Monday, December 12, 2011

The Startup That Powers Videoconferencing For Facebook Just Poached Another Key Cisco Exec (CSCO)

From :

Cisco  just lost the guy who led its cloud videoconferencing unit -- to a competing company started by a bunch of Cisco alums. Ted Tracy has bailed on Cisco to join up-and-coming cloud videoconferencing startup Blue Jeans Network.

Blue Jeans was founded by a group of Cisco alums and funded by Charlie Giancarl, who was once expected to be Cisco's next CEO but is now a venture capitalist.  Blue Jeans' claim to fame is that it's the go-to choice for  Facebook , it says.

Tracy joins Blue Jeans as its engineering VP. At Cisco, he led the engineering team for TelePresence Exchange, a product Cisco sold to service providers so that they could set up their own cloud Web conferencing services. 

Web conferencing is one of the few cloud-y areas where Cisco competes directly with these service providers, as Cisco also sells its videoconferencing service WebEx directly to customers.

As of last year, Tracy was out chanting the Cisco fight song explaining to enterprises how and why they need to roll out on premises video services. Cisco is banking on video as its next great area of growth, and John Chambers is fond of insisting that video will be the basis for all enterprise networks in the future. That's a self-interested prophecy if ever there was one, as using the corporate network to run massive amounts of video would necessitate major investments in high-end networking gear by most companies.

But if Facebook can hire out for its web conferencing services, as they have with Blue Jeans, that kind of blows the hole in the theory that enterprises need to do video on their own networks themselves.  
Blue Jeans launched in June 2011, and now lays claims to customers in 1,500 cities in about 150 countries.

Cisco has a lot staked on TelePresence, too. In 2009, it plunked down $3 billion  to buy rival Tandberg, one of  its biggest deals of the decade.

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