Effective collaboration has become critical in a complex work world where employees, partners, and customers are geographically dispersed, travel and budgets have been reduced, and information overload is considered normal. You can help organizations meet these challenges with Managed Collaboration Services based on Cisco® Collaboration Solutions. Cisco Collaboration can help your company:
• Quickly form teams across corporate boundaries, companies, and continents
• Provide customers with instant access to company experts and resources
• Effectively share the most relevant business information
With Managed Collaboration Services, your customers can improve interactions, accelerate innovation, make better decisions faster, and increase their responsiveness to customers and the market-while you build revenue. In addition, by offering your customers a suite of compelling services, you will generate customer satisfaction and loyalty (Figure 1).
Figure 1. Converging Business Factors for Managed Collaboration Services
Converging Business Factors Are Accelerating Explosive Growth for Managed Collaboration
According to a recent survey by Forrester Research, 7 out of 10 large organizations are investing in enterprise collaboration solutions. However, because many organizations want to avoid initial capital outlays, a growing number of companies are evaluating pay-as-you-go services rather than company-owned and -operated collaboration. The lower capital expenditures (CapEx), lower operating expenses (OpEx), and mitigation of technology risk make Managed Collaboration Services an especially attractive option for organizations today. According to leading analysts, the Managed Collaboration Services market is expected to grow from $10 billion in 2009 to an extraordinary $53 billion in 2013.
But just what is it that is creating this explosive interest in collaboration? It is a response to the convergence of three business factors: a more restrictive economic climate, a more complex competitive environment, and growing anxieties over environmental concerns. The economic challenges of the recent downturn have created a fundamentally changed business landscape. Doing more with less-reduced teams, budgets, and travel-has become the "new normal". In addition, several important trends are making business more complex and creating a need for organizations to change the way they operate:
• Global value chains: Most companies today-regardless of size-work with outside suppliers, partners, and contractors. Collaborating across corporate firewalls has now become business-critical.
• Information overload: People have massive amounts of data to process and prioritize, and information resides in both corporate files and email and voicemail messages, instant messages, podcasts, blogs, wikis, video portals, and more. Helping people find the right information when they need it can accelerate decision making.
• An increasingly mobile workforce: According to IDC, 62 percent of surveyed enterprises believe that the number of mobile employees will increase. As employees become more mobile and expertise becomes less accessible, knowing whom to contact as well as when, where, and how to reach them will be essential for business success.
• The consumerization of IT: In an attempt to have their work world more closely mirror the capabilities in the consumer world, employees are bringing new devices and applications into the workplace, creating unprecedented privacy and security challenges for IT.
Finally, the growing urgency to be "green" has organizations looking for ways to reduce travel, power consumption, and their company's carbon footprint. As a result, attending virtual meetings instead of in-person meetings is now more universally accepted. Collaboration solutions such as web and video conferencing can virtually eliminate internal and training-related travel. More advanced collaboration solutions such as Cisco TelePresence™ conferencing, which enables lifelike, face-to-face meetings, make it possible to virtually meet with three customers on three continents in one day-without losing that personal connection. According to Gartner, Cisco TelePresence conferencing will replace 2.1 million airline seats by 2012, helping organizations worldwide reduce their carbon footprints. Having a service provider host or deliver collaboration services across the cloud will decrease not only greenhouse gas emissions, but also power consumption. It is this win-win scenario that has so many companies so excited about collaboration (Figure 2).
Figure 2. The Broad Collaboration Opportunity
Cisco Collaboration Solutions
Cisco's collaboration portfolio has grown and evolved into a broad and deep offering - that spans IP communications to customer care to conferencing to mobility, video, and much more. These Solutions address today's business complexities by evolving beyond traditional text- and voice-centric forms of collaboration. Cisco Collaboration enables rich, contextual, dynamic collaboration among teams, communities, and individuals who are mobile, geographically dispersed, and struggling to keep up with an influx of information. Cisco Collaboration Solutions:
• Build upon single-threaded, asynchronous communications, adding multithreaded communications that take place in real time across an array of devices and media
• Extend beyond corporate boundaries to include people and teams throughout the global value chain
• Evolve from static, predefined network connections to dynamic connections that enable the impromptu creation of teams
• Provide contextual collaboration so the right people have the right information at the right time
• Move beyond the traditional exclusive firewall security models to security that is inclusive of authorized people outside the organization
Cisco Collaboration Solutions include:
• Conferencing: Take advantage some of the industry's best voice, video, and web offerings with managed on-premises and on-demand conferencing solutions. These solutions can help you extend the reach of your customers' workforces with advanced audio, web, and videoconferencing capabilities that are compelling, productive, and cost-effective.
