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Posted by Michael Barnes on May 23, 2012
Through a combination of analyst briefings and customer events, Cisco has ramped up outbound communication and marketing of its collaboration strategy in Asia Pacific over the past several months. The foundation remains video (TelePresence), webconferencing (WebEx), and IP telephony, areas where Cisco is a leader. But Cisco understands that to drive growth and expand its customer footprint within enterprise accounts, it must move further up the stack and increasingly compete with both traditional collaboration vendors like Microsoft and IBM and cloud-based alternatives like Google and salesforce.com.
While the strategy still plays to the company’s core networking strength, I question whether Cisco can position itself as a “go-to” vendor in the traditional collaboration space. As our research shows, senior IT and business decision-makers in Asia Pacific don’t currently equate Cisco with collaboration.
To address this challenge, Cisco is pursuing multiple initiatives/approaches:
Cisco has significantly improved its collaboration-related messaging and marketing over the last 12 months. The strategy is sound and the technology portfolio is extensive. However, despite clear benefits for driving richer communication, video is still not perceived as the primary collaboration interface for most organizations. Cisco’s primary challenge over the next 12 months is to change this perception and drive demand for a video-centric approach to collaboration via scenarios, use cases, and — most importantly — customer references.
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