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August 18, 2016

New Cisco Meeting Server Enables Skype for Business Connections

By Paula Bernier
Executive Editor, TMC

In this world of conflicts, wars and political extremes, it’s encouraging these days to see people and companies getting along and working together. We saw a lot of that this week.

For example, New Zealander Nikki Hamblin earlier this week helped her fellow Olympian Abbey D’Agostino of the U.S. after the two collided during the Women’s 5000m heat. And just last night Jamaican runner Usain Bolt and Canada’s Andre De Grasse were seen joking around as they crossed the finish line.

But it was Cisco (News - Alert) Systems that got this atmosphere of cooperation rolling when it unveiled Cisco Meeting Server – which enables Cisco meeting rooms to connect with Skype (News - Alert) for Business users.

“Connecting should not be hard,” said Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s IoT and Applications Groups. “But it has been, because certain vendors’ technologies have not played well with standards-based technologies, like Cisco’s industry-leading video systems. We just fixed that, and the impact is huge.”

The impact is that users of Cisco’s meeting rooms and those of Microsoft’s Skype for Business can connect as easily as an iPhone user can call the owner of a Samsung (News - Alert) Galaxy, or vice versa, the company indicated.

Various reports pointed out that this new Cisco solution represents a thawing of relations between the company and its long-time rival Microsoft (News - Alert).

“This is an industry Microsoft obviously [has been] targeting after its purchase of Skype,” wrote Nick Weig of MSPoweruser. “Now, it seems Cisco and Microsoft are ready to bury the hatche[t], a bit, for the greater good.”

In addition to the interoperability with Microsoft’s Skype for Business, the new Cisco Meeting Server features a consistent meeting experience across endpoints, optimized bandwidth use between sites, the ability to work with Cisco UCS hardware, the ability to scale from very small groups up to tens of thousands of users, a simple licensing model and security.




Edited by Alicia Young

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