• Customer care: Help your customers achieve true customer intimacy, satisfaction, and loyalty with industry-leading IP contact-center solutions that proactively connect customers with the information, expertise, and support they need-when and where they need it.
• Enterprise social software: Accelerate decision making by helping employees, customers, and partners quickly find, access, and share relevant business information using secure enterprise social software applications, automated expertise, and media locators.
• IP Communications: Boost productivity with the number-one enterprise voice system, which includes a full suite of IP Communications solutions and advanced media and collaborative meeting endpoints. Help your customers extend consistent communications services to employees, whether they work at a main campus, branch offices, or remotely.
• Messaging: Enable your customers to view real-time presence information from standards-based presence systems using the market's leading unified messaging solutions. These secure solutions enable employees to access and deliver messages anywhere, on any device. Enable customers to communicate within and between companies with enterprise Instant Messaging from the cloud or hosted on premises.
• Mobile applications: Help your customers increase mobile employee productivity and control mobile costs by making mobile devices extensions of the enterprise network. Take full advantage of the power of third-generation (3G) networks-attend web conferences on mobile devices (Figure 3).
• TelePresence: Create live, face-to-face experiences over the network. Help your customers invigorate their business processes, achieve true customer intimacy, and empower their workforce to interact and collaborate like never before.
Figure 3. Cisco IP Next-Generation Network
The Platform for Collaboration
Cisco's extensive portfolio of collaboration solutions are all bound together by the Cisco IP Next-Generation Network (IP NGN), the platform for compelling collaboration experiences. This powerful foundation has convergence in every layer-application, service, and network-as well as intelligent network links between each layer that make communications more efficient and operations more integrated, resilient, and adaptive. The result? An infrastructure that is application- and subscriber-aware.
The service layer is a critical differentiator in the Cisco IP NGN architecture. True service convergence is the ability to operate, bill, and manage personalized, ubiquitous services over a range of access media. Cisco and our partners continue to enhance the Cisco Service Exchange Framework, which allows experience providers to control customer access and use of IP services. But it does not limit the types of applications that you can deploy.
Cisco also includes the data center in the service layer to enable the rapid deployment of new data center-based services while maximizing the return on existing server, storage, and network infrastructure investments. Between the application and service delivery layer is a service control and virtualization layer that orchestrates the delivery, operations, features, and billing of the service itself.
Together, the application, service, and network layers, along with Intelligent Networking, create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. This collaboration platform will enable a broad, sweeping transformation of your business by helping you plan your network and future business models (Figure 4).
Figure 4. Enabling the Collaboration Evolution
Flexible Service Bundles, Service Delivery, and Finance Options
A 2009 study by IntelliCom Analytics found that buyers of managed services have changed from a focus on cost reduction to a greater desire for network performance improvement. Specifically, the IntelliCom study found that customers now evaluate managed services based on their ability to improve overall network performance, reliability, availability, and quality of service (QoS), while reducing operations costs and business risk.
In March 2009, Cisco commissioned Forrester Research to conduct a study that would give us additional insight into the Global Managed Services Opportunity. This survey confirmed not only that the interest in collaboration is growing, but also that the vast majority of customers prefer managed service models. According to Forrester Research, only 12 percent of those customers surveyed indicated that they would continue to buy collaboration technology and manage it themselves on their premises.
• Eighteen percent indicated that they would choose hosted collaboration services, letting their provider host the equipment and dedicate it to the customer's use.
• Twenty-three percent said they would opt to pay a license fee and have collaboration services delivered using SaaS.
• Twenty-seven percent said they would follow the managed customer premises equipment (CPE) model, in which they would buy the equipment and keep it on site but have a service provider manage it.
