Today’s enterprises are looking at cloud innovations to enable a digital workplace. Cloud can enable enhanced collaboration and increases employee productivity and engagement while enhancing customer experience. Organizations are looking for a flexible deployment model to protect their existing on-premises investments while providing new innovations and features.
Cisco Webex provides a flexible deployment model that allows customers to select an optimal migration path based on their needs and priorities. Cisco offers both on-premises and cloud-based collaboration solutions.
However, not every business is ready to make the move straight to the cloud. Some organizations have existing on-premises investments and they are looking to take advantage of the cloud to easily and efficiently manage their collaboration technologies and business applications (Figure 1). Cisco Webex Hybrid Collaboration solutions enable our customers to access the latest cloud features and innovations while keeping their existing on-premises investments.
Cisco collaboration offerings include on-premises, hybrid, and cloud solutions
● Flexible migration path to cloud while protecting existing on-premises investments at a pace that suits your business
● Global backbone built for real-time media: The Webex backbone is a real-time, worldwide IP network engineered for effective meetings with superior quality, reliability, and security that is nearly impossible to achieve on the public Internet or other public could-based services. The Webex backbone connects the entire world of Webex with a high-quality, redundant, media-optimized network. In meetings with global attendees, the traffic hops onto the Webex backbone and we manage routing your traffic. This routing removes the packet off the public Internet and carries it on our private backbone, enabling us to provide you with low packet loss, low jitter, and low-latency/high-bandwidth connectivity. As Webex Meetings traffic continues to grow, our global network is monitored by 24-hour daily operations around the world
● Centralized management and services of all your Webex solutions via Cisco Webex Control Hub. Manage your services and users, provision devices, view detailed analytics and reporting, and configure security and compliance policies with minimal provision
● Bandwidth savings and lower PSTN audio costs
● Enhanced security
● An optimal meeting experience with superior quality, reliability, and security
● Improved workplace productivity and process efficiencies
● No change in user behavior or training required
Today, companies are looking to take advantage of cloud technologies to drive their digital transformation. Cloud collaboration solutions provide lower upfront costs, less maintenance, and reduced infrastructure requirements. They can also enhance collaboration and increase employee productivity and engagement.
However, moving to the cloud does not have to be an all-or-nothing solution. Many organizations have made significant investments on premises and they leverage the hybrid approach, transitioning some systems to the cloud while continuing to run others in their on-premises infrastructure. Hybrid deployments allow you to move to the cloud at the pace that best suits your organization, while maximizing your existing on-premises solutions. According to Nemertes Research, “Hybrid enables organizations to adopt cloud strategically, delivering less disruption and faster access to specific capabilities like meetings and team collaboration from the cloud.”
Cisco Webex technologies (Figure 2) allow customers to select the best migration path suited for their business needs and goals. Our Hybrid Collaboration deployments enable customers to connect to the Webex cloud and take advantage of the latest cloud innovations while continuing to protect their existing investment and infrastructure. We have a suite of hybrid solutions that can help you connect your premises to the cloud and experience high-quality audio and video, the latest cognitive features, simplified operations, and significant cost savings.
Cisco Webex Hybrid offerings
Webex Edge for Meetings
Cisco Webex Edge connects your premises directly to the Webex cloud, maximizing the power of the Webex global backbone and bringing this experience into your data center and your organization. Cisco Webex Edge for Meetings consists of three services: Webex Edge Audio, Webex Edge Connect, and Webex Edge Video Mesh. These services are designed to be deployed separately or together for the ultimate meeting experience.
● Webex Edge Audio: Connect your Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM) to the Webex cloud via Cisco Expressway™ or a Cisco Unified Border Element (CUBE). Webex Edge Audio intelligently decouples PSTN and changes the call routing to an on-net VoIP path for dial-ins and callbacks. Webex Edge Audio provides ultimate flexibility in choosing the on-net path in locations where you can save on PSTN costs. At the same time, it allows you to purchase off-net minutes in locations without on-premises or UCM deployments. Webex Edge Audio provides users with high-quality IP audio while providing organizations with significant costs savings on PSTN.
● Webex Edge Connect: Enjoy a direct and dedicated peering connection from your premises to the Webex cloud via Equinix Cloud Exchange. Webex Edge Connect insulates your meetings from the public Internet, resulting in less congestion, packet loss, jitter, delays, and better protection from threats and attacks. The direct peering connection provides improved meeting quality with consistent network performance and enhanced security.
● Webex Edge Video Mesh: Cisco Webex Edge Video Mesh provides on-premises video quality with the simplicity and scalability of the cloud by routing Webex Meetings to the local, on-net node. If local capacity is full or not available, your meeting will automatically overflow to cloud. The Video Mesh Node is software installed on your local server that is cloud-registered and managed by Cisco Webex Control Hub. The Video Mesh Node selects the most efficient way to leverage available resources to bring meeting participants together. Webex Edge Video Mesh lowers latency and provides bandwidth savings.
