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Shared Vision for the Future of Hosted Collaboration

With the increased reliance on IT from business leaders, it's important for CIOs to understand the concerns of CEOs and the implications they may have on IT, according to Gartner, Inc.

"Business leaders see very uncertain times ahead in 2011, and they must defend growth despite falling business and consumer confidence," said Mark Raskino, vice president and Gartner Fellow.

According to Gartner's assessment, CIOs should target at least one major business process to be revolutionized or obliterated in 2011 or 2012 -- substantively improving how companies collaborate is one example.

BT and Cisco have a shared vision for the future of hosted collaboration and unified communications services, built on their insight across a variety of networked IT and communications services.

The companies' mutual understanding of complex network environments and solution provisioning has helped them deliver superior capability, service, and value with global reach.

BT and Cisco jointly addressed the ongoing transition to hosted collaboration, unified communications and Internet Protocol (IP) telephony services, including the developing demand for IP telephony as a cloud-based service, at the Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2010.

Collaboration: New Realities, Rules and Opportunities
Stephen Bruce, head of UCC and Mobility portfolios for multinational corporations at BT Global Services and Matt Rowan, manager of partner operations at Cisco, discussed the new realities, rules, and opportunities that stem from a cloud computing-based collaboration and unified communications strategy, including the implications of a utility-priced service.

Bruce said, "As more of our customers contemplate their end-of-life traditional telephony environments and look to embrace the cloud, they are obviously interested in the notion of moving their IP telephony applications into the cloud. The carefully planned transition to cloud-based IP telephony can help customers dramatically reduce upfront investment costs while accelerating the adoption of IP telephony and unified communications on a global scale."

Rowan said, "As businesses analyze their options related to the consumption of collaboration solutions, cloud models offer compelling value. We are seeing enormous demand for cloud based collaboration solutions. Customers are asking for a low risk, minimally disruptive transition, and I believe BT offers a solid answer."

BT, in collaboration with Cisco, announced its hosted unified communications and IP telephony service to business customers in the U.S. in June 2010.

The service allows businesses to bring converged voice, mobile and data services to every desktop in their organizations, using BT and Cisco's cloud computing-based technologies. BT can rapidly deploy services to both large and small sites, offering business customers significant savings as well as operational predictability.