With Cisco as your collaboration partner, you are not bound by a single technology model, and can thus enjoy great flexibility when it comes to addressing customers' unique needs. The Cisco open and interoperable approach provides the full spectrum of service-delivery options, which may, in the future, be critical to maintaining a competitive advantage. Delivery options for Cisco Collaboration Solutions include:
• Managed CPE Services, where the managed service provider designs, installs, and manages the solution while customers host the solution on their premises.
• Hosted Services, where the managed service provider designs, installs, manages, and hosts the solution within the provider's network operations center (NOC)
• SaaS, where the application and software are deployed as a service that is provided to the customer across the Internet or a private network managed by the service provider
You can deploy solutions in any order and at a pace that matches your needs and your customers' business objectives. You have complete flexibility to match the delivery model not only to your customers' preferences and business needs, but also to your own business model and in-house capabilities. In fact, highly differentiated collaboration services may combine aspects of all three delivery models, a scenario that is uniquely possible with the Cisco open, flexible approach.
This flexibility gives you an incredible range of possible service offerings-from basic telephony to TelePresence. Using the power of the IP NGN platform, you can create differentiated service portfolios tailored to different customer segments, enabling you to lay a foundation for recurring revenue that can continuously grow as your customers' use of collaboration grows. And while you are growing your revenue, you will also be growing your relationship with customers, because instead of selling "point" solutions, you will become a trusted advisor and develop a more strategic relationship with customers as you help them transform their business with collaboration.
Just as Cisco offers flexible service-delivery models, we also offer numerous ways to acquire Cisco Collaboration Solutions. From full capital outlay for equipment purchases to leases and utility-based pricing, we can offer the right acquisition model for your specific needs, including the ability to match your investment to your revenue. And with Cisco, you or your customer can handle the assignment of terms (Figure 5).
Figure 5. Flexible Commercial Models Optimized for Your Business
Holistic Support to Ensure Your Success
Cisco's service provider support goes well beyond providing a rich portfolio of industry-leading collaboration solutions. We can also help you:
• Envision new service offerings: Cisco provides planning resources, analytical tools, and market intelligence to help you create new services that will build new revenue.
• Mitigate risk and decrease time to market: Cisco provides in-depth technical design, training, and implementation support to help ensure that you can efficiently build and operate Managed Collaboration Services to your specifications.
• Differentiate your service portfolio: Through the Cisco Powered Program, we offer a wealth of selling tools and sales training programs, as well as proven programs for branding and marketing. These programs are designed to help you differentiate and market your Managed Collaboration Services.
Cisco's ability to deliver everything the service provider needs-from envisioning the service to designing, building, operating, and then marketing and selling it-is another benefit that sets Cisco apart from our competitors. In the same way that you will become a trusted advisor for your customers, Cisco can act as a trusted advisor to you.
Collaborate with the Best
In addition to holistic support, flexible acquisition options, and the Cisco IP NGN architecture, there are many compelling reasons to make Cisco your Managed Collaboration Services partner:
• Market leadership: Cisco has provided IP Communications services and applications to more than 100,000 customers and more than 85 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Cisco is also the industry leader in enterprise voice systems and major collaboration categories such as web conferencing and TelePresence.
• The most comprehensive collaboration portfolio: Cisco's vast product portfolio includes workspaces, business applications, unified communications and collaboration applications, services, and infrastructure. As a result, complete service bundles can be sourced solely from Cisco. And although this paradigm has compelling benefits-including simplified support, reduced vendor management, and simpler integration-we realize that working well in a heterogeneous environment is good business.
• Open standards and interoperability: Cisco invests a quarter of its research-and-development (R&D) dollars to help ensure that Cisco Collaboration Solutions are interoperable with other industry-leading solutions. From applications to endpoints, Cisco is committed to standards-based implementations. Cisco Collaboration Solutions interoperate with a wide range of operating systems, mobile devices, business applications, and other third-party solutions such as IBM Sametime and Microsoft Office Communicator.
• Flexible service delivery: As a Cisco Managed Service Provide partner, you have the full spectrum of deployment options to choose from. With Cisco Collaboration Solutions, you will enjoy an unprecedented level of freedom and flexibility in the way you can help companies connect, communicate, and collaborate.
Let us work with you to maximize the sizeable Managed Collaboration Services opportunity.