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Collaboration and the Cloud: Harness Both to Accelerate Your Business

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What You Will Learn

In this document you will learn how to take advantage of two market transitions (collaboration and the cloud) while deploying collaboration solutions across your business, encouraging business transformation and new and efficient ways of working across and outside your organization.
By choosing to consume collaboration services from the cloud, you are choosing the collaboration services and applications you need, in a simple-to-consume package, while at the same time safeguarding and maximizing your investments in both collaboration and cloud technologies.

Challenge

Collaboration is changing the way the world works. It is helping companies execute business strategies. It improves productivity, enhances teamwork, improves decision making, and compresses time to market - whether employees and team members are in the same building or halfway around the world. Now, video and mobility solutions are taking collaboration to the next level. The business benefits of enabling people to communicate more naturally, anywhere, anytime are clear and being realized by many. With recent advances in applications and devices, consumers, employees, customers, and partners are increasingly expecting to contact, interact, and conduct business instantly through their preferred communications channels. To compete and differentiate, businesses need flexible and media-rich communication services, and these services are increasingly being consumed from the cloud. The momentum of cloud-based services is accelerating. The economic and agility benefits of the cloud are accelerating significant change in the consumption IT, applications, and content.
The desire to consume services from the cloud is increasing, and many of our customers are starting to realize the multiple benefits of extending the reach of collaboration services across their businesses in a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model. End users are increasingly demanding access to the latest applications and services. A cloud-based collaboration service allows you to deliver these services without having to deploy and manage them in-house, yet in a flexible, dependable, and secure way.
Collaboration is foundational to doing business now and will continue to be so into the future. The five "any's" of collaboration - anyone, any time, from anywhere, on any device, and any content - are compass points of the new business climate. They confer the freedom your employees need to work most productively with teammates at your company and with partners, suppliers, and customers. Market-leading collaboration tools enable people to respond to customers quickly, stay on top of fast-moving markets, and reach decisions faster.
The other technology, cloud computing, saves you hassle. You can use the latest collaboration technologies and let someone else worry about the software applications and the underlying infrastructure. Your company does not need to devote resources to deploying and managing them and then keeping up with the latest versions or new services and applications. With the right provider and right portfolio of applications, you can be assured of obtaining the collaboration tools you want whenever you need them.
This opportune combination of collaboration and the cloud can give you rich unified communications and collaboration throughout your business - and a smarter company altogether.

Business Benefits

The Right Combination of Collaboration and Cloud for You

Cisco ® Hosted Collaboration Solution empowers you to match your users' needs. It is that simple. You can deliver a compelling user experience - the same one across a wide variety of devices and end-user environments - flexibly and consistently. Your employees, partners, and customers can collaborate within your organization or with people within it, anywhere, any time, on any device, conveying any content - all without many of the overhead burdens of deploying and managing the collaboration applications yourself.
Additionally, a cloud-consumed collaboration service allows you to shift your IT spend from a capital expenditure (CapEx) model to an operating expenses (OpEx) one. Added to that, outsourcing the implementation and management of the service to a third party allows you the freedom to focus more of your resources on your core competencies and priorities rather than operational services.
The Cisco Collaboration portfolio provides a comprehensive set of unified communications and collaboration services and applications available anywhere and enables users to collaborate within an environment that is increasingly mobile, social, visual, and virtual.

• Mobile: Enable employees to work anywhere their work takes them. Applications available for mobile workers form the core of collaboration solutions. The Cisco portfolio includes Single Number Reach, presence, single number voicemail, smooth hand-off between devices, integrated messaging, application sharing, extension mobility, enterprisewide dialing plans, customer collaboration such as contact center services, Cisco Unified Presence with Jabber messaging integration, Cisco WebEx® conferencing, and others.

• Social: Empower employees to take advantage of the power of communities and social media at work the way they do in personal life - but in a secure and controlled environment.