Webex Edge for Devices
Webex Edge for Devices extends cloud features to on-premises devices by enabling on-premises customers to monitor and manage their devices from a single administrative platform—Webex Control Hub. On-premises video devices maintain their registration to the Unified Communications Manager or VCS Expressway. The media path for calls between these devices remains the same; however, they also have an additional link to the Webex cloud for management, analytics, and more. Webex Edge for Devices offers a migration path from premises to the cloud by creating a simple cloud adoption strategy. Webex Edge for devices offers the following features and functionalities:
● Online/offline connection status in Webex Control Hub
● Proactive alerting
● Device diagnostics and analytics with the ability to set admin alerts
● Cloud xAPI access
● Hybrid calendar through Webex Control Hub
● Webex Assistant (optional feature)
● One-click migration to full cloud operation when ready
Cisco Webex Edge for Calling
Cisco Webex Edge for Calling equips your business with the latest cloud innovations and protects your premises-based investments by connecting your on-premises business phone systems (PBXs) to the cloud. Webex Edge for Calling supports a hybrid architecture that connects Cisco Unified Communications Manager (UCM), Cisco UCM Cloud, Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS), and/or third-party PBXs directly into the Webex Calling cloud. Webex Edge for Calling architecture supports your cloud migration with services at three levels: Network Services. Enterprise Services, and User Services.
● Network Services connect your sites and people to the cloud, with an option for a global enterprise dial plan for all sites, including existing PBX sites. Network Services enable you to offload on-net MPLS and off-net network traffic to the cloud.
● Enterprise Services let you centralize core enterprise routing services, like auto-attendant, IVR, call queues, and voicemail in the cloud. You also get centralized management of your complete collaboration suite through the Webex Control Hub.
● User Services extend unified collaboration experience to all users. Even those on an Avaya PBX have access to Webex cloud collaboration services for calling, messaging, meetings, and team activities.
Cisco Webex Control Hub is a web-based, intuitive, single-pane-of-glass management portal that enables you to provision, administer, and manage your entire Webex suite (Figure 3). That includes calling, messaging, meetings, team collaboration, contact center, devices, and headsets—all from a single pane of glass. Control Hub also centralizes access to analytics and telemetry data for all Webex functions and products to help optimize performance and diagnostics.
● Advanced diagnostics, analytics, and reporting:
◦ Gives you actionable insight into user adoption. Understand how users are joining meetings, how long meetings last, and who is using video. This helps you to measure your return on investment and drive your business transformation.
◦ Enables you to drill down to the root cause of user experience issues. Identify issues such as voice quality and page-load performance so you can troubleshoot them before they have an impact.
◦ Helps you understand your IT resource utilization. Get rich metrics on your collaboration infrastructure, such as number of video calls overflowing to the cloud, percentage of meeting clusters in service, and call distribution.
● User, identity, and access management: Offers flexible policy definition. Easily configure service settings for administrators and users with role templates and granular policy controls.
◦ Provides user and device management. Activate devices quickly, manage users, and synchronize with Microsoft Active Directory and integrated single sign-on.
◦ Includes collaboration security. Set up data loss prevention policies such as file-share controls for your Webex collaboration tools.
Webex Control Hub interface
Cisco Webex Hybrid Services
Increase the benefits of your on-premises unified communications and collaboration investments with Cisco Webex Hybrid Services. They simplify connecting your existing network resources and on-premises unified communications services to the Cisco Webex cloud. This provides even greater collaboration capabilities, along with consistent, unified user and administrator experiences.
● Directory Service - Simplify the administrative experience and updating of contact information by automatically synchronizing Microsoft Active Directory users with Cisco Webex Teams user management (creating, updating, deleting), so that users are always current in Webex Teams. Webex Hybrid Directory Service simplifies the on-boarding experience and the day-to-day user management. Administrators no longer have to manually add, delete, or edit user information in Webex Teams every time a change in made in the organizations’ Microsoft Active Directory. Directory Service also eliminates the need to manage multiple directory databases and helps to ensure accurate information for users at all times, enabling you to connect and communicate with others quickly (Figure 4).
● Calendar Service - Cisco Webex Calendar Service makes it easy for you to schedule and join meetings from any device, no matter where you are. Webex Teams users can simply add @Webex to a meeting invitation and a Webex Meeting will automatically be created with the join information populated in the body of the invitation. Webex Calendar Service supports Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, and Google Calendar. Users will no longer be required to manually copy and paste the join information into the meeting invitation.
Directory Service interface
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Cloud migration is not a small undertaking; however, the advantages are great. Hybrid collaboration solutions enable users to collaborate at any time, from anywhere, to get their work done. With Cisco Webex, we provide flexible deployment models and allow customers to select the best migration path based on their business needs and priorities. This model enables our customers to access the latest cloud features and innovations while keeping their existing on-premises investments. To learn more, visit our website.