Zeus Kerravala
Zeus Kerravala is the founder and principal analyst with ZK Research. Kerravala provides a mix of tactical advice to help his...
Read Full Bio >>

Zeus Kerravala | September 23, 2010 |


Cisco's Unified Communications Strategy for the Next 12 Months

Cisco's Unified Communications Strategy for the Next 12 Months I expect Cisco to use its next fiscal year to stretch its lead over its archrival, Microsoft, focusing on video, social networking and cloud based UC.
ALSO: Brian Riggs weighs in on the controversy: Commenting on the Commenters

I expect Cisco to use its next fiscal year to stretch its lead over its archrival, Microsoft, focusing on video, social networking and cloud based UC.
ALSO: Brian Riggs weighs in on the controversy: Commenting on the Commenters

Those who follow Cisco know that the company's fiscal year runs August through July, meaning it’s a whole new year for them. I happened to be on the Cisco campus last week and met with a number of individuals that are involved in Cisco's UC and C strategy to discuss what the next 12 months would look like for Cisco in this market. Many industry followers, myself included, believe that Cisco has done a good job of leading this market and will be one of the main companies to watch moving forward, so Cisco's strategy should be something we're all aware of.

Historically Cisco has been all about "catching market transitions", that is, focusing on markets with no true market leader early, inserting themselves as an enabler of the transitioning stuff and then being in a leadership position when it's mature. It's worked for them time and time again and there’s no reason to assume that it won't be a successful strategy moving forward.

Cisco has three main focus areas next year:

* Pervasive video
* Social networking
* Cloud based UC

Looking at each one individually:

Pervasive Video
This should be no surprise to anyone. Cisco has invested billions of dollars into video. It acquired Tandberg, acquired Flip, released a video enabled tablet and although it did not invent TelePresence it certainly legitimized it as a critical component of UC. The value to Cisco is obvious. Video chews up gobs and gobs of bandwidth. More bandwidth equals network upgrades. Despite all of the advanced technologies Cisco has, network infrastructure makes up about half of Cisco’s revenue (and also carries fat margins) so pervasive video would mean a huge boost to Cisco's top and bottom line.

Now, is the world ready to replace every voice call with video? It seems to me that we've heard this story before. Y2K, 9/11, the economic struggles in 05, etc. It seems every few years we declare this to be the year of video and it turns out to be more mouth-share than actual customer mindshare.

So, do I think it will be different this year? I'm guessing it will be improved but not the huge uptick that Cisco is expecting. Now don't get me wrong, I personally believe that video communications are better than voice only. However, I’m not so sure the market and buyers are ready. Much of Cisco's success for their FY11 in video will be their ability to explain to the customer when and how to use all the different types of video effectively.


April 19, 2017

Now more than ever, enterprise contact centers have a unique opportunity to lead the way towards complete, digital transformation. Moving your contact center to the cloud is a starting point, quick

April 5, 2017

Its no secret that the cloud offers significant benefits to enterprises - including cost reduction, scalability, higher efficiency, and more flexibility. If your phone system and contact center are

March 22, 2017

As today's competitive business environments push workforces into overdrive, many enterprises are seeking ways of streamlining workflows while optimizing productivity, business agility, and speed.

April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.