Cisco TelePresence Solution for Intercompany Collaboration
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Updated:May 16, 2014
The Cisco TelePresence
™ solution creates an immersive, face-to-face experience over the network-empowering you to collaborate with others like never before.
Through a powerful combination of technologies and design that allows you and remote participants to feel as if you are all in the same room, Cisco TelePresence conferencing has the potential to provide great productivity benefits and transform your business.
Many companies are already using this solution to control costs, make decisions faster, improve customer intimacy, scale scarce resources, and speed products to market. Many immediately understand the immense value of the ability to have "in-person" external Cisco TelePresence meetings with customers, partners, suppliers, and other groups; in other words, the Cisco TelePresence intercompany communication solution.
Intercompany Cisco TelePresence collaboration enables you to call directly from a Cisco TelePresence room on your network to a Cisco TelePresence room on a different network or at a public Cisco TelePresence Suite through a secure connection from your service provider. Cisco encourages enterprise customers to query their service provider as to their intercompany Cisco TelePresence service offering and timing.
The potential power of intercompany collaboration and business applications for Cisco TelePresence collaboration is significant. Meeting with customers and suppliers face to face more frequently, delivering marketing campaigns faster to effect sales, working with manufacturers to make changes quickly to lower defects, improving supply-chain efficiencies, quickly resolving crises across geographic or organizational boundaries, and speeding merger integrations are just a few examples of the benefits that intercompany Cisco TelePresence meetings offer.
These benefits are possible because of Cisco relationships with global enterprises and service providers. Cisco has designed the Cisco TelePresence architecture for the end-to-end secure combination of enterprise and service provider IP networks. Only Cisco understands the underlying network power and intelligence and has the core business relationships that can make intercompany capabilities for Cisco TelePresence collaboration a reality.
Further, intercompany capabilities with Cisco TelePresence collaboration continue to deliver the same reliability, simplicity, and quality of experience. It is only through Cisco's deep understanding of the network as the platform that the fully integrated and secure intra- and intercompany Cisco TelePresence experience can truly be delivered.
To enable Cisco service provider partners, Cisco is delivering a set of validated reference architectures and solutions designed so that service provider networks can securely and reliably support Cisco TelePresence calls across and between single or multiple service provider networks. Cisco offers a certification program for Cisco
® Powered designated managed Cisco TelePresence endpoints and Cisco TelePresence network and intercompany services.
As your organization continues to grow internal Cisco TelePresence deployments, you should prepare your network for intercompany Cisco TelePresence capabilities. Some of the following questions and answers may assist in further understanding intercompany Cisco TelePresence collaboration in deployment planning.
Q. What is intercompany Cisco TelePresence service?
A. Intercompany Cisco TelePresence services means the combination of existing enterprise networks and service provider services to extend Cisco TelePresence meetings securely beyond your enterprise boundary-allowing you to meet "in person" with customers, suppliers, and partners as easily as you can internally. Any organization that regularly needs to meet with third parties can benefit. Service providers that offer commercial intercompany services for Cisco TelePresence conferencing are enabled through a fully validated Cisco reference architecture that enables calls between multiple enterprise networks to securely traverse the service provider network with no comingling of routes, addresses, or data while maintaining the quality of service (QoS) required to deliver a business-quality experience.
Q. What is the intercompany value proposition for Cisco TelePresence collaboration? How is it valuable to me?
A. Intercompany capabilities for Cisco TelePresence collaboration provide a venue for real-time, face-to-face meetings between enterprises. Being able to conduct Cisco TelePresence meetings across company boundaries-to meet "in person"-is viewed as strategic by many organizations looking for competitive advantage in gaining greater customer intimacy, speeding time to market, scaling scarce resources, and making faster decisions with partners. Whether a manufacturer is dealing with critical supply-chain concerns, financial firms are discussing delicate transactions, or an engineer is discussing the integration of a crucial feature with a collaboration partner, face-to-face communications plays a vital role.
Q. What is the Cisco strategy for delivering intercompany capabilities for Cisco TelePresence collaboration?
A. Cisco is working to enable service providers around the world to deliver intercompany IP connectivity and value-added services to connect Cisco TelePresence users. To have Cisco TelePresence meetings between organizations, enterprises can subscribe to intercompany Cisco TelePresence services from their service provider network.
Q. The Cisco TelePresence solution is an extension of Cisco Unified Communications Solutions. Can I just call another company's Cisco TelePresence room?