• Visual: Video is the new voice. Enterprises are already convinced of the benefits, including the increased trust, more productive work among team members, and significant savings in travel costs. Cisco enables video everywhere, on any device, from smartphones and IP phones to tablets, laptops, and PCs, to life-size Cisco TelePresence® meeting rooms.

• Virtual: People are becoming more mobile, and are increasingly less tied to a traditional desktop; they generally now have a workspace - they work wherever they are. As a result, they need access to the same applications and computing environment from wherever they are. They are still demanding the same people-centric, high-quality, uniform, and smooth user experience across all types of devices and environments - in other words, the ways of collaborating they are used to.

Consuming these collaboration services from the cloud through the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution provides additional benefits:

• The service is evergreen: Cisco and your service provider continually deliver new applications and features and are always in sync with the latest release of each application.

• Security is assured: Customers have their own instances of the applications you choose. Data and data streams are kept separate from those of other companies.

• Availability: The Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution architectures make provisions for redundancy and high availability. In addition, service-assurance capabilities are built in to monitor and maintain service levels.

Your service provider manages your collaboration deployments, so you do not need to devote so much time and resources to installing and maintaining them. You can focus on your core competencies by depending on theirs.

Solution

Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution from Cisco Partners

The collaboration portfolio offered by Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution partners gives freedom to you as well as to your employees: freedom to take advantage of the solution you want and freedom from having to manage every aspect of the services yourself, regardless of your company's geographic or operational diversity.

• Solutions: Because Cisco partners can create their own solutions based on Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution by adding services, applications, and features of their own, you get access to collaboration solutions tailored to your needs - all while enjoying the security and reliability provided by Cisco reference architectures.

• The full range of collaboration applications: Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution includes the widest range of applications available - from the market leader. Each application is fully flexible and provides the same capabilities to you as an on-premises deployment would offer. The portfolio is continually updated as new applications are developed; these new applications are delivered continually to your service provider, who delivers them continually to you. The service is evergreen, so you always have the latest technologies.

• Deployment: The Cisco partner can provide three models of service: a hosted private cloud, a managed service, and a hybrid of the two; you can choose whatever suits your needs.

• Services: Cisco has designed highly reliable architectural blueprints for its Hosted Collaboration Service that help ensure uncompromised security and availability, no matter what deployment model you choose. Your service provider adds setup and maintenance services such as network and cloud management and provisioning to give you trouble-free, worry-free performance.

• User experience: Your employees have the same high-quality, productive user experience they need to be able to collaborate in a post-PC era - when, where, and how they need to.

The Benefits to You

You may already be sold on the value of collaboration to your business: closer teamwork, faster decision making, a more nimble company. But why should you make Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution from a Cisco partner your route to using it?

• You get the latest industry-leading collaboration applications to help make your business more productive.

• In your enterprise's virtual cloud-collaboration matrix, you have your own instance of each application you choose. You do not share, giving you the overall availability, reliability, and security you would have if you installed them on your own premises.

• You let your service provider worry about the future and about technological obsolescence.

• Your collaboration cost of ownership will be less than if your company organizes its own collaboration suite. You are saving your own resources, your capital and operating expenses.

Why Cisco and Cisco Partners?

Cisco puts its networking and collaboration expertise to work for you to ensure high-quality service, security, and technology you can rely on. Cisco and our partners can help you innovate in executing your own business strategy. Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution can help you get out in front of your competitors - and stay there.

Why Now?

Quite simply, a market transition is occurring and the time is right to capitalize on it. Both collaboration and cloud services are rapidly evolving, and Cisco and our partners are at the center of both. By choosing to consume collaboration services from the cloud, you are choosing the collaboration services and applications you need, in a simple-to-consume package, while at the same time safeguarding and maximizing your investments in both collaboration and cloud technologies.

For More Information

For more information about collaboration and the cloud, please visit: http://www.cisco.com/go/hcs.