Video killed your network capacity. [Cisco]

 Video collaboration: a vision for driving the next big wave of collaboration

It’s a startling number to fathom but this is where we’re headed: 90% of internet traffic will be in video form by 2013. Think about it. That’s a ton of YouTube views, a whole lot of Cisco TelePresence and WebEx meetings, scads of Skype chats, and heaps of online TV and movies.

How did we get here? Well, video communication and collaboration is where we’ve been headed for a while – as businesses and as consumers – even if we didn’t quite know it ten or 20 years ago. A picture, it’s said, is worth a thousand words. That’s because, at our core, we’re visual creatures – we respond better and retain more when we see rather than read words on a page or on a screen.

 But it’s still taken some time for the technology to catch up to where we wanted to be. So we emailed and texted and tweeted and called (remember landlines?) because that’s what the technology and bandwidth capacity allowed. If video killed the radio star back in the 1980s, you might say a new kind of video did a bang-up job of slowing down network capacity throughout the 2000s. 

 Video collaboration’s day finally arrives.

But then things started to change in a big way.  The internet enabled digital communications on an unprecedented scale and we figured out how to digitize audio and video. Bandwidth increased (and continues to increase) and ultimately, it didn’t hurt video’s ascendance that in the economic slowdown travel – planes, trains and automobiles – simply got too expensive to be practical day to day.

 The pump was primed for an explosion in enterprise video collaboration and the technology and tools finally caught up. And while cost-cutting drove the first wave of video conferencing, it lead to the realization that the benefits of real-time, face-to-face video collaboration could no longer be ignored:

  • Strengthened productivity
  • Reduced costs
  • Improved relationships between external partners and internal teams
  • Ability to scale increasingly scarce resources
  • Reduced carbon footprint

 Who can deliver on integrated video collaboration?

But while the technology now existed and the promise of video collaboration seemed within reach, there needed to be an integrated secure architecture that enabled real-time collaboration anywhere, with any content, on any operating system and on any device. [Read more…]

Two Cs are better than one when it comes to desktop virtualization. [Citrix, Cisco]

As computing transitions from the PC era to one in the cloud — where mobile workers need to access media-rich applications from any device, anywhere, anytime — enterprises are relying increasingly on desktop virtualization. And for good reason. It offers real benefits like security, flexibility and cost-savings.

For end users, it means that if a laptop is lost or stolen, data isn’t compromised – just pick up a new device, log in and you’re off the races. And for the IT team, it means managing and maintaining all operating systems and applications from the datacenter plus no longer having to run around the enterprise updating software or putting out fires.

As desktop virtualization has come into its own and its benefits more widely known, it got the folks at Cisco and Citrix thinking. By combining Cisco’s leadership in networking, datacenter, endpoint services and collaboration with Citrix’s leadership in virtualization and the delivery of desktops, applications and data, both companies realized they could deliver solutions better together, ones that held the promise of helping enterprises more easily and cost effectively deploy virtual desktops to their PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones and thin client

That, in essence, was the thinking behind the two companies’ strategic alliance announced in October. The multi-year collaboration will focus on:

  • Enabling the Cisco network to become Citrix XenDesktop-aware
  • Improving device support with integrated multimedia
  • Further extending success in the datacenter with Cisco UCS and Citrix XenDesktop
  • Strengthening both companies’ commitment to cloud computing.

The alliance’s first deliverables will be focused on [Read more…]

Case Study: IBM Power7 [IBM]

The platform of choice for value with the right technology partner.

From reliability and virtualization features inspired by IBM’s unrivaled success in mainframe systems to unique energy savings capabilities—a Power solution can help you get the most from your IT assets so end users are enabled quickly through a cost-effective infrastructure with around-the-clock availability.

Businesses around the world are moving to Power Systems in order to:

  • Maximize return on investment: IBM designs and develops the core technologies in Power Systems and delivers them through a reliable roadmap for both hardware and systems software.
  • Reduce cost and increase flexibility: IBM’s unique 40-year history of virtualization leadership is delivered on Power Systems through PowerVM™ technologies that enable clients to dramatically reduce costs by “virtualizing everything” in the data center.
  • Get consistent and predictable performance: Power Systems delivers high performing processors and system scalability with leadership benchmarks achieved in a virtualized environment.

Softchoice is one of a select few North American organizations to earn IBM’s Dynamic Infrastructure Specialty Accreditation. What does this mean? IBM recognizes us as a top-skilled partner, with cross- brand, solution-oriented skills. Softchoice takes data center and network optimization strategies from concept to reality, helping clients reduce costs, risk and maximize efficiency across their enterprise.

Watch a video case study direct from IBM >> [Read more…]