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Cisco Unveils WebEx Social for Higher Education

Comprehensive Cloud-Based Collaboration Solution, Developed In Concert with Leading Higher Education Institutions, Helps Enable Faculty, Students and Administrators to Teach, Learn and Work Their Way

Denver, CO – EDUCAUSE Booth #1114 – November 7, 2012 – To help higher education institutions achieve breakthrough levels of learning and teaching, Cisco today announced the Cisco WebEx® Social for Higher Education.  This integrated, cloud-based solution, developed in concert with leading higher education institutions, including Duke University, North Carolina State University, Case Western Reserve and University of Chicago, goes beyond email, learning management systems and portals to connect people, capture the vast knowledge and expertise within the education ecosystem, and make those resources easily available to students and teachers anywhere.

The WebEx Social for Higher Education offer helps colleges and universities transform processes for increased productivity and innovation, while substantially reducing IT infrastructure cost and complexity. Users can quickly identify subject matter experts, gather group feedback, co-author documents, / immediately with ready access to mentors, relevant communities based on their course of study, class syllabus, reading lists, and links to informational videos.

Key Highlights:

  • Cisco worked closely with academic leaders from Duke University, North Carolina State University, Case Western Reserve and University of Chicago on the development of the WebEx Social for Higher Education offer, to ensure its applicability and effectiveness in the education sector.  All four institutions are currently piloting the solution, with Duke readying to extend it throughout its community – students, staff, faculty and administration – in the coming weeks.
  • The WebEx Social for Higher Education offer includes integrated WebEx Social, WebEx Meetings and WebEx Messenger for presence and instant messaging delivered through the Cisco WebEx Cloud. The Cisco WebEx Cloud is a highly available cloud platform with unmatched performance, integration flexibility and enterprise-grade security.  Its global footprint is ideal for universities with satellite campuses and distant learning students worldwide.
  • WebEx Meetings and WebEx Messenger Integration let users easily move from social networking to real-time communications through click-to-start instant messaging and web conferencing directly from WebEx Social.  The offer includes WebEx web conferencing for up to eight attendees via VOIP. (WebEx web conferencing for beyond eight attendees available at an additional cost).
  • The ability to address the university need to dynamically manage user access to the system for tens of thousands of faculty, students, staff and administration is supported through mainstream technologies, including Active Directory synchronization and Shibboleth authentication.  These technologies are used in the majority of higher education institutions.
  • WebEx Social makes it easy for users to personalize their experience. Users can change layouts and customize page views by adding portlets and OpenSocial-compliant gadgets, RSS feeds, suggestions, and more. They can also view a consolidated activity stream of updates from their network, communities, and people they are following, as well as monitor their Watch List to keep up to date with important content that has been shared, manually added, or commented on.   Users can also stay "connected" through WebEx Social's native support of multiple operating systems and devices, including the Apple iPhone and iPad. 

Supporting Quotes: 

Tracy Futhey, vice president for information technology and chief information officer, Duke University

"We're always looking for open, affordable and easily extensible collaboration tools that can help to bring our vibrant and diverse community together, even when they are separated by time or place. Cisco was willing to work closely with us to truly understand the needs of the Duke community, and to find ways to meet those needs through the WebEx Social for Higher Education offering.  As a result, we're bringing something unique and powerful to Duke, and by extension to higher education more broadly."

 Renee Patton, senior director of education, US Public Sector for Cisco

"Technology is changing our lives at an incredibly rapid pace, yet significant work remains in providing colleges and universities with the collaboration tools needed to drive greater levels of knowledge sharing and innovation. We developed WebEx Social for Higher Education in close cooperation with leading education institutions, as a people-centric cloud collaboration platform that unifies the education workspace and provides a connected learning experience.  We're excited about the impact this solution can have on improving the quality and effectiveness of education worldwide."

Additional Resources:

Tags/Keywords: Cisco Collaboration, WebEx, Higher Education, Duke University, Case Western, University of Chicago, North Carolina State, OpenSocial

RSS Feed for Cisco: http://newsroom.cisco.com/rss-feeds

About Cisco Collaboration

From award-winning IP communications to mobility, customer care, Web conferencing, messaging, enterprise social software, and interoperable telepresence experiences, Cisco brings together network-based, integrated collaboration solutions based on open standards. These solutions offered across on-premise, cloud-based or virtualized platforms, as well as services from Cisco and our partners, are designed to help promote business growth, innovation and productivity. They are also designed to help accelerate team performance, protect investments, and simplify the process of finding the right people and information.

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, please go to http://newsroom.cisco.com.

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Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at www.cisco.com/go/trademarks. Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.  iPad is a trademark of Apple, Inc. and Active Directory is a trademark of Microsoft, Inc.

 
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