Are You Defining Your Own Video Landscape?

Cisco, WebEx and Skype for Business – you might have all your video conferencing tools playing together nicely, but on whose playground? Are you really in control of your video conferencing landscape, or are there too many parameters between you and the service you really need? 

Cisco recently announced that the Cisco Meeting Server (CMS) can now be integrated with Skype for Business infrastructure, allowing collaboration between Cisco room systems and endpoints, and the hugely popular Microsoft IM and VC tool. Whilst this is an advancement that can be talked about with gusto from Cisco, it is an aspect of Videocall’s systems integration that has been available for a long time.

Cisco logo in colour

Why Are Cisco Shouting About It?

Cisco Meeting Server, which was formerly known as the Acano Server before their acquisition, has offered interoperability with alternative vendor hardware for a while, but the latest addition to the CMS canon offers integration with Microsoft’s Skype for Business and access via Office 365, known as Skype Online. Before their incorporation of Acano, Cisco encouraged the use of their own instant messaging platform Jabber. Now, with Acano renamed as CMS, Cisco are able to widen their breadth and give simplicity for more enterprises.

With Skype for Business being one of the biggest names in communication for enterprises, combined with Microsoft’s forthright marketing of themselves as such, telepresence and video conferencing vendors have had to ensure interoperability in order to give customers the familiarity they need for maximum adoption. Cisco, finally being able to offer this connectivity, are promoting it as expected: an on-premise server that facilitates video, voice and content sharing for standards-based hard and software.

Why Aren’t Videocall Shouting About It?

Because we’ve been doing it for ages! Although interoperability Skype for Business and various vendor endpoints is something new for Cisco, it’s something Videocall have been offering as part of our managed service ethos for a long time. 

Skype for Business logo in coloud

Albeit one of the world’s premier companies for the facilitation of business communication, there were parts of Cisco’s catalogue that were not conducive to the processes and workflows used by a large number of modern enterprises. 

With Acano becoming Cisco Meeting Server, the company were finally able to offer the integration of IM and video through Skype for Business. Simply put, they were late to the party and although they caught up rapidly, it was potentially not quick enough. For service owners who already used a Cisco infrastructure, this meant the broadening of communications to encompass more avenues and programs, giving greater chance for company-wide adoption of video conferencing. 

As we said before, all the parts have started playing together, but who’s controlling the playground? Simply put, are service owners dictating the service they want, or are they choosing their service from within set parameters?

What Do We Do Differently?

For businesses that use Skype for Business and Skype Online via Office 365, the desire is to keep costs low, quality high and usability simple – all as part of a secure, on-premise infrastructure. 

On-premise and private networks have been put somewhat on the backburner as cloud-based video conferencing has been on the rise. The ability to host high quality video meetings on a public or hybrid network has brought a large number of enterprise businesses into the fore in terms of technology and futureproofing. However, systems integration on an on-premise network is just as prevalent, and just as effective, when carried out by agnostic experts. Whereas we do have our own cloud environment for hosting video conferencing, our Intelligent Cloud Experience (ICE), the nature of our managed services portfolio lets our customers tell us what they need, instead of choosing a set plan. IT teams can pick and choose a bespoke solution based on a careful analysis from our solutions engineers. 

The idea is to reduce complexity both for service owners, IT teams and user communities, minimising the overall reliance on vendors and/or manufacturers, and extending the control and reach companies have over their methods of communication. This must all be achieved whilst still giving high levels of security and a low total cost of ownership. You need to be able to take costs out of the business, extending ROI on existing investments and simplifying workflows for an upgraded video landscape. 

We are different because we are agnostic; an objective, business-focused entity. Entirely devoted to the video conferencing sphere, we do not dilute to other areas, providing all customers with expert advice from consultants, project managers and engineers. Furthermore, our Cisco expertise is extensive, and we have high levels of Microsoft competencies in terms of certifications and knowledge. This breeds confidence not just in the service we provide, but also ongoing support for the life cycle of a solution. Service owners tasked with improving their video conferencing can rest assured that their needs have been met, and the simplicity of the solution means high levels of adoption. 

Now, it’s not just the playground that’s yours; you run the entire school. The best part? You don’t need to migrate applications to the cloud, your video conferencing estate can be seamlessly integrated with every system and endpoint anyone in (or indeed, outside) your company chooses to use.


Need to know more about integrating Skype for Business into your Cisco or O365 infrastructure? Download our whitepaper, "A Blueprint for Implementing Skype for Business" and discover how to unify communications, whilst simplifying workflows and achieving ROI.