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August 22, 2016

Cisco Provides Interoperability Between Previously Incompatible Meeting Platforms

By Christopher Mohr
Contributing Writer

Cisco (News - Alert) recently announced the launch of Cisco Meeting Server (CMS), a conferencing solution designed to work with numerous communication platforms, especially Skype (News - Alert) for Business (SfB). Assuming CMS lives up to its claims, the news of its arrival is a significant event as it allows platforms that were previously incompatible to be able to work together.

A support article from Microsoft (News - Alert) released earlier this year illustrates how frustrating it can be for users of third-party software having trouble attempting to connect to SfB meetings. They are left with using the Lync Web App, which only allows them to watch meetings, or drastic options that include removing or disabling their third-party software.

The wording of a Cisco company blog emphasizes CMS support for SfB, but it also supports Polycom, Avaya (News - Alert), mobile clients and WebRTC browsers. Cisco’s march towards creating interoperability between meeting platforms began with its $700 million acquisition of Acano Ltd. The UK-based company developed a solution designed to allow previously incompatible systems to work together.

Without a solution like Acano’s, companies had to rely on communications experts to solve their compatibility issues. This was not only expensive, but it dictated further reliance on such experts once a company needed to communicate with other platforms.

Cisco has made what appears to be a series of sound business decisions in solving interoperability issues with SfB. Microsoft’s meeting platform has a large user base and is expected to only get larger.

More importantly, Cisco has extended this capability beyond support for SfB, by including other popular meeting platforms. Not only does this break down many technical communications barriers within a company, it also breaks them down between different companies. Think how many lost opportunities occurred when Company A could not make a presentation to a prospect, Company B, because their meeting platforms would not play nice with each other. Thanks to CMS, companies should not have to worry about that; they can have their meetings and literally go on about their business. 




Edited by Alicia Young

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