Cisco begins collaboration push with product launches

Cisco has announced a raft of products for collaboration at its annual Collaboration Summit event, with the emphasis on delivering products for the modern workspace to enable users to work efficiently from virtually anywhere.

The first product Cisco announced was Expressway, a gateway that maintains security without the need for device-level registration, accounts, and passwords. This means that users, regardless of location, can gain instant access to all of their collaboration tools.

Expressway provides secure voice, instant messaging (IM) and video communications from Jabber and TelePresence endpoints with Transport Layer Security, the technology used to secure e-commerce transactions.

Cisco also announced Jabber Guest, which uses Expressway's security functionality to give ‘guest access’ to users outside a corporate organisation (a business partner, a consultant or a consumer needing assistance) so they can communicate with employees inside it using HD voice and video via a web browser or mobile device.

Employees can also share data with those outside the corporate organisation. Guests click on a link provided through IM or on a company's website, and within seconds they can participate in a two-way video conversation with another party.

Cisco also announced its second generation, the Telepresence MX300 team or room-based endpoint, which now features a more modern design.

This endpoint, which Cisco claims can be assembled in about 15 minutes, also comes with a new ‘dual display’ feature that allows users to connect an additional screen or monitor, boosting content-sharing capabilities.

Also, optional multi-party conferencing is now easier than ever: up to four endpoints can connect simultaneously without the need for a multipoint control unit, or MCU. The MX300, generally available in December, also supports H.264 SVC for additional interoperability with third-party systems.