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Cisco®: Building Web 2.0 solutions

It wasn’t quite an instant application, but it did illustrate how mashup technology could be leveraged to create real solutions within a matter of hours. IBM’s jStart team and Cisco, both leaders in technology innovation, recently collaborated on an enterprise application mashup that revealed the immediate business value that is available as web and video technologies converge with Web 2.0 thinking.

The project showed how easily jStart can apply their mashup expertise to rich media content as they used IBM’s Mashup Center to widgetize video surveillance feeds from Cisco’s Video Systems for Business. The resulting mashup allows the end-user to pick and choose from all available video feeds, as well as to view the personnel details of and chat real-time with the security guards who “own” each camera view. In essence, jStart took something in the physical realm and transformed it into the digital realm where it can be quickly and easily manipulated by line-of-business end users.

Prior to engaging with jStart, Cisco had already recognized that Web 2.0 technology could offer enormous potential to transform how business is done, and realized that there was an opportunity to partner with jStart to explore how those technologies might be leveraged. With market leading end-to-end video business systems, Cisco was specifically looking for the skills and experience jStart had with enterprise mashups to help them tap into the potential they saw in Web 2.0. With that in mind, jStart and Cisco put together their heads to explore and discuss how Cisco’s video technology could be utilized as an enterprise situational application—and how to create a prototype to demonstrate the concept within a shortened time horizon: in short, the goal was to demonstrate how mashup technologies, when leveraged appropriately, can create real value in a short amount of time.

Cisco Mashup Screenshot

Mashups with Live Video and Communications

Realizing that the video camera feeds could be easily widgetized, jStart worked with IBM Research Labs to produce a widget in a matter of hours that could be consumed by IBM’s Lotus Mashup Center. Then, by wiring together this widget with Excel and Sametime-based widgets, jStart created a mashup utility in which the user was able to select a video camera feed, view the feed, and also instant message with the associated security guard—all in an environment which seamlessly presented this information in side-by-side windows within Mashup Center’s browser-based graphical user interface (GUI).

Business Value Created

In just eight hours, jStart produced a mashup that showcases its latest innovation – the ability to push beyond pure data and bring physical elements, such as security video cameras, into the mashup environment. This particular mashup brings greater control and customization to end-user security personnel and, more broadly, hints at the potential of mashups to streamline the efficiency of a rapidly increasing number and address a variety of real business needs. As Rod Smith, VP of Emerging Technologies, explained during a presentation of this technology: this mashup could be extended to the many different APIs across Cisco’s business lines, thus providing sustained value for a very limited investment. In the end, Cisco approached IBM because of jStart’s mashup expertise, and jStart’s successful integration of Cisco’s technology with IBM’s own brought this mashup to reality.