Cisco WebEx comes of age. Steve Thiessen introduces us to a new flexible, on-premises deployment capability.
With more than 50 percent market share and 1.3 billion meeting minutes a month, Cisco WebEx has provided thousands of businesses across the world proven results by increasing productivity while reducing costs with a cloud-based software-as-aservice (SaaS) model.
Yet there are still many businesses and public sector organizations that cannot or will not utilize a cloud-based conferencing product. At last you can now take advantage of the most popular web conferencing solution on the market with Cisco WebEx® Meeting Server.
What’s the typical profile of a customer or organization that, until now, could not realize the benefits of WebEx?
More than likely this customer will be in the public sector or be in a geographical location with poor connectivity, perhaps areas with restrictive data privacy laws, or from an IT organization that iscommitted to running everything in its often very customized and unique environment. There will be major concerns with any data, no matter how deeply encrypted or segmented, located on someone else’s servers. These customers also want complete control of every change, be it a patch or new features being added to the web conferencing environment. And more than likely this customer will be in a location with a less-than-reliable and low-capacity Internet connection.
What at Cisco have we done to address these customer needs?
Well, Cisco WebEx Meeting Server is a standalone web conferencing product built on the same code base as the cloud-based version of WebEx that Cisco has perfected. It runs on Cisco UCS® servers with VMware 5 and requires Cisco Unified Call Manager for the audio component. There is no cloud linkage, no data stored in the cloud. You control the application of patches and upgrades, and you finally get to benefit from all of the powerful collaboration WebEx brings to an organization. You can share data, audio, and 360p high-quality video on pretty much any device with WebEx clients for PC, Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
With its unique reverse proxy VM, WebEx Server allows mobile users and your own customers, suppliers, and guests to collaborate from outside the firewall. Cisco WebEx Meeting Server scales to 2000 ports, and that is just the first release. We’ll continue increasing scalability as well as adding new features and integrations in a rapid release cycle over the next several years as we deliver on the promise of collaboration the way you want it, from on-premises, the cloud, or a hybrid environment, to any device at anytime, anywhere in the world.
Cisco WebEx meeting server high-level architecture
We recommend obtaining assistance in getting the service set up and maintaining it through the upgrades.
Cisco qualified partners and our own Advanced Services offer a robust set of services:
• Collaboration workshops: Whether you are trying to assess the value of collaboration technology to your organization or need help with developing an architectural roadmap, Advanced Services has the experience and know-how.
• Media readiness assessment: Not sure if your network is ready for WebEx Meeting Server? We can evaluate it for you and provide you with the steps you need to take to make it ready. In a variation of this service, we can also make sure that you are ready for the integrations with other collaboration technologies.
• Plan, design, and implement services: Putting Cisco’s experience to work for you will save you time and, more important, make sure your users have a good experience the first time they use the tool. Did you know that the number-one challenge customers have with adoption of collaboration technologies is a poor first-time experience? We provide a proven methodology, a fully managed process, and testing support to make sure the technology works right the first time.
• Change management: To be fair, technology is only one of the three pillars to successful adoption and realization of return on investment. After you have the technology working correctly, you still need the users to use it, and you need them to use it in the right way at the right time. That’s where change management service comes in. This service starts with an assessment and then details a plan to maximize ROI and measure results. It is sized to fit your budget and needs.
• Collaboration optimization: This is a subscription service that helps you prolong the value of your investment with ongoing optimization services. With software recommendations, stability audits, and remote upgrade support, it helps you keep up with the changes to your environment and to take advantage of new features at minimal cost.