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Cisco launches customer experience centre

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Cisco South Africa has opened its first-ever Customer Experience Centre (CEC) in Bryanston, Johannesburg to provide an interactive display and customer showcase for its next-generation collaboration technology solutions.

The solutions include Cisco Jabber instant messaging (IM) and Presence, Cisco WebEx Video and WebEx Social, Cisco Digital Media Suite (DMS), and Cisco TelePresence. The CEC is already open for business having welcomed a number of customers.

New for customers in South Africa and now available to demo at the CEC is the next phase of its Virtualisation Experience Infrastructure (VXI), an IT system that was designed to simplify desktop virtualisation and bring voice and video to the virtual workspace. Cisco VXI will help enterprises in South Africa take advantage of the financial, data security and workforce flexibility benefits offered by desktop virtualisation, with the ability to integrate rich media and video collaboration capabilities to create next generation workspaces. Cisco VXI also reduces the total cost of ownership of desktop virtualisation solutions by significantly increasing the number of virtual desktops that can be hosted on each server.

Desktop virtualisation is on the rise in the enterprise. The worldwide hosted virtual desktop (HVD) market is expected to reach 70 million units, or 15% of enterprise desktops and laptops by 2014. To further accelerate this rapid market growth, customers need to ensure users receive a rich high-definition experience for voice and video, and an integrated systems approach that reduces the costs and complexity of deployment.

· According to analyst estimates, desktop virtualisation can reduce per-user PC support costs by 51%, an item that accounts for 67% of PC-related IT expenses.

· Virtual desktops also help protect the security of corporate intellectual property by keeping information in a data centre rather than on physical devices.

· End users also benefit by being able to choose their own devices through which to access their virtual desktop.

Combining these benefits with the productivity and business agility delivered through rich media and video applications further enhance the value to the end user and the business.

Cisco South Africa’s new Customer Experience Centre features the following collaboration solutions on display during office hours:

1. Cisco TelePresence

Cisco TelePresence is an innovative technology that lets people meet face-to-face over an IP network in a realistic and natural way. A Cisco TelePresence meeting is as simple as making a phone call, and when participants sit down at the conference table in a Cisco TelePresence room, other participants appear to be sitting across the table, in life size, no matter where they are in the world. TelePresence is Cisco’s fastest-growing product category. On average customers are seeing TelePresence investments pay back in as little as six months due to reduced costs overall (mainly travel) and increased productivity.

2. Cisco WebEx

Cisco WebEx enables greater cross company collaboration. Advanced WebEx Meetings spaces help users manage the complete meeting lifecycle. Individuals can easily access and collaborate on files and presentations in the cloud from their PC or mobile device in real time at any time. Individuals can see whether their colleagues are available through presence and initiate synchronous conversations via IM to prepare, collaborate and follow up, as well as schedule meetings and share agendas, notes, action items, recordings and any other relevant documents at any time.

3. Cisco Jabber

The new Jabber Web plug-in enables companies and developers to take Web browsers on Internet-connected devices, and embed Cisco UC capabilities. As a result, users in a public cloud-based application or a line of business-based application can easily find a co-worker using presence, communicate using instant messaging (IM) and then click-to-call or click-to-video to enable a rich, real-time collaboration experience.

4. Cisco Digital Media Suite (DMS)

The Cisco® Digital Media Suite (DMS) is a comprehensive offering of webcasting and video sharing, digital signage, and business IP-based broadcast television (IPTV) applications that can help transform how organisations learn, grow, communicate, and collaborate. The Cisco Digital Media Manager (DMM), an integrated component of the Cisco Digital Media Suite, is a web-based media-management application that helps you easily manage, schedule, and publish digital media to displays (Cisco Digital Signs and Cisco Cast) and through the web to the desktop (Cisco Show and Share.)

5. Cisco Virtualisation Experience Infrastructure (VXI)

Cisco VXI is an open, validated virtual workspace solution that integrates products and technologies across Cisco’s network-based architectures ‚ from Collaboration to Borderless Networks to the Data Centre as well as from partners. Cisco VXI also reduces the total cost of ownership of desktop virtualisation solutions by significantly increasing the number of virtual desktops that can be hosted on each server.

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