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Should Cisco Offer a SaaS Cloud?

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cisco1Cisco yesterday announced the WebEx Collaboration Cloud, a new SaaS architecture specifically built to enhance the collaborative capabilities of its WebEx solution. The architecture consists of eight global data centers and provides intelligent routing, load balancing and seamless data backup. All of this ensures WebEx users have secure, reliable and real-time collaborative sessions. What if Cisco decided to expand this architecture’s scope beyond WebEx, making it an industry-wide SaaS platform, and making Cisco a cloud computing provider in the process?

Whereas some SaaS platform providers are teaming with content delivery specialists like Akamai to optimize app delivery, Cisco has both the computing and the networking pieces in place already. Thanks to WebEx, it also has experience offering services. The fact that Cisco already has a functioning SaaS delivery platform would put it a step ahead of other big-time vendors, like Microsoft, who have announced cloud offerings that are works in progress. Cisco’s entry into the SaaS delivery market would not only add immediate legitimacy to the market, it also would deliver immediate results.

By limiting its offering to delivering SaaS applications, Cisco would officially enter the cloud provider market in a focused manner that spares it the criticism received by overarching, nebulous offerings like Microsoft’s Azure or IBM’s Blue Cloud.

Of course, this is all speculation, as Cisco has announced no such plans. Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior is in the midst of a five-part blog series on collaboration, though, so maybe we can glean some insights into Cisco’s long-term collaboration plans from her comments.

4 Responses to “Should Cisco Offer a SaaS Cloud?”

  1. It’s good to see WebEx joining Nefsis in providing Web & Video Conferencing as a SaaS Cloud. With state-of-the-art web conferencing collaboration server clouds becoming the de-facto requirement, anyone can now enjoy high-speed, high-quality video conferencing, right from their own desktop. It will be interesting to see what affect this will have on the traditional (expensive) hardware based video conferencing solutions, albeit most of them have moved up the food chain to Telepresence rather than “on-line collaboration”

    For more information see Cloud Computing Meets Parallel Processing Technology.

    • Problem is that the Nefsis product is just another platform that doesn’t work. I tried it over the public internet just the other day and it bombed big time. This was over the public internet, but SaaS based products must also allow user to participate seamlessly over the public internet and wireless connections. Any solution can work inside a cloud, but what about remote workers, telecommuters and travelers in hotel rooms, executives in home offices, airports, etc…
      And let’s not forget wireless connections. Those types of applications as SaaS are overrrated in my opinion.

      The first company that combines voice, data and video and collaboration for use over the public internet or private networks seamlessly with collaboration as a combined platform will be the ultimate SaaS.

      Too much market noise inthe space and not enough performance from the prodcuts. Try it for yourself from home and add about 4 users. 90% of them will probably crash.

      • How strange Dave. We use Nefsis from Australia to our EU offices and have great experiences. Because of timezones we invariably have someone at home or in an airport lounge / coffee shop and wireless. We did use WebEx and had the exact experience you mention – OK with 1-1 but as more joined it became totally unusable and WebEx HAS their telltone network (or some such name) which is a proprietary network!!

        It would be interesting to know where you were based – South Island no doubt? Maybe we should set up a SaaS web conferencing Shoot Out??