'Assimilation Of Collaboration Technologies Is The Way Forward'

Kiran Datar, MD, Cisco WebEx, talks about the assimilation of collaboration technologies as the way forward in an interaction with Biztech2.com.

Esha Birnur November 30, 2009 15:30:30 IST
'Assimilation Of Collaboration Technologies Is The Way Forward'

Kiran Datar, MD, Cisco WebEx, talks about the assimilation of collaboration technologies as the way forward in an interaction with Biztech2.com.

How is collaboration changing the way business is done?

Collaboration enables both business and technology. As businesses grow, the supply chain becomes distributed, which also results in emergence of multi-location branches. Collaboration helps in bridging communication in such a distributed network.

Collaboration also helps to put ideas into motion without having to travel long distances. What probably took two days to complete earlier, will now take just half an hour, thanks to collaboration. The most successful businesses are those that have modified their way of working to bring in the ability to collaborate and benefits that come out of this are increased productivity and reduction in costs.

What are some typical challenges that CIOs face with communication and collaboration technologies?

CIOs have to make a plethora of decisions. Technology now has moved from the data centre to users, who have access to a wealth of Web 2.0 applications. CIOs have to figure out a plan to bring these technologies into the organisation, while also concentrating on security, reliability and scalability. On the other hand, users want flexibility and speed.

WebEx ties both these ends together. WebEx offers Web-enabled, hosted solutions, which are flexible and don’t take too long for an upgrade. CIOs want to give users technology that they desire but their hands are tied together due to budget constraints and capital costs.

Web collaboration has been present in India for quite sometime now. How have you seen this market evolve?

The evolution has been very strong. In the early days, it was IT organisations, who were aggressive adopters of this technology. But I have seen a change in this pattern in the last one year. Even companies and verticals that have traditionally not been IT savvy are now showing a growing interest in Web collaboration technologies.

What is the size of the Indian market for conferencing technologies? How are global trends affecting the Indian market?

The range of this market is very wide. Frost & Sullivan has estimated this market to be worth $150 million and growing at a very rapid pace. The economy world over is opening up leading to an increase in exports, which is integral to our domestic economy. Due to a surge in business, companies are establishing offices in various locations to meet different customer needs, which leads to travel and infrastructure woes. Collaboration surpasses all these hurdles and allows companies to engage in all-India plays and be a part of the functioning of the organisation, without any travel being involved.

What innovations do you see in this space?

I have seen continuous innovation in this space. WebEx is also evolving and is moving from Web collaboration and conferencing to pure collaboration across all platforms such as mobile, telepresence, voice conferencing and a mix-and-match of these offerings.

Our offering should have the ability to think about collaboration and not just concentrate on specific technologies. The user wants to move to various forms based on accessibility. We see innovation coming from the integration of all these platforms. We are also looking at SaaS models for solutions like hosted e-mail and other enterprise apps.

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