that ever pervasive ‘cloud', allowing users to read their Outlook e-mail from any browser and making Microsoft Exchange servers redundant. WebEx Mail will also purportedly support mobile devices, firewalls and other security services.
Cisco also seems to be continuing its crusade for video tech after what - at the time - seemed to be a rather bizarre acquisition of video camera maker, Flip, back in March. Now the firm is adding a video system to help groups securely share video content which has been recorded, edited and even tagged using Cisco YouTube-alike Show and Share.
The new tool even allows for speech-to-text transcripts allowing for easy video searches, something Google has been grappling with for yonks.
Also in the new video related offerings, Cisco is plugging its Intercompany Telepresence Directory (ITD), which lets corporate users see who is online and available for video chats. You'd think Cisco would have cottoned on and snapped up Skype by now, eh?
Webex users can also apparently click to make video calls to users in a Cisco Telepresence room, a high-def purpose-built affair, with every room costing somewhere in the region of $300,000. Recession be damned.