By Juan Carlos Perez, IDG News Service (Miami Bureau) | Jan 31, 2012
The project is known internally as Futurama, and it's driven by the company's conviction that the consumerization of IT is a real trend in the enterprise. Thus, Cisco wants collaboration products like WebEx, Quad, Jabber IM, Tandberg and Social Miner to replicate the "user-centric" simplicity of consumer social networks and consumer mobile devices.
In addition, these collaboration products will continue to be integrated with each other until they provide a "seamless," unified experience so that users can move among them organically as their collaboration tasks require, said Raj Gossain, vice president of product management of Cisco's Collaboration Software Group.
"It's not just about making each of our products great unto themselves. Our objective is to bring these solutions together so that as people escalate from different experiences they feel that they are engaging with Cisco collaboration technologies in a consistent fashion: similar controls, common identity, elegant user experience," he said.
Cisco has been working aggressively on the Futurama user-experience design effort for the past year, and its results are just starting to show up in product upgrades and enhancements, but users will see a major push in this area this year, he said.
The fruits of Futurama will appear not only in the user interfaces of collaboration applications but also in the design of Cisco collaboration devices, such as the Tandberg video conferencing products, its IP phones and its Cius tablet.
"We're trying to deliver a common user experience so that everything feels like it's coming from the same vendor. We're making great progress. You'll see a number of new solutions launching this year that are delivered against that Futurama spec," Gossain said. "It's all about a quality, elegant experience, that's easy, intuitive and consistent."