Cisco increases its push for collaboration in Asia-Pacific

Claudio Castelli/Ovum
03 Dec 2009

Ovum attended Cisco’s recent Collaboration 2.0 Asia-Pacific conference. With its latest product announcements it's clear that Cisco wants to be the major player in enterprise collaboration, expanding its role in voice, video, desktop and web collaboration. Unsurprisingly, Cisco is also placing culture at the core of its collaboration strategy, although it’s not yet clear how it will execute this.

Cisco has announced several new and enhanced software applications for instant messaging, email, social networking, videoconferencing and software collaboration, including document and video sharing. Some of these new products will compete directly with similar products offered by partners such as Microsoft and IBM.

Having a comprehensive collaboration strategy will help Cisco to enable new possibilities for enterprises and create increasing demand for collaboration services, including video. It is unsurprising that Cisco is pushing to have everything video-enabled to accelerate the refresh of enterprises¡¦ network infrastructure, which is still its core business.

However, cultural issues and behavior dynamics suggest that video will have less appeal in some markets than others. This is reflected in different cultural preferences across the region. In some Asian countries, people will be less inclined to use video communication and will prefer true face-to-face meetings or more traditional forms of communication. For example, our research with SMEs shows that SMEs expect personal video collaboration to be four times more common in Australia than in Japan in the next two years.

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