Cisco plans to offer virtual voice service

Cloud computing to include many virtual applications

Cisco Systems will be making aspects of its IP voice technology available virtually and sold as a service as part of a continuing set of improvements to its cloud computing strategy, the company's CTO said today.

Cisco will be "virtualizing voice products [to] sell voice as a service," said CTO Padmasree Warrior, in a Web conference with reporters and analysts. "Certain aspects of voice will be virtualised."

The move was somewhat expected as Cisco begins to offer more cloud computing technologies as it faces an array of competitors in both the cloud computing and unified computing areas.

Warrior and Doug Dennerline, senior vice president of Cisco's collaboration software group, talked about strategy and direction for collaboration and cloud technologies as part of the networking company's biggest annual user conference, Cisco Live! in San Franciso.

Warrior didn't give details about virtualising voice, but analysts said they assume it will be offered mainly in private clouds used in major corporations that already have Cisco networks. Conceivably, that could include clouds run by voice carriers that serve both businesses and consumers.

Warrior and Dennerline also said that Cisco will differentiate itself from other cloud computing vendors by allowing customers to use their own networking gear together with the services in the cloud.

In one example, Dennerline said the company's ASR 1000 router now includes Cisco's Webex Web conferencing capabilities, which means 300 workers in a corporate headquarters can join a Webex session on the corporate LAN, instead of each of the 300 being required to reach out to a networking cloud to be part of a global Webex session.

Cisco's Webex group operates 220,000 Web conference meetings per day using nine network operations centers globally, Dennerline said. While Webex has had great success, it can be improved, he noted. In one small example, he said that today Webex allows six windows with six people of videoconferencing per desktop at 15 frames per second, "which is not very good." But the video could be high definition, and Cisco is working on doing that, he added.

Webex Connect, its Web conferencing tool, will be upgraded to a new version by the end of the summer, Dennerline said, giving it presence technology and IM capability from the cloud, combined with on-premise IP video capabilities.

Regarding service providers, such as AT&T Inc. and Verizon Communications Inc., and their role in offering their own version of cloud computing, Dennerline said that Cisco already offers many managed services through the service providers, but will begin to offer more that are software-oriented. "Service providers will play a large role and some will have part of the business ... They won't want to miss out on this market."

The total market for cloud computing has been estimated at $US16 billion globally in 2009, but will jump to 42 billion in 2012, according to research firm IDC.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cisco

Struggling for Christmas presents this year? Check out our Christmas Gift Guide for some top tech suggestions and more.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld (US)

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Shopping.com

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?