John Chambers' video vision: Shortsighted
Cisco Systems wants us to believe that video is "the killer app," but the Web and, indeed, its own product strategy, suggest that shorter-form communication is the key to its future.
Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers calls video "the killer app," but apparently, he hasn't been paying attention to trends on the Web, or even to .
Video, while great, takes too long. We e-mail, instant-message, and tweet for a reason: it's short and to the point. Who has time to watch a video each them they want to communicate?
Perhaps even more critically, as Hampus Jakobsson pointed out to me (over Twitter, no less), video "requires full attention--the scarcest of all resources."
Cisco gets this. At least, groups within Cisco get this. That's why Cisco Senior Vice President Doug Dennerline's WebEx team has been adding presence and instant messaging through Jabber, e-mail through PostPath, and more to its Web-conferencing suite.
It's also why Cisco will almost certainly add some form of office productivity suite to WebEx, despite the memo from his boss, Dennerline.)from Alex Hadden-Boyd, director of marketing for the collaboration software group at Cisco. (Apparently, Hadden-Boyd didn't see
Zoho is a leading competitor to Google Apps and, in many areas, actually surpasses Google Apps. While some of Zoho's applications directly overlap with Cisco's current products, the sheer breadth (and, in some cases, depth) of its office productivity and collaboration story must be intriguing to.
Some suggest that Google will struggle to make it in the enterprise due to security concerns with Google Apps. Cisco doesn't have that problem. Its brand oozes "enterprise." As such, it may well be Cisco that changes the face of enterprise computing...by initially changing the way we communicate and collaborate within the enterprise.
Just don't hold your breath for video to part the waters. Video has its place, but it's a highly verbose form of communication, and the Web's most popular technologies increasingly teach us to speak sparingly.
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