Cisco's Prosumer Business Unit - Making Consumer Products Available for the Enterprise

17 Nov 2010

At Cisco's Collaboration Summit, Blair Pleasant of UCStrategies speaks with Paul Fulton about Cisco's Prosumer business unit and how Cisco is taking consumer products and making them available for the enterprise.

Blair Pleasant: This is Blair Pleasant at the Cisco Collaboration Summit and I am here with Paul Fulton. Paul is the general manager of the Cisco's Prosumer Business Unit. So what does that mean? What is prosumer?

Paul Fulton: It's a good question, Blair. First of all, thanks for having me and thanks for coming to our summit. So prosumer is the combination of consumer and business. What we're doing is leveraging consumer technologies and bringing those into the enterprise. What we have found is our enterprise customers use products like the Flip and use them in their business for everyday tasks: videotaping, whether it's insurance doing insurance claims, attorneys doing depositions, utilities inspecting pipelines or oil rigs and that sort of thing. But the problem is it's a consumer product and it doesn't have policy, it doesn't have the control. It doesn't have the enterprise features that the IT groups need to have.

Blair Pleasant: It doesn't sound very Cisco-like.

Paul Fulton: Exactly, so our group got established to take these consumer products, put all that policy control in place and then sell them into the enterprise and offer them to our enterprise customers. So what we're talking about here is we have a version of the Flip, we call it the Flip Pro and it's the Mino version, but it has double the memory or four hours, 16GB. But probably more importantly is there is a whole range of software that ties the Flip camera into our overall Cisco video architecture. So from a video capture standpoint, you simply take the camera, plug it into your laptop, a very small window pops up and loads all of the software into our cloud and in our cloud you can tag the videos. You can organize the videos. You can share the videos and with a single click, load into Show and Share and then into Quad, and of course into the rest of our architecture. So very, very simple, very inexpensive, what this is really about is allowing businesses to have not user-generated content, but employee-generated content. And so empowering all the people to change the business process to make video a part of their work and it really allows for great ways to archive problems. It allows for people to train - we have lots of customers using this for training. We have customers using this for market research, so for example Proctor & Gamble uses this for something they call the "Two Moments of Truth," when somebody picks a consumer product up and then uses it. They Flip that and then they use that as a way to improve their products. So lots and lots of use cases. In fact, we can't even come up with them-our customers come up with use cases, but professional use and a great use of consumer technology.

Blair Pleasant: Great, well I can't wait to see what you have next after working on the Flip and what other consumer technologies we will be seeing in the enterprise.

Paul Fulton: Sounds great.

Blair Pleasant: Thank you so much.

Paul Fulton: Thanks Blair.


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