A. With intercompany capabilities in place for Cisco TelePresence conferencing, you can call a Cisco TelePresence room on another network as easily as you call internally using the Cisco TelePresence system today. An intercompany Cisco TelePresence call relies on proper enterprise-to-enterprise IP network connectivity with QoS elements and service-level agreements (SLAs) that help ensure appropriate bandwidth and latency requirements. To deliver intercompany Cisco TelePresence services, service providers must implement proper security to connect Cisco TelePresence calls between multiple enterprise networks, and if calls traverse multiple service provider networks, they must peer correctly to help ensure that intercompany Cisco TelePresence communication is secure and easy and that meeting participants have the proper optimized Cisco TelePresence experience.
Q. What new equipment do I need to install in my network to enable intercompany capabilities for Cisco TelePresence collaboration?
A. Assuming you already have a Cisco TelePresence system for your intraenterprise calls and a properly provisioned service provider network, you may have very little to do to be ready for intercompany Cisco TelePresence communication:
Security: For firewall and Network Address Translation (NAT) Traversal, the firewall should support the Cisco TelePresence bandwidth and QoS network requirements. Cisco recommends the Cisco Catalyst® 6500 Series Firewall Services Module (FWSM) and the Cisco ASA 5500 Series Adaptive Security Appliances Enterprise Firewall Edition for the Cisco TelePresence solution.
Enterprise IP address privacy and topology hiding: You may wish to deploy a Cisco Unified Border Element (UBE) Border Controller in your company demilitarized zone (DMZ) to "hide" the Cisco Unified Communications Manager. In this case the Cisco Unified Border Element performs the routing to the service provider network. Cisco recommends the Cisco 3845 Integrated Services Routers with an upgrade to Cisco IOS® Software that supports the Cisco TelePresence application.
Q. Which service providers offer intercompany Cisco TelePresence services? What does it cost?
A. Commercial intercompany Cisco TelePresence services are available and priced through service providers. Multiple service providers around the world are currently offering intercompany Cisco TelePresence capabilities with the service as a monthly recurring or usage-based service option as a simple addition to your managed network and hosted services . The growing list of service providers that have announced intercompany Cisco TelePresence service include AT&T, BT, Orange, Tata, Telefonica, and Telstra.
Q. What level of security do intercompany Cisco TelePresence solutions offer on the network and at the endpoint?
A. Intercompany Cisco TelePresence security is accomplished through a series of network elements that create a secure VPN connection between the enterprises and the service provider, providing a tunnel for Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol-Multiprotocol Label Switching (SRTP-MPLS). The secure tunnel routes the Cisco TelePresence media and signaling streams through the enterprise's firewall to a customer-edge router and then to the service provider's provider-edge router to the service provider's network and application-aware session border controller (SBC), through a tagged SRTP-MPLS connection. The SRTP-MPLS tunnel arrangement helps ensure security from the enterprise to the service provider's SBC. The SBC itself serves as a point of secure demarcation between the two enterprise segments data, managing and routing the Cisco TelePresence call and logically isolating each enterprise's segment. Neither enterprise has access to the other's network or network datIn a point-to-point configuration, encryption of the Cisco TelePresence media streams is also possible. Cisco uses Certificate Authority X.509v3 Manufacturing Installed Certificates (MICs) in all Cisco TelePresence endpoints in nonerasable, nonvolatile memory for endpoint-to-endpoint Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) key exchange.
Q. What about directory, scheduling, and other types of services?
A. Intercompany Cisco TelePresence meetings are new services, and service providers are actively including additional advanced or add-on services including scalable multipoint and enhanced security such as access control policies and encrypted meeting sessions. Just as you would obtain telephone directory information from a service provider or carrier today, the same process could apply for Cisco TelePresence meetings. Service providers can implement directory and scheduling services in many ways, but some of these services require that the service provider have access to an enterprise customer's network. Additionally, enterprises can take advantage of public Cisco TelePresence locations to extend collaboration to include remote participants. A directory of public Cisco TelePresence locations is available at: www.ciscotelepresencesuites.com.
Q. What is the end-user experience? Will I still get one-button-to-push capabilities? Is scheduling still as easy as booking a room?
A. The end-user experience for intercompany meetings is the same as that for any Cisco TelePresence meetings, with both impromptu dialing and "one-button-to-push" capabilities available. The additional step is scheduling between the cooperating enterprises. For one-button-to-push dialing, company A and company B both schedule a meeting at the arranged time using their calendaring software. Both companies add the respective external room phone numbers to Cisco TelePresence Manager, which responds with a confirmation email message. At the scheduled time, a one-button push places the call. Meet-me meeting options are also available that enable scheduled calls through a multipoint meet-me bridge and PIN that can support point-to-point and multipoint calls.
Q. Does the intercompany Cisco TelePresence solution support multisite (multipoint) meetings?
A. Yes. The intercompany Cisco TelePresence solution supports multipoint meet-me service to provide scalable meeting options within your organization as well as for intercompany meetings. Intercompany solutions support multisite meetings with the same capabilities as point-to-point meetings.